ICFJ Participant Receives Prestigious Online News Association Fellowship

Aug 202014

The Online News Association (ONA) announced that ICFJ South Asia program participant Rajneesh Bhandari has been named a 2014 MJ Bear Fellow.

The prestigious fellowship is awarded to journalists less than 30 years of age whose “innovative work in independent, community and corporate news represents the best of new media.”

Bhandari, an independent multimedia journalist in Kathmandu, received the highly selective MJ Bear Fellowship for launching Media Gufa, an annual reporting challenge in his home country of Nepal. The 72-hour reporting event teaches Nepalese journalists how to maximize effective storytelling using both multimedia and traditional reporting tools.

The reporting event is “raising the profile of journalism and trying to solve the challenges for journalists in his country,” the MJ Bear Fellowship selection committee said.

As a participant in ICFJ’s 2012 program “New Media, New Challenges: Best Practices in the Digital Age” in South Asia, Bhandari completed an outstanding reporting project on drug trafficking in Nepal, which was featured on Mic.com.

After proving his talents as a participant, he returned to subsequent ICFJ programs for South Asia in 2013 and 2014 as a trainer, focusing on multimedia journalism. Since Bhandari completed ICFJ’s South Asia training program, his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, PBS, BBC, Kantipur Television and other media outlets.

“My prime goal is to produce long features and in-depth multimedia stories for national/international publications using the latest multimedia tools and techniques,” he told ONA. “The use of interactive tools for storytelling will surely help to contribute to the future of online journalism in Nepal and the rest of the world.”

Click here to learn more about Bhandari and the other 2014 MJ Bear Fellows.

You can follow Bandhari on Twitter @RajneeshB.

Photo: Bhandari (center) poses with a group of kids in Thehe village, Nepal. At the time, Bhandari was working on a story on food crisis in the Shangri-La and the corruption in food distribution. Image courtesy of Bhandari.