Applications Open for 2023-2024 Gordon N. Fisher/JHR Fellowship for Journalists in sub-saharan Africa and the Middle East

Rachel Pulfer
Executive Director, JHR

Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Gordon N. Fisher / Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) Journalism Fellowship, an annual opportunity for journalists from Sub-Saharan Africa or the Middle East to participate in the William Southam Journalism Fellowship Program at Massey College in the University of Toronto in Canada.

The Fisher Fellowship runs in tandem with the William Southam Journalism Fellowships and takes place over one academic year – September to May – at the University of Toronto.

Fellows are able to choose from a wide range of university courses and activities, are free to audit any graduate or undergraduate courses and have access to the University’s many facilities.

Fellows live at Massey College, a multi-disciplinary graduate residential college in the University of Toronto. There are no educational prerequisites for a Fellowship, nor do Fellows receive credits or degrees for work done during the academic year. The program typically requires auditing at least two academic courses a semester; one academic course must be taken in full and all assignments completed.

The Fisher/JHR Fellow meets regularly with his or her Canadian counterparts in informal seminars to discuss issues with speakers from a wide variety of professions. They also participate in full in any trips organized as part of the program. To obtain the maximum benefit from the program, Fellows agree to refrain from professional work, including writing and broadcasting, during the period of the Fellowship. Personal holidays are restricted to University holiday periods.

Applicants should note that the University of Toronto, St. George campus, does not offer courses in Journalism.

The Fellowship underwrites:

(1) an eight-month stipend that will replicate the successful applicant’s salary along with any costs associated with the program. The first monthly installment will commence with an end-September payment and conclude with the end-April payment;

(2) all university fees;

(3) travel expenses up to the cost of economy airfare to and from Toronto for the Fellow;

(4) travel expenses for organized trips during the program;

(5) a winter clothing allowance;

(6) a book allowance.

Please note that there are no provisions for family members.

Funding for the Gordon N. Fisher/JHR Fellowship has been provided by the Alva Foundation.

The program is administered by Massey College in the University of Toronto, the host organization in Canada, with the support of Journalists for Human Rights.

Applicants are shortlisted by JHR staff and the successful candidate is selected by a committee headed by the Master of Massey College, the Senior Southam Fellow and a senior director at JHR. The successful applicant is chosen for professional competence and future potential as an effective and responsible journalist. Both male and female journalists are encouraged to apply.

Successful candidates are curious, smart and engaged. They are able to adapt to life in a cold climate for several months. They are open to learning from a new and unfamiliar culture, and interested in building their profile internationally.

The criteria for eligibility include:

• 5 years’ experience working in media

• Currently full-time as a news or editorial employee at a newspaper, radio station, television station, magazine or news service. Freelance journalists who have been working consistently in the media over an eight-year period will also be considered

• Proficiency in English

• Three letters of reference

• Statement of intent

• Proposal for plan of study

Incomplete applications with missing documents will not be considered.

The application deadline for the 2023-2024 fellowship is March 8, 2023.