Our Rest and Refuge Fellowship program for journalists from countries with restricted press freedom is going into the next round! Apply now. The deadline is Dec. 31 2021.
The Rest and Refuge Fellowship program is a joint project of Reporters Without Borders Germany and taz Panter Foundation. It has taken place annually since 2015.
Reporters Without Borders is an international human rights organization that promotes press freedom worldwide and helps persecuted journalists. The taz Panter Foundation is a non-governmental organization that organizes training for media professionals in Germany and other countries and is closely associated with the newspaper tageszeitung (taz).
For 2022, we are inviting two journalists from countries with restricted press freedom to Berlin. For a limited period of six months we will grant them time off to recover from difficult working conditions and to further their professional and personal development. After the six-month fellowship, they return to their home countries strengthened to continue with their journalistic work.
What we offer:
We reimburse travel expenses, provide an apartment in Berlin and travel health insurance, and pay a monthly stipend of €1,000. Participants can, if they wish, withdraw completely from public life and use the time in Berlin to work on their own projects. However, we also provide opportunities for further education, professional networking and resilience building. For example, all fellows are given the opportunity to take a language course and get to know German media outlets. However, the primary goal is for the fellows to enjoy a sabbatical period and thus return to their home country strengthened. The fellowship is limited to a period of six months.
- Several years of work experience as a journalist
Note: Although we consider the work of human rights activists to be very valuable, we cannot invite human rights activists who are not full-time journalists, as they do not fall under our mandate.
- Personal threat due to journalistic work or difficult working conditions caused by external factors.
- Good knowledge of the English or German language at a conversational level
- A passport that is valid for at least another twelve months from the date of the application (or that can be independently extended/reapplied for)
- A state of health that allows for longer trips and a six-month stay in the host country, as well as sufficient independence to master everyday challenges.
- Willingness and possibility to return to the country of origin after the period of stay
Time period of the fellowship:
The fellowships last six months. A stay in Berlin is planned for a period from 1st of May until 31st of October 2022. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, participants should expect that these dates may have to change. In addition, participants must commit to following the pandemic health and safety regulations in Germany at any given time.
How to apply:
Your application must include the following documents:
- The completed and signed application form
- A scan of your current passport
- Your curriculum vitae in tabular form (CV)
- A motivation letter (1-2 pages) in which you explain why you need a sabbatical. Please elaborate on what specific factors endanger or complicate your working situation. Please also write about how you plan to use your time off in Berlin.
Please send the completed application form and the other requested documents as individual PDFs to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Dec. 31st 2021. If you prefer to use a secure way of transmission and you have a protonmail account, you can send it to email@example.com. We also offer to receive the application via the messenger service Signal: +49 151 2688 4845.
The selection of the 2022 fellows will be communicated to the applicants in the beginning of February 2022 at the latest. Finalists will be invited to a video call to make the final decision.
We ask for your understanding that that due to the number of applications we can only contact applicants who are shortlisted for the program.
If you have any questions about the application process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The two fellows will be appointed by a committee consisting of representatives of RSF and the taz.Panter Foundation. The selection is made according to the following criteria:
- Security situation and working conditions. Please be specific in describing your situation so we can get an idea of what personal threats you are facing.
- Professional experience. Journalists with several years of work experience will be scored higher.
- Suitability for the program.
- Applicant’s vision of how they would like to use their time in Berlin.
- A country of origin for which the organizations can obtain German visas.
- Quality of the motivation letter. (Both form and content are evaluated.)
- Diversity of the selection. The program supports a diverse group of fellowship holders. This includes the following factors: Country of origin, gender, thematic focus, journalistic medium, as well as various factors contributing to discrimination or marginalization.
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