International Center for Journalists Wins $6 Million to Extend High-Impact Journalism Fellowships

Dec 92009

New Knight Foundation award also creates Chinese-language service on IJNet.org

Washington, DC - The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has approved a new $6 million, three-year grant for the high-impact Knight International Journalism Fellowships program run by the International Center for Journalists.

Knight International Fellows work on projects that create lasting, visible change in the quality and free flow of news in the public interest around the world. They are specially selected for targeted projects that go beyond training journalists: They help create new professional associations and journalism schools, develop digital corruption trackers and new cell phone services, and build networks of citizen journalists.

“The International Center for Journalists is a global leader in media development,” said Eric Newton, Knight Foundation Vice President for Journalism Programs. “Their fellows train the journalists who write the stories that move societies to improve the lives of their people.”

In the coming year, Knight Fellows will launch:

New investigative units at leading news organizations in the Middle East.

A Web site that will map citizen reports on corruption so that Panamanian journalists can expose abuses.

A new online association in India dedicated to improving transparency, making government data easily available to journalists for the first time.

“Knight Fellows have helped local journalists produce stories that have brought at least 20 changes in laws, policies and government spending in the past two years alone,” said Joyce Barnathan, ICFJ President. “Imagine the potential for change over the next three years.”

The new grant will also provide funds for the International Journalists’ Network, www.ijnet.org, to add Chinese to its already robust offerings in Arabic, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. IJNet is the go-to resource for the international media community to learn about training and networking opportunities.

Over the past two years, the Knight International Fellowships have attracted more than $7 million in additional funding. That includes $3.7 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help African journalists better cover health and poverty issues. For more information on the program, please visit www.knight.icfj.org.