Fellowship Targets New Countries, Forms New Partnerships

Columbia, Mo. (March 21, 2016) – Six journalists chosen for the 2016 Alfred Friendly and Daniel Pearl fellowship program come from countries with media environments that range from challenging (South Africa, Pakistan, Kenya) or regressive (Turkey, Ukraine) to extremely repressive (Cuba).

After a daylong cultural adaptation workshop, the 2016 Fellows go through two weeks of hands-on training at the Missouri School of Journalism, from March 21 to April 5. The Fellows will have another two weeks of training at the Missouri School of Journalism in July and a final seminar in Washington, D.C., in September. In between their training, the fellows will be joining newsrooms in the United States where they will work as general assignment reporters or beat reporters.

Alfred Friendly Press Partners
Alfred Friendly Press Partners

One newspaper is hosting an Alfred Friendly Fellow for the first time – The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is hosting for the 18th time in 20 years, and rejoining the program are two long-time partners – The Kansas City Star and the Los Angeles Business Journal. El Nuevo Herald hosted twice and Forbes once before this year.

The quality of the training and the duration of the fellowship create a transformative experience for young reporters and editors, which sets the Alfred Friendly program apart from other journalism fellowship programs. The Fellows are immersed in the American lifestyle: They are living in their own apartments, shopping at the grocery store and making friends in their communities. The Fellows aren’t just observing newsrooms; they are functioning as members of the staff, with the guidance of mentors.

To broaden the impact of the fellowship, participants are required to develop training plans that they implement for their colleagues when they return to their home newsrooms. Graduates typically make a profound impact on journalism in their countries.

Daniel Pearl Foundation
Daniel Pearl Foundation

As recent reports from Freedom House and Reporters Without Borders illustrate, the countries where the 2016 Fellows work need the kind of highly skilled journalists that come out of the Alfred Friendly and Daniel Pearl fellowship program.

The 2016 Fellows are: Mercy Adhiambo, a reporter at Standard Media in Nairobi, Kenya, who will work at The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City; Gokce Aytulu, deputy editor in chief/supplements at the Hurriyet newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, posted to the Kansas City Star; Olena Goncharova, a reporter at the Kyiv Post in Ukraine, who will work at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Thobile Hans, a reporter for Forbes Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, who will work at Forbes Media outside New York City; Amal Khan, features editor, The Nation newspaper in Lahore, Pakistan, a Daniel Pearl Foundation Fellow who will work at the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Times; and Mario Penton, a Cuban immigrant reporting for 14ymedio.com, who will work for El Nuevo Herald in Miami, Florida.

Professor Randy Smith is the vice chair and first non-family member of the board of the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships. David Reed serves as program director.

About Alfred Friendly Press Partners
Alfred Friendly Press Partners is named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Washington Post who started the organization in 1984. Every year, Alfred Friendly Press Partners conducts a six-month fellowship program in the United States for early-career professional journalists and leads journalism training programs abroad. Alfred Friendly Press Partners bonds with journalists and news organizations from information hungry societies and prepares them to practice professional, ethical, and innovative journalism. The organization has trained more than 300 journalists from 80 countries during the past 32 years and strengthened newsrooms across the globe. In January 2015, the nonprofit organization moved its office from Washington, D.C., to the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.

About the Daniel Pearl Foundation
After Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal South Asia Bureau Chief, was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan by terrorists in 2002, his family and friends came together to work toward a more humane world. The Daniel Pearl Foundation is a nonprofit organization formed in Danny’s name to promote mutual respect and understanding among diverse cultures, diminish ethnic and religious hatred, encourage responsible and creative journalism, and unite people through the universal language of music. The Daniel Pearl Fellowships, administered since 2003 by Alfred Friendly Press Partners, bring journalists from South Asia and the Middle East to U.S. newsrooms to experience the dynamics of a free press environment first hand.

Updated: September 22, 2020

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