SEAPA’s Annual Journalism Fellowship program for Southeast Asia brings mid-career journalists from Asian countries together for the purpose of pursuing in-depth investigative reporting projects and increasing interaction among media professionals in the region.
The program, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, is intended to deepen understanding among journalists in Southeast Asia while exposing regional readers and viewers to in-depth reportage produced within the region. The benefits for the journalists themselves are obvious in that they will gain greater access to their peers while pursuing difficult stories either in a neighboring country or, in some cases, in their own countries. The fellows’ home media organizations, many of which are financially strapped even in the best of times, will have the benefit of being able to produce an in-depth story of wide interest at no cost to themselves, save the time away from the home office of the fellow. The fact that a significant story will result from the fellowship is a powerful incentive to the home organizations to allow one of their staff members to participate. In addition, the fellowship is expected to bring wide recognition to both the journalist/fellow and his or her employer.
After 15 years and 116 participants reporting on a wide range of topics, SEAPA took a step back and reviewed the achievements and lessons of the Fellowship Program with a view to updating its concept and conduct in line with developments in the media (the rise of online journalism and multimedia reporters) and the region (ASEAN’s formalization as a regional community in 2016). From this point onwards, the SEAPA Fellowship Program will be conducted under two main approaches.
Developing Media Fellowship
The Developing Media Fellowship is a training fellowship that aims to support journalists to develop in-depth reporting skills on regional topics in Southeast Asia. This program targets from Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste, as well as reporters from Myanmar and Vietnam who are based outside the capitals or in smaller media companies.
The program was developed after a long-term evaluation of the SEAPA Fellowship found that journalists from these countries are normally eliminated in the competitive selection for the previous Fellowships.
Thus, this Fellowship aims to include story development and planning, investigation (field work) and report writing skills in the training program. The training also includes standardized courses on journalistic ethics, media safety, and gender-sensitive reporting.
Regional Reporting Fellowship
The Regional Reporting Fellowship is a writing fellowship that aims to encourage journalists to contribute in-depth reports on selected topics relevant to ASEAN community building. Stories written for the selected annual theme should aim toward understanding of the different realities of such regional topics as felt in each country in Southeast Asia. While doing so, the fellowship also hopes to illuminate issues related to the right to freedom of opinion and expression (including press freedom), as well as the practice of journalism in the region, in the context of regional community building under ASEAN.
Successful applicants are given a modest grant to be able to produce in-depth reports on the selected theme. Successful participants are given six weeks to produce their reports, with required regular updates to the Fellowship program, as well as consultations with editors.
The Regional Reporting Fellowship is a direct continuation of SEAPAs 15-year fellowship providing mid-career journalists with reporting opportunities on regional issues. The main difference from the previous program is to allow fellows to report on issues from their own countries, so that they may take advantage of local knowledge and expertise to examine an issue of regional significance.
The RRF is still open to and encourages reporting on a second country, provided that the prospective fellow demonstrates the necessity of the coverage in another country, and her/his expertise or viability of the trip. However, no additional travel expense grant will be provided for such trips within the fellowship.
in PDF format
Fellowship Articles By Year – Theme
2014 – Understanding Impunity in the Philippines
2013 – Freedom of Expression and Internet Governance
2012 – Threats to Rivers
2011 – Gearing Up for an ASEAN Community
2010 – ASEAN Community: Vision or Delusion
2009 – ASEAN and Human Rights
2008 – Covering Burma
2007 – Culture of Impunity
2006 – Religion: A Force for Change
2005 – Covering Disasters
2004 – Towards and Information Society
2003 – Covering Rising Conflicts
2002 – Media and the Region in Transition