Reporting provocative stories safely
Dates: 06 May 11 May | Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
Application deadline: 26 March | Programme: Reporting Taboo

This is an opportunity provided by the Reporting Taboo programme: Find out more

It is the job of the journalist to report on issues that matter. But when those issues are controversial or sensitive how easy is it to report without inflaming tensions further – or even compromising your own safety? The Thomson Reuters Foundation is looking to make that job easier for journalists in Pakistan. 

Our new project is aimed at journalists in Pakistan who are covering sensitive or controversial topics and who are concerned about how best to do this. Do you give one side of the story, or all sides? Are there things you cannot cover? If you make your story “impartial”, is that just another word for “boring”? We would like to work with journalists to address these issues by drawing on other journalists’ experiences as well as the Reuters principles of accuracy, integrity and freedom from bias. 

This project is not only for journalists covering conflict. Every country, no matter where in the world, has issues that people either avoid altogether or discuss in a one-sided manner. We want to help journalists in Pakistan consider how to cover these stories in a way that is both informed and engaging, and that respects the views of all who are involved. 

This project will feature an intensive 6 day workshop in Islamabad in May 2017, covering relevant journalism skills, safety, and support with developing specific stories. After this participating journalists can apply for ongoing editorial support from a team of local and international mentors. Where possible and appropriate we will help participants to pitch their stories to international outlets.


  • Journalists working for domestic media anywhere in Pakistan are eligible
  • Journalists working in any medium may apply – print, radio, TV, online
  • Journalists must be fluent in Urdu and have conversational or fluent English
  • Journalists must have a minimum of one year's experience. They should either be working full-time for a media organisation, or a freelancer whose main work is journalism


We will cover all transport and subsistence costs of journalists participating in this programme. 


When applying you will be asked to upload the following documents - please have these ready:

  • 2 work samples (maximum file size 5 MB) - in English if possible. If they are not in English, please provide a 250-word English summary of each piece. 
  • A letter from your editor/Bureau Chief consenting to your participation in the programme and committing to publish/broadcast resulting stories

NOTE: Only shortlisted candidates will be selected for the workshop. 

If you have any difficulties applying, please email 

Reporting Taboo
  • In many countries, there are topics that news media rarely, if ever, report on. And yet these issues can affect millions of people - including the most vulnerable people. Such issues need to be covered in an accurate, impartial manner, which includes the views of all parties involved. The Thomson Reuters Foundation provides training, mentoring and editorial support to assist journalists who are covering stories at the margins of our societies. 

    Find out more

About Media Development

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is committed to fostering the highest standards of journalism worldwide. We believe accurate, impartial and independent journalism leads to better-informed societies. It holds power to account, strengthens the rule of law and contributes to economic and social development.

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