To date, journalists representing ten countries have served as Neuffer Fellows since 2004. During the fellowship and beyond, they have explored a wide range of under-reported issues including gender-based violence, indigenous rights and religious intolerance.

Audrey Jiajia Li is a freelance columnist and independent filmmaker, based in Guangzhou, China. Her opinion columns, written in both Chinese and English, cover current affairs in China, with a focus on politics, human rights, social justice and freedom of speech.

“In my observation, two real Chinas exist in parallel at the same time. One is a super power with rapid economic growth and a quick rise of living standards, while the other is a vast nation where a sizable number of people still suffer from inequality, injustice, and a lack of individual liberty. Journalists have the obligation to raise awareness about these important yet ignored issues to make my country a better place,” Li said.

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Since launching her freelance career three years ago, Jacey Fortin has covered human rights, politics, economic development, and media freedom in the Horn of Africa. She has focused on conflict as well, reporting on the civil war in South Sudan, militancy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and violent unrest in Ethiopia, where she is based.

“Working on social justice issues can be difficult in environments where people are nervous about speaking out, for fear of reprisal,” she said. “But it’s important to try and amplify their voices, their experiences, and their ideas.”

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In her reporting career of nearly 10 years, 2015/16 Neuffer Fellow Meera Srinivasan has covered public education, urban affairs and development in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and reconstruction and human rights in post-war Sri Lanka.

“I am excited to be part of the Elizabeth Neuffer fellowship – this is a fantastic opportunity for personal reflection on larger themes of human rights and social justice, that are critical to addressing class inequalities and discrimination reflected in vulnerable communities everywhere,” said Srinivasan. “I consider the unique combination of academic learning and professional training valuable at this point in my career. In particular, I look forward to studying the fraught process of the return and resettlement of refugees and their livelihood challenges, and to sharpen my reporting skills in sharing the stories of marginalized communities.”

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Since launching her freelance career three years ago, 2014/15 Neuffer Fellow Louisa Reynolds has focused on human rights cases, such as violations committed during the civil war, as well as femicide and gender-based violence. “I strongly believe that journalism can act as a powerful instrument for change by highlighting injustice and also by finding stories that prove that a transformation is possible,” Reynolds stated. In addition to studying human rights issues, Reynolds seeks a deeper knowledge of data journalism and multimedia in order to create an interactive media project that will allow victims of violence to tell their own stories through an online platform. Read more…

When asked on her reaction to being named the 2013-2014 Neuffer Fellow, Indonesian investigative journalist Prodita Sabarini said, “I was quite speechless when I received the news. I am very happy to be selected and also grateful for this amazing opportunity.” Sabarini hopes to use this fellowship to improve both her academic and professional skills as well as to find answers to what she calls “burning questions” of what causes people to carry out acts of violence because of religious intolerance. Read more…

Priyanka Borpujari, the 2012-13 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow, is an independent journalist based in Mumbai, India. She contributes to media outlets such as The Times of India, OPEN magazine, Montrealserai.com, The Hoot and The Hindu. Borpujari, 27, has worked as a reporter for six years for publications including Mumbai Mirror, The Asian Age and exchange4media.com. Since launching her freelance career three years ago, she has focused on the plight of indigenous groups that are being systematically displaced from their land. Read more…

The International Women’s Media Foundation selected Jackee Budesta Batanda — a Ugandan journalist who has reported on the vicious acid attacks of women as “revenge crimes” and the targeted murders of albinos — as the 2011-2012 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow. Amid a brutal crackdown on journalists covering anti-government protests, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has denounced local and international media outlets as “enemies.” In this atmosphere, Batanda became determined to report and research “closing media spaces in African nations.” Read more…

The 2010-11 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow was Rabia Mehmood, a journalist in the Lahore bureau of Express 24/7 Television in Pakistan. She has reported on women’s rights, freedom of speech and political unrest. She has covered the stories of survivors and victims of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings and hostage sieges carried out by militants in Lahore. Mehmood has also focused on internally displaced people who left Northwest Pakistan as a result of insurgency by terrorists and military offensives. Mehmood was the sixth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to focus exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues.

A journalist for more than two decades, Davies has worked for the BBC since 2000. She has reported for domestic and world service radio, domestic and world television, and has produced online and current affairs documentaries. Davies has worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and Zaire, among other countries. She has covered topics such as the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the civil war in Sudan and the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Somalia in the early 1990s.

Colombian journalist Manrique writes for Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-governmental online magazine that focuses on Latin American news, particularly human rights. She is based in Colombia, although the magazine is based in Peru. Manrique has covered subjects such as kidnapping, drug trafficking and refugees. She has also interviewed victims of violence in Colombia, including people who have been injured by landmines, combatants who have returned to society, children in armed groups and indigenous people defending their land. In the course of her journalistic work, Manrique has received multiple death threats and was once forced into exile in Peru for eight months. She is interested in continuing to investigate Colombian paramilitaries and their ties with multinational corporations.

Sara was an anchor for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s national news program “Landline.” She started at ABC in 1993, reporting from Africa as a foreign correspondent from 2000-2005. Sara is also an author; she took leave from her reporting job in 2005 to write a book on African women called GoGo Mama. Sara, who has covered topics such as poverty, war, political unrest, ethnic violence and violence against women, began work on her next GoGo Mama book in Asia in 2008.

Ahmed was a reporter in McClatchy’s (formerly Knight Ridder) Baghdad bureau. Born and raised in Iraq, she left the country to escape the harsh sanctions that followed the Gulf War in 1991, working as a translator in the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Libya. In 2002 she returned to Iraq for a visit but could not leave because of the impending war. So in April 2003 she began working as a journalist, first as a translator and researcher for The Washington Post and then as a translator and reporter for McClatchy starting in 2004. Often sleeping in the office to cover late-breaking news after curfew, Ahmed would awaken each day only to start all over again. She covered the battle in Najaf in 2004 and compiled eyewitness accounts of a bombing in Musayyib before she allowed herself to grieve over violence sure to continue. In 2007, Ahmed and her colleagues from McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau were recognized with an IWMF Courage in Journalism Award. Read more

Elton covered Latin America as a freelance reporter. For four years, she was based in Guatemala, where she reported on human rights, labor issues, trade and migration, among other subjects. From 1997 – 2000, she was a stringer in Peru. Elton’s work has appeared in news media outlets such as The Miami Herald, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time and Mother Jones magazines, and National Public Radio. She holds bachelor’s degree in political science from Middlebury College. Read more…

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