Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Apply for the Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowships for Journalists 2014

Journalism fellowships for Indian journalists have been scant for a while.  Nevertheless, here is one you can apply for: the Inclusive Media-United Nations Development Program Fellowship award for 2014 for professional journalists in India.

The journalism fellowship is run by Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi and often offers high-profile fellowships for media persons.The Inclusive Media platform is prestigious and enjoys high-retention in the media industry. So, I say, go for it.

If you are selected for it, the impetus from such a high-profile platform will definitely contribute to more than just your professional standing. It will also contribute to your growth as a journalist and enhance your news reporting ‘mileage’ and industry-skills.

CSDS runs incentives primarily for journalists whose work focus on issue-based beats such as policy, social change, agrarian crises, rural development, and economy. If you have a background in policy reporting, I say you should apply for the Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowship.

Coordinator of Inclusive Media Mr. Shambhu Khatak emailed me yesterday informing that the fellowship was not accepting previous winners this time. I won it in 2010.
Here are the details: 

Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowship 2014

Inclusive Media for Change invites applications from journalists in English and Hindi for Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowships 2014. The Fellowships are given to increase and sharpen media coverage of rural distress/ development and the issues of the marginalized people. The fellowships are aimed at promoting democratic social change, particularly through empowerment, participation and good governance.

The ideal candidates would be willing to take time off from routine journalism and spend at least two to four weeks with rural/ marginalized communities and write/ produce series of stories that require wider coverage and public attention. 

The fellowships will cover travel and incidental expenses subject to an upper limit of Rs. 150,000. It intends to cover costs of news gathering and logistics.

A total number of six fellowships will be given for Hindi and English journalists.

The Inclusive Media-UNDP fellowships are open to journalists working for mainstream newspapers/ magazines/ radio or TV channels. Those working for well-known media websites are eligible to apply though a maximum of one fellowship can be given for really well-known new media platforms.

Freelancers can apply only if they can produce letters of support from mainstream papers with an undertaking to publish their output.

A jury of well-known editors and development thinkers will select the fellows on the basis of brief project proposals and story ideas. The projects should be about happenings/ positive interventions/ alternatives and success stories on issues of livelihoods, agrarian crises, hunger/ malnutrition, public health, and the MDGs. 

An ideal candidate will have genuine interest in rural development/ issues of the marginalized people and will be willing to spend time in rural areas for field work. The fellows will be given a chance to refine their project proposal after their selection if the jury so recommends.

The applicant must get a supporting letter from her/his media organization with an undertaking to publish the fellowship outcome in their publications in a format of their choice (i.e., series of reports, travelogues, edit/ op-ed articles, investigation, documentary film or TV/radio packages). Entries without the editors' undertaking will not be considered.

Last date for submission: 1 August, 2014.

Rules & Regulations

The applications for Inclusive Media–UNDP Fellowships should include
  • A cover letter and the candidate’s CV (strictly within 3 A4 pages)
  • A clearly defined project proposal with clear title (Within 500 words)
  • A break up of at least 5 story ideas based on the project proposal (within 250 words)
  • An idea of the geographical region selected for field work, and a rough break-up of travel/ boarding requirements with an approximate expenditure. (within 100 words)
  • Please mention the places you want to visit and a rough breakup of what you expect to be your expenditure. The Inclusive Media Fellowships are intended to cover costs of news gathering and reimburse expenditure and not meant to be salary or honorarium. So the actual expenditure receipts would be reimbursed without TDS deduction wherever applicable and within reasonable limits. The CSDS accounts department may make inquiries about actual expenditure
  • Two samples of published work (or Radio/TV programs) in English or Hindi. For electronic stories, please use CD/ DVD and post it to us clearly marked your name and the title of the story with a marker on the CD
  • A supporting letter from the editor assuring leave for 2 to 4 weeks and agreeing to use the fellowship output in the publication (Free lancers must procure a supporting letter from the editor of a reputed publication/ channel agreeing to use the fellowship output)
  • A letter of recommendation about the candidate’s past record, journalistic abilities and suitability for the project from an eminent journalist, editor or supervisor giving an idea of the candidate’s suitability for the Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowships.
Fellowship Terms and Conditions

The verdict of the fellowship jury will be final.

All payments will be subject to TDS rules and will be made in at least two tranches.

The fellowship grant will be suspended or withdrawn if the fellow fails to complete the project and publish its outcome. The candidates are strongly advised to read the rules before applying.

The outcomes of the fellowships will also be put on the website (

The application material and CVs must be submitted before the last date in Microsoft Word format in English and Mangal or Unicode in Hindi along with scanned copies of your clippings to:

Application sent via emails will be promptly acknowledged. Those sending emails please write "Inclusive Media - UNDP Fellowship" in the subject line. 

(Candidates applying in Hindi must note that applications sent in fonts other than Mangal/ Unicode would be rejected)

However, if for any reason you cannot send it by email, or if you want to send a hard copy as well as the email, please do so by speed post or courier to the following address: (Please note that entries which arrive after due date, for any reason whatsoever, will not be considered)

Inclusive Media - UNDP Fellowship 2014
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS)
29, Rajpur Road
Delhi 110054

Please visit these links: Details on the Inclusive Media-UNDP Fellowships 2014 and Rules and Regulations

I'd be glad to offer you assistance in setting up your project proposals and news pitches. Please use the contact form on the blog to get in touch with me (No, I won’t charge you anything! I just want to encourage journalists, especially entry-level and mid-career reporters mark a notch in their careers). I’d be glad to hear from you. All the best to you. 

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