2010 IRP Fellowships
2009 IRP Fellow Julia Lyon reports from Thailand.
In the fall of 2010 the International Reporting Project (IRP) will offer up to 10 IRP Fellowships to U.S. journalists to carry out a project reporting from any country in the world outside the United States. The program will begin August 26, 2010 in Washington D.C. where IRP Fellows will spend two weeks in a program of briefings and seminars arranged by IRP. Fellows will depart on their overseas projects on September 11 for a five-week period of individual international reporting. All IRP Fellows are required to return to Washington by October 17 for a final two weeks of presentations. The program ends on October 29.
As part of its 2010 program, the IRP will offer one “IRP/Stanley Foundation Fellowship” that will be part of the overall Fellowships program. This award will be made to a U.S. journalist of any level of experience – including senior journalists – whose proposed international reporting project will focus on the challenge of securing loose nuclear material. Applicants for the IRP/Stanley Foundation Fellowship should propose a compelling international story that would focus on such topics as exploring the scope of unsecured nuclear material, how this material is handled in a particular country or the inherent difficulties, potential solutions or likelihood of securing this material. All applicants for this Fellowship must complete the standard online IRP application form, including essay.
The IRP Fellowships allow U.S. journalists to do original, in-depth reporting projects overseas. Since the program was created in 1998, more than 160 U.S. journalists have been awarded IRP Fellowships to report from more than 90 countries around the world.
A chief aim of the program is to encourage 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) seeks to fill some of the void.
IRP Fellowships are nine weeks long. IRP Fellows begin by coming to Washington D.C. for two weeks where they prepare for their five-week overseas reporting projects. In Washington the journalists have offices at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of The Johns Hopkins University, home of some of the world’s leading specialists in international issues. IRP Fellows also spend two weeks in Washington on returning from overseas.
The IRP invites all news organizations to collaborate on stories. Staff journalists who are awarded IRP Fellowships produce stories that can run in their own news organizations as well as on the IRP web site. IRP Fellows’ prize-winning stories have appeared in all of the top U.S. and international media, including leading print, broadcast and online outlets. The IRP treats these stories as partnerships between the news organizations and the IRP.
Applications will be accepted from all U.S. journalists with at least three years’ professional experience. Freelancers and staff journalists are equally welcome to apply. There is no minimum or maximum age limit. Veteran journalists with experience overseas are encouraged to apply. Journalists from all media are eligible, and multimedia projects are highly encouraged.
All Fellows must be U.S. citizens or else be working 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. (See application form for details.)
Tom Bettag, veteran TV producer, speaks with IRP Fellows.
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. IRP staff will help arrange 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 2 ½ day course in hazardous environmental training, the costs of which are paid for by the IRP.
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 to 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 on October 17, 2010, to take part in the final two weeks of the fellowship program, which includes 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.
Fall 2006 IRP Fellow Katie Thomas reports from the Republic of the Congo.
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 will book and purchase 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 $4,500 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 news gathering activity.
As stated above in the section on the Washington program, all IRP Fellows are required to return to Washington by October 17, 2010, 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 will assist freelancers in marketing their stories. Freelancers’ stories should also be labeled with credit to the IRP.
IRP Fellows are selected by a selection committee consisting of prominent journalists, IRP alumni, specialists in international affairs and program staff. All applicants will be informed of their status in early June.
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 who propose using their IRP Fellowship to further their book research 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 new ground for the journalists.
Wherever possible, applicants should propose stories that have not been done by recent IRP Fellows. Applicants should examine stories done by recent IRP Fellows on the web site to make sure they are not duplicating stories.
The deadline for applications is April 1, 2010. Click here for the online application.