Asia Journalism Fellowship 2010 open for applications

Accomplished journalists from across the region are being invited to spend three months in Singapore under the Asia Journalism Fellowship programme at Nanyang Technological University’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. The programme, supported by Temasek Foundation and NTU, will run from February through April 2010.

Up to 15 journalists will be selected for the fully-funded fellowship. Fellows will be given the opportunity to pursue their own intellectual interests away from the usual deadline pressures of their jobs. The programme also includes seminars and workshops to sharpen professional skills and deepen participants’ understanding of latest trends in media at a time of rapid and sweeping change.

“Journalists hardly get a chance to take time off from their daily grind to reflect and debate. This Fellowship will provide the platform to do just that,” said Mr P. N. Balji, AJF Director and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School. “We are paying special attention to making sure that the Fellowship hits the right balance between increasing the Fellows’ understanding of the challenges and threats media is facing and offering them an opportunity to engage in intellectual pursuits.”

This is the second time the Fellowship is being organised. Mr Benedict Cheong, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Foundation, said: “Participants in the inaugural programme found it a great opportunity to build friendships and networks across Asia. The extremely positive feedback of the pioneer batch of Fellows is one of the key factors why we are delighted to continue supporting the Fellowship.”

The 2009 Fellows represented print, broadcast and online media from 12 cities across the region. Deepal Trivedi, a 2009 Fellow from India, said that it was a process of unlearning as well as learning: “Living together and sharing experiences have evaporated prejudices and misconceptions about countries and cultures.”

For their independent projects, the 2009 Fellows used their three-month sabbatical to investigate topics as diverse as ethnic relations, media and terrorism, sustainable tourism, public service broadcasting, and new media.

Plans for the 2010 programme include a week-long conference and workshop on the Future of Media and Journalism, organised together with WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. The programme will also introduce Fellows to key newsmakers in Singapore’s public sector, business community and civil society, providing insights into what makes Singapore tick and its future challenges.

Details of the programme, including instructions on how to apply, are available on the web at www.ajf.sg, or by contacting Ms Naowarat Narula at applications@ajf.sg. Applications are due by 6 November 2009.