Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thomson Reuters Foundation Election Reporting Training Programme 2015

Thomson Reuters Foundation is supporting a group of elections reporters from around the world to provide fair, balanced, accurate and timely coverage of their own countries' elections.

Media freedom and professional reporting are both essential requirements for a free and fair election. When the media plays its role as a balanced information source for the public and a tool for accountability, elections are more likely to be fair. But covering an election is complex, requires experience, and in some countries can be dangerous.

Thomson Reuters Foundation's 2015 Elections Reporting programme will support journalists to provide balanced and objective coverage of elections in countries with elections in 2015 or 2016. These are: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Haiti and Uganda.

The programme will have two main activities:
1.    A five-day elections reporting training course structured around the 2015 UK general election
The United Kingdom general election is being held on 7th May 2015. TRF will bring journalists from target countries to London to cover the election in real time under the expert guidance of experienced ex-Reuters journalists.

The training will focus on the role of media in democratic elections and the elements conducive to fair and free elections including: informing voters about the process, credibility of election coverage, amplifying people’s voice, balanced coverage of candidates, how to plan a comprehensive media campaign of the elections, and safety in the field.

However, minimal time will be spent in the classroom. The group will work as a real elections reporting team, first planning their coverage, then going out on the election trail in the days leading up to voting. On voting day, the team will cover the polling stations, then move back to TRF HQ to report as the results come in. On the day after the election the journalists will cover the final result, and the follow-up story.

All participants are expected to file at least two stories on the elections to their media outlets during the course.
Training also will cover writing skills, sources, ethics and legal dangers.
2.    Editorial support for each journalist ahead of them beginning their own elections coverage.
After the London course, TRF will provide participating journalists with remote support from a TRF expert when they are covering their own elections. This could come in the form of reviewing elections coverage plan, editorial support on a feature story or support with story pitches for the elections follow-up coverage.
Start date: May 04, 2015
End date: May 08, 2015
Location: London, UK – England and Wales
Application deadline: Mar 23, 2015
Applicants must be full-time text (online or print) or radio journalists, or regular contributors to text or radio media and have a minimum of three years of experience.

Journalists must be on the elections reporting team at their media outlets for the upcoming elections in their countries and must come from the following countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Haiti and Uganda.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to a career in journalism in their country, with a good level in spoken and written English.
Thomson Reuters Foundation offers:

Full bursaries for journalists from the developing world/countries in political transition working for organisations with no resources for training. Bursaries would include air travel expenses (economy class), accommodation and a modest living allowance. This arrangement is subject to variation.

Part-funded bursaries are available for journalists from the developing world/countries in political transition who work for organisations that have limited resources for training, in this instance Thomson Reuters Foundation waives the tuition cost and the participant will be expected to cover travel and accommodation costs. In exceptional circumstances journalists from the developed world will be considered for part-funded bursaries.

Thomson Reuters Foundation also offers training for journalists from any region from an organisation that has the resources to fully cover the following costs of the programme: tuition fees: £200 per day (£1000 for a 5-day London course), travel and accommodation costs and living expenses.Thomson Reuters Foundation would provide a list of hotels for participants who require accommodation in London. If you have any questions please email:
-    A biography of up to 250 words outlining your career
-    Two recent examples of your published work, preferably relevant to the course for which you are applying, with a brief summary in English (if necessary).
-    A statement of between 250 and 500 words describing any factors affecting your work as a journalist. Explain how you hope to benefit from the course for which you are applying.
-    A letter from your editor that demonstrates their permission for you to attend this course and a willingness to publish the two stories that you file.

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