New Knight International Fellows to Increase Accountability 
and Transparency in the Developing World

Jun 142010

Washington, D.C.— Six new Knight International Journalism Fellows will manage high-impact projects designed to make officials more accountable and governments more transparent.

They will help journalists track massive aid flows in Haiti, establish investigative teams in the Middle East and increase coverage of poverty issues in Malawi with the aim of spurring better public policies.

Fellows will launch a center to train political reporters in Peru in advance of national elections, transform Sierra Leone’s state-run radio and TV network into the first public broadcasting service, and help the leading independent news site in Malaysia vastly expand its scope with a vibrant citizen journalism network.

The fellowships are supported by a three-year, $6 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) runs the Knight International Journalism Fellowships. 

The fellows come from Canada, Egypt, Ghana, Panama and the United States. Each is fluent in the language of the host country. Fellows will spend at least a year on the following projects:

Haiti: Tracking Aid Funds to Ensure a Strong Recovery – Kathie Klarreich of the United States is leading the effort to rebuild Haiti’s media in the wake of the devastating earthquake. As part of a global consortium of media organizations, she will help Haitian journalists hold officials accountable for the billions of dollars in aid flowing into the country. The project aims to stem corruption and ensure a strong recovery.

Klarreich has covered Haiti for 24 years for Time, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times, NPR and ABC. She is fluent in Creole.

Middle East: Launching Investigative Reporting Teams – Amr El-Kahky of Egypt will create investigative reporting units at five news organizations in Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. As a result, print, broadcast and online news outlets will run in-depth stories on social issues that are rarely covered by the media.

El-Kahky has been Al Jazeera’s Cairo correspondent for the past five years. Before that, he worked for the BBC’s Arabic service.

Malawi: Using Mobile Technology to Reduce Poverty – Edem Djokotoe of Ghana will help journalists produce regular coverage of agriculture, microfinance, and rural education. He will set up a network of citizen journalists, who will use mobile technology to send reports from remote areas to leading independent news outlets. These stories will help spur better public policies to reduce poverty.

Djokotoe has worked as a journalism trainer in Zambia for more than two decades. He has written a column for The Post newspaper since November 1995.

Malaysia: Finding a Business Model for Robust Citizen Journalism – Ross Settles of the United States will create a profitable model for integrating a vibrant citizen journalism network into, the country’s only source of independent news. He will develop a strategy for online news organizations to combine professional standards with the broader reach and civic engagement of citizen journalism.

Settles, a multimedia management expert, managed the online business operations for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. Previously, he directed marketing and business development for Knight Ridder Digital. He is fluent in Mandarin and proficient in Bahasa.

Peru: Creating the First Broadcast Training Center – Hena Cuevas of Panama and the United States will launch the country’s first broadcast journalism training network for a national TV association. The goal: to improve multimedia political coverage, including developing voters’ guides, prior to upcoming elections. This will provide a permanent institution for enhancing political coverage in a country that is the linchpin of the Andean region.

Cuevas, an Emmy award-winning producer and reporter, has worked for CNN, ABC, PBS, Univision and Yahoo! International.

Sierra Leone: Launching the First Public Broadcasting Service – Stephen Douglas of Canada will help transform the state-run radio and TV network into a public broadcasting company, providing independent news for the first time. He will launch a permanent in-house training center for journalists and media managers. The new entity, with its training center, will be a model for post-conflict countries eager to provide news in the public interest.

Douglas, an award-winning journalist, academic, photographer and author, has served as Sierra Leone country director for Journalists for Human Rights since 2009.

The Fellows will spend a week in Washington, D.C., in a training program to prepare for their assignments.

“By building institutions and deploying the latest digital resources, these fellows will empower journalists around the world to be excellent watchdogs, said ICFJ’s President Joyce Barnathan. “This is crucial at a time when we need greater accountability.”

The Knight International Journalism Fellowship program also receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Media Development Loan Fund.

To become a Fellow or to propose projects or partnerships, please visit the Knight International Journalism Fellowships Web site: