According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, in particular those living in developing countries are at a higher risk of experiencing danger on the road. In addition to this high death rate, approximately 20 million to 50 million people are injured every year on roads. Experts believe that millions of lives and injuries can be prevented with well-enforced road safety laws on speeding, drinking and driving, and use of seatbelts, child restraints and motorcycle helmets.
With the continued support of WHO, ICFJ is recruiting journalists with proven road safety experience from across the world for its 2020 Road Safety Reporting Fellowship. Please note, only individuals who have demonstrated their ability to apply an in-depth, data-driven approach to road safety reporting and receive a personal invitation from ICFJ will be considered. The fellows selected will attend the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.
The conference will mark the end of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011–2020. Fellows will have the opportunity to attend conference sessions and to meet and interview leading global experts on road safety to help enhance their reporting. The conference will be an opportunity for delegates to share successes and lessons from implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011–2020; chart future strategic directions for global road safety up to 2030 and beyond; and define ways to accelerate action on proven strategies to save lives.
WHO and ICFJ have organized other programs to expose journalists to safety and injury prevention issues in the past, including workshops ahead of Safety 2016, Safety 2018 and the 2nd High Level Road Safety Conference. In 2016, we also held a regional road safety journalism training in Sri Lanka.
Fellows who participated in these programs produced more than 200 stories that have raised awareness about underreported safety issues, spurred public dialogue around urban infrastructure and policy, and even engaged lawmakers. For example, the opening of a controversial footbridge in Manila was postponed after a story by 2018 Fellow Makoi Popioco spurred online debate about the project’s impact on road safety.
Reports have included a story on measures for preventing some of the 1,100 deaths caused by drowning in Sri Lanka, an article about the dangers of “unfit vehicles” on the roads of Bangladesh, and two five-part series that examined the risks of driving in El Salvador and the challenges of road safety in the country.
About the Fellowship
The fellowship will take place from February 18 - 20, 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden. The fellowship will include pre-conference activities on February 18, 2020, and attendance at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, February 19 - 20, 2020. The conference is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), and minister-led delegations from more than 80 countries are expected to attend.
If you are selected, the fellowship will cover costs including travel to the conference, accommodations, emergency insurance, meals and registration.
Selection will be based on the journalists’ professional qualifications, relevant experience producing in-depth stories about road safety, English-language proficiency, and endorsement by a newsroom manager.