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Café Series

Space for Interaction hosts debates on topical and current issues related to poverty, development and social change, held at CEPA premises in an informal setting. The Café series focuses mainly on non-mainstream subjects, targeted towards non academic, non development and the youth. There are 4-6 Café series per year.

Media Fellowship Programme to probe many facets of Poverty

Media Fellowship Programme to probe many facets of Poverty

The Center for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), a think-tank working on poverty related issues, invites applications from journalists (including freelancers) working in print, broadcast (TV/Radio) and on-line media institutions for a media fellowship programme with a focus on investigating different aspects of poverty in Sri Lanka.

The fellowships are meant to enhance the skills of fifteen (15) competitively selected journalists by giving them a better understanding of the many dimensions of poverty, and providing them with guidance to cover unrevealed or under-reported aspects of poverty.

Winners of fellowships will benefit from face-to-face interactions with senior journalists and development researchers, and receive a grant to cover their field visit costs. They will have the opportunity to study a story of their choice in depth and detail, but on the understanding that their media outlet will carry their story.

Applications are accepted from news reporters, feature writers, broadcast producers and online content creators.

In selecting the fellows, the programme will ensure a good gender balance and representation of journalists working in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. Applicants must be journalists or photojournalists who may be working full time, part time or on free-lance basis and have least (5) years of experience. All applicants will need to provide a letter from editors of the media institutions they are affiliated to, agreeing to publish their outputs from this fellowship.  

A five-member expert panel, that consists of professionals with experience in print, broadcast and on line media will select the fellows and then, guide and mentor them throughout the programme. This will include a one-day orientation programme which will provide an opportunity for participants to understand the many dimensions of poverty and how to use their reporting skills to investigate and document related stories of public interest.

After the orientation, fellows will be asked to submit a tentative theme about any poverty   related issue they hope to cover in their report. They will have four months, to work on their assignments and to submit the agreed number of stories. During this time, the fellows will be mentored by the expert panel members. The resulting stories will be published in their respective media outlets and subsequently on CEPA’s web site (http://www.cepa.lk/ ).

The closing date for receiving applications is 26 August 2016. 

Deadline for applications:  26 August 2016

Why these fellowships?

Sri Lanka has recently been declared a Middle Income Country. Public expenditure on the social sector has declined as a percentage of the GDP and this has created widening inequalities. Poverty, therefore, is still a crucial issue, but it needs to be understood from a more holistic perspective which considers aspects such as people’s capabilities, private and social assets, leisure (or lack of it), and attainment of social participation and security.

However, most media look at poverty from a purely economic perspective as a lack of money. A wider understanding on poverty would include democracy, good governance, rule of law, freedom of expression and media freedom as prerequisites for people to realise their full capabilities. In addition to the limited understanding of poverty, most media houses allocate little or no budget for field-based and investigative journalistic assignments on poverty related topics.

Fellowships Programme

With the Media Fellowships on Poverty and Development, the Center for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) hopes to tackle this gap.

The fellowships are meant to enhance the skills of fifteen (15) competitively selected journalists by giving them a better understanding of the many dimensions of poverty, and providing them with guidance to cover unrevealed or under-reported aspects of poverty.

Winners of fellowships will benefit from face-to-face interactions with senior journalists and development researchers, and receive a grant to cover their field visit costs. They will have the opportunity to study a story of their choice in depth and detail, but on the understanding that their media outlet will carry their story.

Application guidelines

Applications are invited from journalists (including freelancers) working in print, broadcast (TV/Radio) and online media institutions for a media fellowship programme with focus on investigating different aspects of poverty in Sri Lanka.

  • Applicants may be news reporters, feature writers, broadcast producers, photojournalists or online content creators in any national or local level media (newspaper, magazine, radio channel, TV channel, news website).
  • Foreign correspondents, bloggers and opinion writers to newspapers are not eligible.
  • Applicants may be working full time, part time or on free-lance basis and have least five (5) years of media work experience, i.e. having had a working relationship with a media outlet at least since June 2011.
  • Freelancers need to have a regular media outlet to which they contribute, and (as with full-time journalists applying) they too must obtain a letter of support from the editor (see below).
  • Applicants need to be citizens of Sri Lanka.
  • While there is no strict age limit for applying, preference will be given to mid-career journalists and broadcasters with at least five years of media work experience.
  • Applications may be submitted in English, Sinhala or Tamil languages.

 

Application components

Application would include the following items:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which needs to include names and contact details of two non-related referees.
  • A covering letter (not more than 250 words) that explains why the applicant wishes to take part in this fellowship programme.
  • Minimum three (3) published print/web articles, or three (3) broadcast programmes on any issue of current public interest. Where radio/TV content is concerned, please provide a CD containing it, or the web link to a specific location where it is found online.
  • All applicants are also asked to provide a letter from the editor of the media institution they are affiliated to, where the editor agrees to publish the applicant’s own output resulting from this fellowship. This letter needs to be on the media company’s letterhead, and signed (scans of the letter are also accepted).
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • The deadline for applications is 6 pm Sri Lanka time on 26 August 2016. All applications need to reach CEPA by or before this deadline.

Applications may be sent via emails or post.

Postal address: CEPA, 29, R. G. Senanayake Mawatha (formerly Gregory's Road), Colombo 7.

      Dedicated email address for Poverty and Development Media Fellowships: mediafellowship@cepa.lk

Selection process

  • In selecting the 15 fellows, the programme will ensure a good gender balance and representation of journalists working in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
  • A five-member expert panel that consists of media professionals with experience in print, broadcast and online media will select the fellows, and then guide and mentor them throughout the programme.
  • Expert panel members

1.Nalaka Gunawardene

2.Kusal Perera

3.Hana Ibrahim

4.Shamindra Kulamannage

5.Arun Arokianathan

Fellowship activities

  • Mentoring will start with a one-day orientation programme which will provide an opportunity for participants to understand the many dimensions of poverty and how to use their reporting skills to investigate and document related stories of public interest.
  • After the orientation, fellows will be asked to select a topic/theme about any poverty related issue they hope to cover in their report, and suggest how they will explore their topic/theme with fieldwork and interviews, etc.
  • There is absolutely no requirement or expectation that the fellows have to cover the research studies or findings of CEPA and its researchers. However, CEPA’s researchers and library will be available for fellows’ use as part of information gathering.
  • Fellows will have four months to work on their assignments and to submit the agreed number of stories. During this time, the fellows will be mentored by the expert panel members.
  • Publication or broadcast of fellowship products (articles/programmes) will need to happen in their respective media outlets during December 2016 and January 2017.
  • After their first publication or broadcast, these will also be collated and linked to on CEPA’s website, http://www.cepa.lk (http://www.cepa.lk/events/section/media-fellowship-program.html).
  • In applying for this fellowship, all journalists and their media organisations agree to share the copyrights of the resulting articles/programmes with CEPA. The intellectual property of the writers/producers will be fully acknowledged.
  • The copyright framework for the compilation at the end of the fellowship programme will be the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO) license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/

This project is supported by UNESCO 

Final list of selected Fellows