The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) successfully conducted its 2017 Annual Journalism Fellowship in November. This year’s fellowship program comprised two programs; the Regional Reporting Fellowship (RRF), targeting mid-career journalists in the region for in-depth reporting, and the Developing Media Fellowship (DMF), targeting journalists from Cambodia, Laos and Timor Leste with at least three years of experience. Applicants from Myanmar and Vietnam were also considered, provided they were working for media outlets based outside the capital city.
The 2017 Fellowship’s working theme was ‘Gender and Access to Information’ as both key words are of current and long-term concern for media, civil society and other stakeholders.
Based on submitted proposals, RRF fellows were selected by the SEAPA Secretariat aided by two veteran editors: Ms. Johanna Son and Mr. Mahesh Uniyal. During a month-long news writing process, the two editors and SEAPA Program Officer Ms Nai Nai, worked with the 6 women fellows (reporters and editors) from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines – Tran Thi Thuy Binh, Aya Tantiangco, Mariejo Mariss S. Ramos, Amanda Tazkia Siddharta, Nguyen Hong Tham, and Nguyen Thi Phuong Anh – having a demonstrated commitment and passion to focus on journalism through the lens of gender equality.
It is a remarkable period to receive and work with 6 women journalists.
The fellows travelled to the field for firsthand information and experiences for their proposals, supported by background research and analysis, to produce an in-depth main and two sidebar stories each. These cover the campaign against contraceptives by the powerful conservative establishment in the Philippines, how Vietnamese women journalists are standing up for gender justice and against child sexual abuse, how female prison inmates in the Philippines are providing legal aid to peers, ASEAN progress in eliminating violence against women, and how access to information influenced coverage of these stories.
The series of final stories from the Regional Reporting Fellowship (RRF) are now ready to be shared with our readers and stakeholders. Apart from the fellows’ media organizations, the stories will be co-published by the Reporting ASEAN website.
The fellowship programs were conducted with the supporting grant from Open Society Foundations (OSF) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).