31 Day Journalism Spotlights Challenge

What’s it take to train a journalist?

How about a reporter from Ukraine? India? Hong Kong?

Alia Ibrahim of Lebanon, shown above reporting live from a Syrian rebel group’s position in 2012, divides her journalism career in two parts: Before her Alfred Friendly fellowship, and after her fellowship in 2002, when she worked on the staff of The Washington Post.

“Two decades later, I continue to gain from the experience,” Alia said. Now, she’s the the CEO of a groundbreaking and award-winning digital media company in Lebanon called Daraj, which she co-founded.

“As the leader of an emerging media that prides itself on the quality of its journalism produced by a network of some of the best journalists from across the region, I am fully convinced that our future as a media and the future of the countries we live in depends on how well we train our young reporters,” Alia said. “When it comes to that, I always find myself drawing lessons from my time with AFPP.”

Good journalism at its core is the same around the world; it provides citizens with the accurate information they need to make the best decisions about their lives, communities, societies, and governments. But reporters and editors from lower- and middle-income countries have different needs for training to deal with issues such as censorship or even personal safety as well as new media and changing technology. That is why Alfred Friendly created the fellowship program that has trained 355 journalists from 83 countries since 1984.

During the six-month fellowship program, reporters train at the Missouri School of Journalism for three weeks. Fellows learn from professional practice faculty with broad experience. They get hands-on, in-depth training in data-strengthened investigative reporting and multimedia production skills. They learn more about journalism ethics, while gaining a global perspective on their work in their own countries. Then they go to work on staffs of leading U.S. newsrooms such as The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Pulitzer Center, and more. It is here that Fellows can practice journalism that is ethical, innovative and influential before returning to their home country’s.

Our work is just as important today as it was when we were founded nearly 40 years ago. But financial and political pressures on independent news outlets today are stronger than ever. And meaningful, lasting training is more costly than ever. We need your help today to keep providing these transformative fellowships.

Why donate to Alfred Friendly Press Partners?

Ilia Ponomarenko, Class of 2020

You can improve how current events are reported. One example of our impact is the work two former Fellows are doing in Ukraine — Illia Ponomarenko, a defense reporter at the Kyiv Independent who has more than a million Twitter followers, and Oksana Grytsenko, an independent war correspondent. Illia and Oksana have been covering the Ukraine-Russia war since the invasion in 2014, and two other Alfred Friendly alumni from Ukraine are working in supportive roles at the Kyiv Independent, an outstanding source of war news.

It was thanks to generous donors like Bill and Christy Gautreaux and a crowdfunding campaign by his editor, Brian Bonner, that Illia was able to join our 2020 Fellowship. That’s the direct impact your donation can have on the career of a journalist and the reporting of current events.

Each year we have an average of 60 applications from early-career professional journalists and can only accept 6-12 fellows. With your help, we can bring more young journalists from countries with underdeveloped media and change the landscape of journalism in these countries. Each fellow costs $50,000 USD for their 6-month program. Help us bring more journalists like Illia and Alia to take part in the Alfred Friendly Press Partners fellowship.

Every gift makes a difference to the success of the fellowship, a donation of –

  • $10 Gives one week of phone services to trainees
  • $20 Pays for a week of health insurance
  • $50 Helps pay for a fellow’s transportation to assignments
  • $100 Contributes to the costs of groceries for a week
  • $250 Covers admin costs for visa applications
  • $500 Helps pay for expert trainers
  • $1,000 Pays for an overseas flight
  • $2,500 Supports a Fellow’s living expenses for one month
  • $50,000 Gives one trainee journalist a place in the Fellowship, and gives you naming rights

Every gift helps support more journalists to take part in our career-changing fellowship program and supports journalism with integrity.

Donate Today

This October, join us for the #JournalismSpotlights challenge

Where we shine a spotlight on training journalists from around the world.

Each day the #JournalismSpotlights challenge will spotlight a word and ask you to share a photo, write a blurb, share a news article, or whatever you want. You can choose to be serious or have fun with the prompts. There is no right or wrong way to promote the challenges of journalism today.


Are you a Fellow?
As a graduate of our training program, you know firsthand
the difference training can have for journalism in your home
country. Join us for our 31 day #JournalismSpotlights challenge
to share your story, your country, your culture, and your writing.



Trainees looking at video footage


Are you a supporter of journalistic integrity?

Think a bit about how much we rely on credible journalism to
distinguish between fact and propaganda. Join us for our 31 day
#JournalismSpotlights challenge, where you will get a word prompt
to think and discuss. Share your perspective on journalism matters.



How it works

  • From October 1-31, we will share a challenge, a word like “community” each day.
  • Use that challenge to create and share a photo, article, personal story — whatever “community” means to you.
  • Share your interpretation of “community” to your social media, using #JournalismSpotlights, tagging Alfred Friendly
    Press Partners, and the link to our fundraising page to your post.
  • We will share the posts on our social media.
  • Prizes will be given to 5 participants who get the most engagements (likes, comments, shares) from a challenge post.

You don’t need to sign up or register to join the 31 day #JournalismSpotlights challenge.

For updates, simply follow one of our social media channels – Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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