IRP Fellowships in International Journalism
2010 IRP Fellow Helen Coster interviews coca farmers in Bolivia.
The IRP Fellowships allow U.S. journalists to do original, in-depth reporting projects overseas. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 170 U.S. journalists have been awarded IRP Fellowships and have reported from more than 90 countries around the world. IRP Fellows’ prize-winning stories have appeared in all major media organizations in the United States.
The program encourages U.S. journalists to cover neglected, “under-reported” stories of global importance. As much of the mainstream media have reduced their coverage of international issues, the International Reporting Project (IRP) is filling some of the void.
2012 IRP Fellowships
SPRING 2012 IRP FELLOWSHIPS IN GLOBAL HEALTH REPORTING
In the spring of 2012, the International Reporting Project (IRP) will offer up to five IRP Fellowships to U.S. journalists to report on important global health topics such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, maternal and child health or new scientific research aimed at reducing the impact of global diseases.
The nine-week reporting Fellowships will begin in early March 2012 and extend through mid-May 2012. Fellows will spend two weeks in Washington at the IRP offices preparing for their overseas trips and then five weeks reporting on their chosen health topics in the country of their choice. Fellows will return to Washington for a final two weeks of reporting and presentations of their findings.
Applications are due by October 3, 2011.
Each applicant for a spring 2012 IRP Fellowship in Global Health Fellowship must write an essay of up to 800 words describing his or her reporting project proposal. The fellowships are open to all U.S. journalists with at least five years of professional experience in any medium. Journalists’ stories produced during the fellowship will be considered collaborations between IRP and the staff journalists’ news organizations, or in the case of freelancers, with organizations that run the stories. All stories will be featured on the IRP web site and billed as collaborations between IRP and the news organizations for whom the journalists work.
IRP Fellows will receive a stipend to support their stay in Washington and overseas travel, hotel accommodations in Washington and a roundtrip ticket to their overseas destination.
Applications will be accepted from all U.S. journalists with at least five years’ professional experience. Freelancers and staff journalists are welcome. There is no minimum or maximum age limit and veteran journalists with experience overseas are urged to apply. Journalists from all media are eligible, and multimedia projects are encouraged.
All Fellows must be U.S. citizens, or else work fulltime in the United States for a U.S.-based news organization. All applicants must complete an online IRP application form, which includes an essay of up to 800 words describing the proposed overseas project. Work samples and one recommendation letter are also required.
All IRP Fellows are required to attend the two-week Washington D.C. program prior to their five-week overseas reporting trips. During these two weeks, the Fellows work with IRP staff to put the final touches on their international reporting trips, including obtaining visas and health inoculations. Program staff members will provide assistance in identifying and arranging interviews with the many international experts in the Washington area, including specialists in government, think tanks, embassies, NGOs and at SAIS, the school where IRP is based.
While much of the time in Washington is kept unscheduled so that Fellows can prepare for their reporting trips, IRP Fellows are required to attend a few events that the IRP will organize. These include meetings with senior news editors and producers who have experience overseas and with former IRP alumni who are based in Washington. In addition, IRP Fellows are enrolled in a course in hazardous environmental training the costs of which are paid for by the IRP.
IRP Fellows have access to numerous lectures, brown-bag discussions, conferences and other events pertaining to international issues that are held regularly at various Washington institutions, many of which are within easy walking distance of the IRP offices. Fellows also have a rich selection of evening events and programs on international topics and media that they can choose to attend.
During their stay in Washington, all out-of-town IRP Fellows receive free accommodations at a hotel within a few minutes’ walk of the IRP offices.
IRP Fellows are provided with offices at SAIS equipped with computers, printers, phones and FAX facilities. Fellows are entitled all privileges granted to regular students at SAIS, including use of the wireless network, library facilities and cafeteria.
Each Fellow receives a stipend of $1,500 during the Washington stay to help pay for meals and expenses. The fellowship does not provide health insurance, so Fellows should retain their current coverage. Spouses may join Fellows in their hotel accommodations but because of space and time limitations are discouraged from joining Fellows in their Washington program and overseas travel projects.
IRP Fellows must agree to return to Washington at the end of their reporting trips to take part in the final two weeks of the fellowship program, which includes evaluation sessions and a public presentation at which journalists discuss their work. Fellows receive another $1,500 stipend and hotel accommodations in the final two weeks. Failure to return to Washington on time will result in a loss of the Fellow’s stipend.
International Reporting Trip
IRP Fellows are provided with a five-week opportunity to travel to a country to pursue the international news story that they have outlined in their application essay and for which they prepare during their Washington-based stay. Each Fellow consults closely with the IRP program staff to plan an international itinerary that makes the best use of the limited time overseas. The IRP staff is responsible for booking and purchasing the roundtrip air ticket for each Fellow, which will be done after extensive discussion between the journalist and the IRP staff.
Fellows are provided a free roundtrip airline ticket between Washington D.C. and a single international destination. In addition, IRP Fellows receive a lump sum travel stipend of $6,000 to help cover their expenses during their five-week travel program. In some cases, a Fellow’s news organization may agree to reimburse additional expenses related to newsgathering activity.
As stated above in the section on the Washington program, all IRP Fellows are required to return to Washington for their final two weeks of the program. Failure to return on time will result in the loss of the Fellow’s final Washington stipend.
Stories produced by the IRP Fellows will be run on the IRP web site, as well as by the news organization for whom a journalist works with credit given to the International Reporting Project (IRP) as a collaborating organization. The IRP staff works with IRP Fellows who are freelance journalists to help them pitch and place their stories in various news organizations. Freelancers’ stories should also be labeled with credit to the IRP.
IRP Fellows are selection by a selection committee consisting of prominent journalists, program alumni, specialists in international affairs and program staff. All applicants will be informed of their status within a few weeks after the deadline for applications.
As a general rule, selection committees prefer that applicants avoid proposing stories that they may have already covered in great detail. Applicants working on books or film projects who propose using their IRP Fellowship to further their projects are unlikely to be selected. The IRP is seeking stories that are fresh and under-covered, and encourages IRP Fellows to broaden their horizons by undertaking projects in areas that are fresh to the journalists.
The IRP encourages applicants to propose stories that have not been done recently by other Fellows. Applicants should examine stories done by recent IRP Fellows to make sure they are not duplicating stories already done.
2011-06-08 16:38:24 UTC