Being a Fellow

The Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships are six month professional fellowships offered once a year to professional journalists from developing countries and emerging markets. Friendly Fellows work full time at U.S. host news organizations while developing their journalism skills.

Benefits to Fellows

Working and living in another country is a challenge that fellows not only overcome but embrace. The benefits are personal as well as professional.

Friendly Fellows learn to:

  • Improve skills in gathering information, interviewing and writing.
  • Add social perspective to business and political reporting.
  • Write more balanced news articles, more polished feature stories and more in-depth analytical pieces.
  • Improve written and spoken English.
  • Become more vigorous and confident journalists.
  • Gain insight into American culture, business and politics.

Participation in the Friendly Fellowship enhances career development at home—future fellowships, promotions, new jobs, etc. Our fellows have gone on to become journalism leaders in their newsrooms and around the world.

During their time here, our fellows meet a wide range of journalists and newsmakers. Press Partners staff, Alfred and Jean Friendly Foundation Board members and the Friendly family are integral to the Friendly Fellowship experience. These personal ties last a lifetime.

Fellow Responsibilities

The fellowship is a full-time training experience, and fellows are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner. Fellows work between 35 and 50 hours per week for their U.S. host news organizations. Outside the newsroom, fellows are expected to give at least two talks in the community – at local schools, press clubs, community groups, etc. Press Partners also requires fellows to maintain a fellowship blog, detailing both their personal and professional experiences.

Schedule

In late March, fellows arrive in Columbia Missouri, for an orientation seminar to prepare them for the challenges of living and working in the United States. A major component of the seminar is a refresher course in American journalism. After writing, reporting, and learning about style, ethics, libel and the culture of American newsrooms, fellows leave Missouri better prepared for their fellowship assignments. A cross-cultural adaptation specialist who has worked with Alfred Friendly Fellows since 1984, discusses what fellows typically experience during their time in the United States and suggests strategies to handle the various levels of culture shock most fellows experience. The remainder of the seminar is spent on professional, cultural and social activities in the United States. Following the orientation seminar, fellows travel to their host cities to begin their five-month assignments.

In July, fellows and Press Partners staff spend a week at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. They attend a three-day computer-assisted reporting course and an intensive three-day digital workshop. Fellows also spend a day working with our cultural adaptation specialist.

A final seminar reunites fellows in Columbia Missouri, at the end of August for debriefing, a cross-cultural re-adaptation seminar, a Training-the-Trainers session and their graduation ceremony.

Since the program schedule provides little time for tourism, we encourage fellows who would like to travel in the United States to do so after the final seminar.