International fellowships for better journalism

The Knight International Journalism Fellowship program tries to create lasting, visible change in the quality of journalism or the conditions that support it through special projects worldwide.

Two examples from India: In 2010, Kannaiah Venkatesh created a Website of unreported government data. He trained journalists in data reporting and helped them form their own group to continue training and promoting open government. In 2012, Shubhranshu Choudhary developed, with Microsoft, a mobile news service called CGnet Swara. It has changed the way villagers get and share news in their local languages.


Flashlight: Students should examine this website and answer one of these questions: Should journalists embrace or avoid the use of technology in the developing world? Many of the countries listed don’t have the same types of traditional media systems that exist in Europe and the United States. Why are they candidates for digital journalism projects?

Spotlight: What can you do to get involved in this issue? One answer: Speak out. Assignment: Read part of the report from the Center for International Media Assistance. Students who agree should draft an email making their argument to USAID or the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Students who disagree with the author should draft an email to him making that argument. Sending the emails or posting views in social media on the subject is the student’s choice.

Searchlight: View the TED Talk: Paddy Ashdown: "The Global Power Shift." Ashdown discusses the globalization of power and global governance. Are Ashdown’s descriptions of trends and predictions for the future accurate? What journalists cover “the unregulated international space”? Ask students to write op-ed pieces citing evidence or have them choose sides and discuss/debate as a class.