Are you a journalist, creative or lecturer who is passionate about promoting health or development-focused African solutions through visual, written, oral and digital media? Apply for the inaugural Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship and reframe the news from and about our continent.
The Solutions Journalism Network’s Africa Initiative is seeking applications from individuals who want to start (or upgrade) a solutions journalism-focused project or art project that is based in, or focused on, Kenya and Nigeria.
As a pioneer Solutions Journalism Africa Fellow, you’ll receive $2,000 in funding to launch or expand your platform — provided it initiates or supports solutions journalism at the newsroom and community levels. Whether you are a photographer, freelance reporter, lecturer, tech or data enthusiast, feel free to send your pitches by July 3, 2021.
What exactly would make my pitch stand out?
You’d be the right fit for this fellowship if your pitch is directly linked to solutions journalism and delivered through a project, platform or reporting that is multimedia, multilingual and ‘minority-focused.’
For example, your project may showcase solutions that strengthen the physical, social and environmental well-being of a community through art, or it may be a platform that teaches others how to do journalism in a way that achieves the above.
Multimedia: Fellows’ projects would take advantage of and explore all media forms — audio, visual, performance, digital, broadcast and print. We welcome pitches for platforms that support journalists to report and investigate using the solutions journalism approach, as well as entrepreneurial creatives wanting to showcase Africa’s solutions.
Multilingual: With over 2,000 languages spoken across the continent, we are keen to hear from Fellows whose platforms prioritize or include solutions-based reporting in African languages.
Minority-focused: The ideal Solutions Journalism Africa Fellow should be advancing projects that bring visibility and coverage to communities that are traditionally excluded or misrepresented, whether on the basis of geography, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexuality. The more diverse, the better!
How does the Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship work?
You’ll be part of a cohort of 10 fellows (five from Kenya and five from Nigeria) who will:
- Pioneer a community of media innovators, journalists, photographers and artists who create new ideas, coverage or platforms that enhance solutions journalism for Africa, by Africans.
- Receive training in skills relevant to your project proposal — audience/community engagement, impact reporting, revenue generation and sustainability within Africa’s context.
- Gain access to and collaborate with the Africa Initiative cohort of 20 newsrooms and two implementing partners spread across four countries. Outside the continent, you are guaranteed access to SJN staff members and our network of more than 5,000 journalists worldwide.
- Receive a modest honorarium of $2,000.
- The fellowship duration is from August to November 2021.
What is expected of me as a Solutions Journalism Africa Fellow?
- Achieving these project goals: (1) producing or facilitating the production of solutions stories; (2) documenting your project with a blog post, case study or video for the greater SJN community; (3) training and engaging with fellow solutions-focused journalists/creatives; and (4) creating communities of solutions journalism practitioners.
- Serving as an ambassador for solutions journalism in your community, country and region, alongside other SJN ambassadors across the world.
- Abiding by SJN’s ethical standards.
- Joining monthly calls with fellows who share similarities in project theme and location.
- Joining bimonthly calls with the entire cohort of 10 Solutions Journalism Africa Fellows, including select guest speakers who will support Fellows’ professional development.
- Joining monthly calls with SJN’s Africa Initiative manager, Ruona Meyer, for feedback and brainstorming on project goal status.
- Participating in a speaking engagement (as a panelist, etc.) within and beyond SJN’s Africa Initiative network.
Who is eligible to apply?
A prospective fellow may have any level of experience in any medium, but must be based in Kenya or Nigeria, with a project focused on any of these countries, and:
- Actively working in journalism as (1) a journalist, either employed by a news organization or freelance; (2) an educator teaching journalism; or (3) another type of journalism creative or product innovator.
- Should be registered on SJN’s website.
- Trained in solutions journalism, or committed to taking a training session before the start of the Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship. (Fill out and submit your application form, but do register for a dedicated Solutions Journalism 101 webinar here on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 1 p.m. West Africa Time and 3 p.m. East Africa Time.
In addition, you have the option of taking our self-guided “Basic Toolkit” training through our Learning Lab.)
- Applying as an individual — not a team or an organization. If teams from a platform are applying, one person must serve as the contact/lead person for the fellowship duration.
How can I apply for the Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship, and what does the timeline look like?
Fill out the application here. The deadline to apply is July 3, 2021. No late applications will be accepted.
The timeline of the Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship application, selection and onboarding process is as follows:
- June 9 to July 3, 2021: Applications open and will be accepted until 23:59 GMT on the day of the deadline.
- July 12: All applicants are informed of their application status.
- July 13–19: Successful applicants progress to the second round and take a “What Is Solutions Journalism?” assessment to demonstrate their knowledge of solutions journalism. The test should take no longer than one hour to complete.
- July 21 onward: Final-round candidates are invited to an interview with the Solutions Journalism Network. The interview will last 30 minutes.
- Aug. 6: The 2021 Solutions Journalism Africa Fellows are announced and onboarded.
- Aug. 9: The 2021 Solutions Journalism Africa Fellows join a kickoff call.
- Nov. 22: The 2021 Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship concludes.
- Nov. 30: Fellows submit a final report and join a send-forth call.
How and when will funding be allocated?
- All fellows will receive $2,000 in unrestricted funding to support their projects. We encourage you to show how the funding will be used for your reporting or platform.
- Each fellow receives half the stipend at the start of the fellowship, in August 2021. Fellows whose projects are on track toward fulfilling their goals will receive the remainder of their stipends in November 2021, after submitting a summarized project report.
How can I learn more about the Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship?
- Please tweet all questions to @soljourno using the hashtag #SoJoAfrica. (The hashtag is important, so that relevant SJN team members respond quickly.)
- If you prefer sending an email, please reach out to Ruona Meyer and Mikhael Simmonds at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject “Solutions Journalism Africa Fellowship.”
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