Mike O'Connor Scholarship for Mexican Journalists


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The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) invites Mexican journalists living in Mexico to apply for the Mike O’Connor Scholarship for Investigative Journalism. This scholarship, financed by the United States Embassy in Mexico, is dedicated to the memory of Mike O’Connor, American investigative journalist who worked tirelessly to protect Mexican journalists as part of his work for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), based in New York. After a long career as a correspondent for American media in conflict zones, O’Connor became a researcher for CPJ in Mexico, a country in which he lived for many years.

The applicants for the Mike O’Connor should present a reporting proposal that contains:

1) A brief description of the focus or principle hypothesis of the story (it is important to do a pre-investigation that determines the viability and precision of the principle focus of the proposed story).

2) An explanation of why the chosen story is relevant with regard to the public interest and its potential to benefit the public, the condition of transparency, and respect of human rights and democracy in the country.

3) An explanation of the methods and digital tools for the gathering, analysis, and visualization of information, if possible.

The scholarship will consist of a stipend of $3,000 distributed in monthly payments across the span of six months, along with an additional payment of up to $2,500 to cover other costs associated with the process of investigation. The selected recipients will receive online and in person training about methods of investigative journalism, digital tools for research and visualization, and digital security. The trainers and mentors will be prestigious and experienced Mexican and American journalists.

Any Mexican journalist may apply for the scholarship. Freelancers are welcome to apply.

The members of the selection committee will take the following elements in account while evaluating each proposal:

  • Public interest in the investigation topic

  • Originality of the investigation topic

  • The potential for impact of the reporting project

  • Viability of the completion and publication of the reporting project

  • Use of digital tools for data gathering, analysis, and visualization.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 31st, 2015. The results will be announced the last week of September, 2015, and the winners will receive a notification by email. To participate in the selection, please click here to access the application form.

Magnifying glass image via Flickr user John Lester under a Creative Commons license.