Eastern DR Congo Reporting Fellowship

Africa

This vast country the size of Western Europe has for the last two decades been at the center of East Africa’s ‘Never-Ending War’, portrayed in the news media as a place of death, rape and conflict minerals. The Congolese people have suffered immensely as a result of ongoing fighting and a lack of access to basic services; yet despite the challenges they face, they possess a remarkable resiliency and hope for a better future. Stories of life in the DRC, as opposed to death, rarely make headlines. Yet to reach a deeper understanding of the place, these are the stories that must be told.

The IWMF has organized a series of reporting trips to North Kivu province in Eastern DRC to explore new narratives from the region. Reporting themes include democracy and governance; economic development as a demobilization strategy; and the impact of aid. Each trip consists of a four-day briefing session by international experts on the region, along with a specialized journalism security training workshop, followed by a week of in-country reporting with access to a wide range of sites and sources.

Program objectives are to enhance news media coverage of complex issues in Eastern DRC and to develop a group of international journalists with expertise in these issues:

  • ConservationA Year of Reporting from Eastern Congo
    In 2014, the IWMF set out to find Eastern Congo’s untold stories of people living their lives despite hardships and working to improve their country’s future. To provide journalists with the opportunity to report on issues of global importance, the IWMF with the support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, created an international reporting program to bring 20 women journalists to Eastern Congo – no small feat.

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  • Beras-THN2016 Fellows
    10 fellows reported from DR Congo and Rwanda in February 2016 -Erika Beras, Katya Cingel, Kiana Hayeri, Abigail Higgins, Lily Kuo, Sophia Mbugua, Lindsey Parietti, Sophie Pilgrim, Christin Roby and Daniella Zalcman

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  • ConservationConservation
    IWMF reporting fellows return to Eastern DRC to cover conservation in and around Virunga National Park where a series of new initiatives focused around tourism and conservation in Virunga have made the park one of the country’s most viable prospects for peace. The oldest national park in Africa, Virunga’s majestic 2 million acre expanse has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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  • Civic EngagementCivic EngagementIn July 2014, the IWMF led a group of six women reporters to the DR Congo to examine a variety of issues surrounding civic engagement. Participating journalists examined political and national affairs by speaking with key decision-makers and civil society representatives in Kinshasa and North Kivu province. This was the third trip to the DR Congo with the IWMF, fostering in-depth international reporting in the region.

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  • Impact of AidImpact of AidThe IWMF’s April reporting trip, the second in a series of four, focused on the impact of aid and philanthropy in DR Congo’s North Kivu province. Participating journalists, representing media outlets such as Reuters and The Daily Beast, were examining what initiatives are underway to improve quality of life in Eastern Congo, and finding out to what extent these efforts are working.

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  • Economic DevelopmentEconomic DevelopmentThe IWMF’s first reporting trip to Eastern DR Congo gave six women journalists the opportunity to witness economic development programs taking place in one of the world’s most notorious conflict zones, North Kivu province. The group of international journalists took advantage of the region’s relative calm to explore stories of resilience and hope.

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Female journalists working in print, broadcast, online or multimedia, including freelancers, are eligible for the fellowship. To learn more, please send us an email.

 

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