Alfred Friendly Press Partners joined with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to undertake a two-year training regimen that will strengthen investigative reporting in South Asia.

The goal is to ensure journalists in the region have the capacity to expose corruption, inform citizens, and empower the public to push for greater government accountability and transparency. 

OCCRP is creating a network of journalists doing cross-border investigations and building a platform consisting of technology, research and security support necessary for investigative work.

OCCRP received funding from the U.S. Department of State, with Alfred Friendly as a partner, and conducted two rounds of training in 2021. Eight accomplished reporters from the targeted countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka — will come to the United States for the Alfred Friendly fellowship program from March through June 2022.

The eight Fellows were chosen from nearly 100 participants in the OCCRP training. 

The fellowship program begins with a one-week orientation and seminar at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri. 

The training is designed to prepare the fellows – both personally and professionally – for the challenges of living and working as reporters in the United States. Each Fellow will join the staff of a major U.S. media outlet for three months. 

A final seminar will allow them to compare and evaluate their experiences and discuss their impressions of the American media, and to learn and practice presentations to make in their home countries, sharing lessons learned with colleagues. 

The first four Fellows selected were Indunil Arachchi of Sri Lanka, Chencho Dema of Bhutan, Parth Nikhil of India and Saurav Rahman of Bangladesh. They were scheduled to start the fellowship program in September, but the Covid19 pandemic upsurge caused a delay. The program will begin in March 2022, when they will join four other investigative reporters from the region selected in November 2021.

As an investigative reporting platform for a worldwide network of independent media centers and journalists, OCCRP is reinventing investigative journalism as a public good. In the face of rising costs and growing threats to independent media, OCCRP provides media outlets and journalists with a range of critical resources and tools including digital and physical security and allows those covering the most sensitive topics to work in teams with trusted editors.

Saurav Rahman

Indunil Arachchi

Chencho Dema

Parth Nikhil