The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) selected 14 journalists from six countries to participate as Fellows with the African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative. A group of eight women journalists will report on civic engagement from Rwanda. Concurrently, six women journalists will cover stories related to rural and economic development from Tanzania. Both trips will take place February 17-March 1, 2017.
All fellows will begin their trips in Nairobi, Kenya for a multi-day orientation and security training before departing for their respective reporting countries. While on the ground, fellows will have the opportunity to meet with local journalists, collaborate with international peers, and discover sites and sources relevant to their reporting. This is the IWMF’s first trip to South Sudan and second trip to Tanzania.
All Fellows will begin their trips in Nairobi, Kenya for a multi-day orientation and security training before departing for their respective reporting countries. While on the ground, Fellows will have the opportunity to meet with local journalists, collaborate with international peers, and discover sites and sources relevant to their reporting. These are the third IWMF trips to both countries.
The IWMF designed the African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative to support journalists interested in pursuing stories that go beyond the well-established narratives of political instability, armed conflicts, and humanitarian crisis in the region. The program was created in 2014, building on the success of earlier IWMF reporting fellowships to the Western Sahara and DRC. To date, 77 journalists have covered a wide range of under-reported topics including humanitarian issues, democracy, food security, and development. Their work has been produced and published by leading media outlets around the world.
During the next four years, the IWMF will continue to lead groups of women journalists to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. By 2019, more than 250 reporters will have together reshaped traditional media narratives about this complicated and promising region. The IWMF pays for fellowship-related expenses including travel, lodging, meals, and fixers/interpreters unless a selected journalist’s news organization wishes to assume these costs.
Visit our blog for updates from #IWMFfellows on the ground.
Elizabeth G. Conley is a staff photographer with the Houston Chronicle based in Houston, Texas. Along with creating images to supplement stories in the daily publication, Conley also specializes in long-term multimedia projects, often focusing on environmental and manufacturing themes. Prior to moving to Houston, Conley worked in Detroit, Michigan for The Detroit News. She has been a 2016 Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources Fellow and a 2009 Kiplinger Fellow of Public Policy and Multimedia. Conley has received a 2014 APME Multimedia Journalist of the Year, 2011 Gerald Loeb Finalist for Multimedia Story, 2010 MPPA Photographer of the Year, 2010 MPPA HM Multimedia Photographer of the Year, 2009 Editor & Publisher’s Photos of the Year 1st Place Multimedia, among other honors.
Krista Mahr is a freelance journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she writes for U.S. and U.K.-based publications including the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Newsweek. Mahr has a special interest in reporting on public health, migration, natural resource use, politics and economic development. Prior to moving to South Africa, Mahr spent four years working in New Delhi, India, where she covered South Asia as TIME’s South Asia bureau chief and as Reuters’ South Asia special correspondent. During those years, she reported extensively throughout Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, and India. Mahr has a master’s degree in print and video journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been granted fellowships by the Overseas Press Club Foundation to report in Greenland and the International Reporting Project to report in South Sudan, and two of her TIME cover stories have won awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia and Amnesty International Hong Kong’s Human Rights Press Press Awards.
Katy Migiro is the East Africa correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. She is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and reports across the region, with stories ranging from child soldiers in South Sudan to refugees in Burundi and hunger in Ethiopia. She is passionate about women’s rights and understanding the legal, social, and cultural challenges they face in winning equality, which is vital for development. She previously worked as a radio reporter for Voice of America, an analyst for the United Nations and a researcher for the British charity Christian Aid. She was selected for Transparency International’s 2014 corruption reporting award and won a grant from the International Center for Journalists in 2015. Migiro has a master’s degree in international relations and a post-graduate diploma in journalism.
Cibele Reschke de Borba is a Brazilian freelance journalist based in Beijing, where she is currently earning her master’s degree at Peking University. Her research project aims to compare Chinese and Brazilian investments that promote development in Africa. Her professional experiences include writing for South American media outlets Globo News Broadcast and Abril Publisher. One of her articles won a journalism award for its contribution toward the improvement of Rio de Janeiro’s public transportation system. In 2015, she published her first book, entitled “China made in Brazil”, sponsored by the Chinese company State Grid. In 2012, the French Training and Improvement of Journalists Center (CFPJ) awarded her a fellowship to cover the impact of the Olympic Games in London.
Oluwabusayo Sotunde is a freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently the Team Development and Managing Editor at Rural Reporters. Her writings have appeared in different publications including Ventures Africa, Celebrating Progress Africa, Development Diaries, The Cable, Edufrica, RuralReporters.com, and Leading Change –a program by Cambridge University for the Queen’s Young Leaders where she served as the assistant editor and youth writer and was commissioned to create content from Africa as part of the 2016 Leading Change Journalism Bursary. She has reported on business, agriculture, entrepreneurship, reproductive health, migration and other development issues in different parts of Africa while shining a spotlight on people who are injecting innovation, creativity and some serious communal change into their communities. A graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Sotunde has a keen interest in using communication tools to develop positive change.
Loretta Williams is a freelance radio journalist based in Los Angeles. She is currently a freelance editor for I See Change, a climate change journalism project that connects citizen observations to science-driven data. She started her radio career in Boston and eventually moved to Washington, D.C. to work as a producer for NPR’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Sunday. Between NPR stints she produced and edited science documentaries for SoundPrint and SoundVision Productions. Williams has taught advanced skills in story development, writing, and production to early career journalists, many of whom went on to become regular contributors to national, regional, and local public radio programs. Her work as an editor and producer has been honored with two George Foster Peabody Awards, a Columbia-DuPont Silver Baton, and several other awards.