Call for Applications: APWLD Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship on Militarism, Peace and Women’s Human Rights

Application Period: 30 May 2023 – 30 June 2023

The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) invites women media professionals, journalists and visual journalists across the Asia-Pacific region to participate in the Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship on Militarism, Peace and Women’s Human RightsThis year’s media fellowship aims to deepen media and visual reportage on the plight of women and the gendered impact of conflict and militarism to women and communities especially in conflict-affected areas such as Pakistan, India, Burma/Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Interested media professionals, journalists and visual journalists may apply for individual fellowship or team up (one journalist and one visual journalist) for team fellowship. Selected individuals will be given a stipend of USD 3,000 while teams will be provided with USD 5,000 to cover expenses for research and travel (conditions permitting) according to workplans co-developed with APWLD.

The duration of the fellowship will be from August 2023 to August 2024. During this period, the fellows will have an option to produce news and feature stories, photo stories, audio-video content/documentary or digital stories with a feminist lens that highlight the gendered impact of militarism and conflicts on women’s human rights while visual journalist fellows will produce either curated photos or videos to complement stories

APWLD’s Media Fellowship is coordinated and conducted by the APWLD Information and Communications Programme. In previous years, the APWLD Media Fellowship focused on the issue of development, climate change crisis, gendered impact of COVID-19 on the ground, and women and migration.

Now in its fifth year, APWLD expands its media fellowship to include visual journalists to not only foster collaboration between journalists and visual journalists but also to provide a platform to showcase strong visual storytelling while strengthening media advocacy on grassroots women’s issues through a feminist and human rights lens across the region.

APWLD is a regional feminist, membership-driven network with over 290 members from 31 countries and territories across Asia and the Pacific. We are committed to building feminist movements to advance women’s human rights and Development Justice. If you are deeply committed to covering feminist, progressive movements and challenging structural globalised inequalities, please consider applying to this opportunity.

Objectives of the Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship

  • To strengthen feminist analysis on the issues of militarism and conflicts and its gendered impact on women and structural inequalities, especially in the mainstream and the alternative media spaces;
  • To support APWLD members’ and partners’ frontline response at grassroots level as well as their national, regional and global advocacy;
  • To strengthen APWLD’s engagement with the media and strengthen our strategic media advocacy;
  • To influence and shape the public discourse on militarism, conflict, peace and women’s human rights and the portrayal of women in media, in the process influencing key policy makers and stakeholders.

Why Militarism, Peace and Women’s Human Rights?

Militarism, a system that secures and defends power, wealth and resources of global power structures and preserves ruling systems, has long paved the way for colonial and autocratic domination across Asia and the Pacific region. It has perpetuated the capitalist system’s power to control people, resources, markets and other critical assets to amass profits, all while leaving women and other marginalised communities  in distress.

In many countries and territories across the region, states are increasingly using military power and security forces to protect and advance the interests of the ruling political and economic elites, putting profit over human rights, peoples’ lives and the planet. This includes practices such as militarisation of rural and indigenous communities, presence of foreign military forces, forced evictions and displacement as well as blatant violations of women’s right to life and bodily autonomy.  Most often, violence against women is used as a weapon of war to continue power domination and inequalities – with the cycle of impunity.

As a result, women, especially in rural communities are deprived of their rights to land and food sovereignty; indigenous women are denied their right to traditional livelihoods and territories; and women in urban centres are forced to resettle in areas of even poorer living conditions. Worse, women human rights defenders are subjected to different forms of attacks such as harassment, persecution, sexual violence and extra judicial killings when women and their communities show any form of resistance and defend their rights.

This fellowship aims to bring to light the struggles of women and their communities to provide a deeper understanding on how war and conflicts violate women’s rights, particularly their right to life and be free from any forms of violence. It intends to scrutinise how militarism increases women’s vulnerability to violence and obstructs their access to justice. Likewise, it hopes to examine the environmental costs of militarism and expose the worsening culture of impunity.

How does the Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship work?

Selected fellows will be invited to attend a four-day in-person Media Fellowship Training on August 18-21, 2023 and a three-day Regional Convening on Militarism and Peace on August 23-25, 2023 both in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

At the training, the fellows will learn about APWLD feminist analysis using the Patriarchy, Globalisation, Fundamentalisms and Militarism (PGFM) framework, Theory of Change, Development Justice, Feminist Reporting and the different pressing women’s human rights issues related to militarism, conflicts and peace. Fellows are also expected to present their story plans and finalise them based on APWLD’s collective feedback during the training.

At the regional convening, the fellows will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding on the different gendered impact of militarism and conflict through the narratives of women from conflict-affected areas and to meet and interact with APWLD members and partners, women human rights defenders from the region who are working on the issue.

During the fellowship, the fellows may also have the opportunity to attend other online or physical civil society and UN advocacy events and meetings on militarism and peace.

At the end of the fellowship, the fellows will submit a narrative and financial report documenting their experience and will be invited to a two- to three-day reflection meeting in 2024.

Reporting and Publishing Criteria

For Individual fellowship (Journalists)

  • Individual fellows are expected to produce either
    • one multi-part series of at least 3,500 words in total, or
    • three written stories of at least 1,000 words each.

Out of the three stories,

  • one story should be investigative or in-depth;
  • at least one story should focus specifically on APWLD members or partners working on militarism, conflict or peace within their country/sub-region; and
  • one story should focus on women’s human rights, including the right to peace, in the context of militarism and conflicts in the region.

