New fellowship for African media professionals announced

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Ethiopia

Sixty media professionals from across Africa will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, and networks as part of a new Chevening Fellowship programme announced by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The Chevening Africa Media Freedom Fellowship will focus on promoting and protecting media freedom, and forms part of a global effort led by the UK and Canada to improve the safety of journalists.

World Press Freedom Day 2019, Ethiopia

Speaking at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebrations, the foreign secretary said that the fellowship will enable sixty journalists and professionals working in media policy to draw experience from Britain’s leading media organisations.

The foreign secretary has previously spoken about the importance of defending a free media as a central element of British foreign policy. According to Reporters Without Borders, 2018 was the deadliest year on record for journalists. UNESCO confirms that in 2018 at least 99 journalists were killed, 348 were imprisoned, and 60 were held hostage.

 

As part of the Media Freedom campaign, the UK and Canadian governments will co-host the world's first ministerial summit on media freedom in London. Renowned human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, who is currently representing two detained Reuters journalists, is serving as the UK foreign secretary’s special envoy on media freedom.

Chevening Scholars recently convened for discussions around the topic at the sixth annual Chevening Conference, during which Alastair King-Smith reiterated that being able to continue to access the truth was contingent on us defending media freedom.

Chevening Ethiopia Leadership Fellowship

A new leadership fellowship aimed at mid to senior-level Ethiopian public servants and government officials will also be launched. This fellowship will develop capacity in evidence-based policymaking, and will further develop fellows' leadership and strategic capabilities.

UK universities will be invited to submit a bid to organise and host these two short-course fellowships from the end of May. Interested institutions are encouraged to contact us.