  • Alternatively, for audio-visual mediums, individual fellows are expected to produce either
    • one full video documentary with at least 15-minute running time, or
    • three stories of at least five minutes each for video or 20 minutes for audio.

Out of the three stories,

  • one story should be investigative or in-depth;
  • at least one story should focus specifically on APWLD members or partners working on militarism, conflict or peace within their country/sub-region; and
  • one story should focus on women’s human rights, including the right to peace, in the context of militarism and conflicts in the region.

For Individual fellowship (Visual Journalists)

  • Individual fellows are expected to produce either
    • one multi-part series of at least 30 curated photos with at least 300 word essay/story for each part, or
    • one full video documentary with at least 15-minute running time, or
    • three photo/video stories of at least 10 curated photos/5-minute video each with at least 300 word essay/story.

Out of the three photo stories,

  • at least one photo/video story should focus specifically on APWLD members or partners working on militarism, conflict or peace within their country/sub-region; and
  • Other photo/video stories should focus on women’s human rights, including the right to peace, in the context of militarism and conflict in the region.

For Team fellowship (One journalist and one visual journalist)

  • Team fellows are expected to produce either
    • One multi-part series of at least 3,600 words with at least 10 curated photos/a 5-minute video to complement each part, or
    • Three written stories of at least 1,000 words each with at least 10 curated photos/a 5-minute video to complement each story.

Out of the three stories,

  • one story should be investigative or in-depth;
  • at least one story should focus specifically on APWLD members or partners working on militarism, conflict or peace within their country/sub-region; and
  • one story should focus on women’s human rights, including the right to peace, in the context of militarism and conflict in the region.

  • Alternatively, for audio-visual mediums, team fellows are expected to produce either
    • one full video documentary with at least 20-minute running time and three photo stories of at least 10 curated photos with at least 300 word text description/caption for each story, or
    • three stories of at least five minutes each for video or 20 minutes for audio and three photo stories of at least 10 curated photos with at least 300 word text description/caption for each story

Out of the three stories,

  • one story should be investigative or in-depth;
  • at least one story should focus specifically on APWLD members or partners working on militarism, conflict or peace within their country/sub-region; and
  • one story should focus on women’s human rights, including the right to peace, in the context of militarism and conflict in the region.

Media fellows may produce long features, advocacy-focused, data-driven or documentary style stories. They can also publish stories in their own languages, however, they are expected to submit an English version of their drafts for feedback, and provide an English translation of their published stories.

Expectations from the Fellows

Other than producing and publishing stories under the fellowship, the fellows are expected to:

  • Attend the Media Fellowship Training (August 2023), Regional Convening on Militarism and Peace (August 2023) and Media Fellowship Reflection Meeting (2024);
  • Attend civil society and UN advocacy spaces and meetings when necessary, as guided by APWLD;
  • Ensure publication of their stories in their media outlets or in other media outlets (freelance);
  • Ensure that publishing outlets will indicate/reflect that the published stories are a part of APWLD Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship programme;
  • Be in close, regular communications with APWLD Information and Communications Programme throughout the fellowship;
  • Actively engage in APWLD social media channels throughout the fellowship to share updates about their stories.

APWLD Roles and Responsibilities

  • During the fellowship, APWLD will provide a stipend of 3,000 USD to individual fellows and 5,000 USD to team fellows to cover expenses for research and travel, according to story plans co-developed with and approved by APWLD.
  • APWLD will provide continuous support to the fellows in shaping their stories and analysis and providing feedback on all stories before publishing.
  • APWLD will feature and promote the fellows’ stories on its social media, website and other APWLD publications where fit.
  • APWLD has the right to use both the stories and photos on our digital platforms (website and social media), our publications and other printed materials, exhibitions and other advocacy spaces where we see fit, either in excerpt or in complete form.

Selection 

Selection Criteria

  • The fellowship is open to women media professionals, journalists, and visual journalists from Asia and the Pacific with at least three years of experience.
  • Experience in covering women’s human rights, grassroots movements, and development issues particularly in the context of militarism, conflict and peace will be an added advantage.
  • Seven (7) applicants will be selected for this media and visual journalism fellowship. Both individual and team applications are accepted. In case of a team, application should be made in the name of both co-applicants. Four (4) individual (two journalists and two visual journalists) and three (3) group applicants will be selected
  • Applicants whose work covers Pakistan, India, Burma/Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and the Philippines will be prioritised.
  • Commitment to  feminist movement building.
  • Must be able to travel overseas as required.
  • Proficient in English and a language from the Asia or the Pacific region.

Application

The applicant should submit an expression of interest with the following documents:

  1. Completed application form (including copy of valid travel document)
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. Two work samples of any medium in English or with English translations
  4. Proposed work plan (use APWLD template)
  5. Proposed budget plan (use APWLD template)
  6. A letter of endorsement from media organisation if full time employee, or a letter of endorsement from an editor if a freelance journalist/visual journalist
  7. Letter from editor to guarantee publication of news stories indicating that the stories will be published as part of  APWLD Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship on Militarism, Peace and Women’s Human Rights; Optional for freelance journalists

Please send completed forms and other required documents via email with the subject line “Application: APWLD Media and Visual Journalism Fellowship” to Edz dela Cruz at edz@apwld.org and cc Gerimara Manuel at gerimara@apwld.org, by no later than 30 June 2023, 11:59 pm Bangkok time.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered and only short-listed candidates will be notified. 

Download the concept note.

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