Reporting after the epidemic
Dates: 05 June 09 June | Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Application deadline: 10 April | Programme: Following the Aid Money
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This is an opportunity provided by the Following the Aid Money programme: Find out more

In 2014 and 2015, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone were hit by the largest Ebola outbreak in history with over 11,000 people losing their lives. $5.8 billion was pledged to tackle the disease and aid with recovery, according to an Oxfam analysis in 2016. So what happened next? 

The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s new programme is seeking to work with independent journalists in the above three countries to explore this issue. 

The programme aims to support journalists to find answers to the following questions: 

What happened to the money? Not all of the funds pledged were actually delivered, and for those that were there is little transparency. But the amounts pledged were huge - $5.8 billion is almost equal to the combined GDP of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Did the funding reach the communities that it was supposed to? And has it made a difference? 

What happened to essential services? The epidemic killed many medical staff and the effects of this will be felt across all areas of healthcare, long after the epidemic is over. How are these health systems coping today? What about other services like education? 

Could another outbreak take hold? There have been seven “flare-ups” of the epidemic since the initial control of the outbreak, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. None resulted in more than 13 cases. But how close are these countries to another serious outbreak – and what could cause it? 

The programme will feature an intensive workshop in Freetown, Sierra Leone bringing together journalists from all three countries. This will take place in June 2017 (dates TBC). It will develop investigative and storytelling skills, provide practical approaches to exploring the above questions, and help participants to develop hard-hitting story ideas. 

Reporters will then receive ongoing support from project editors to help them produce original stories and investigations. Modest funding will be available to help with the costs of investigation. 

ELIGIBILITY

  • Journalists working for domestic media in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone are eligible
  • Journalists working in any medium may apply – print, radio, TV, online
  • We encourage applications from investigative journalists and those interested in following the money. However this is not essential – we are also looking to hear from other reporters with an interest in this issue. 
  • We also encourage applications from journalists who covered the Ebola epidemic. Again, this is not essential. 
  • Journalists must be fluent in 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
  • Prior reporting on Ebola and/or finance is not a requirement for the course; however we are 

FUNDING

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

SUBMISSIONS

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

  • 2 relevant work samples (maximum file size 5 MB) – in English if possible. For stories not in English, please include a 250-word English summary about the story. 
  • A letter from your editor consenting to your participation in the programme and committing to publish/broadcast resulting stories

Please note you will be asked to submit one or more story ideas within your application. The migration story has already been well covered so we will look for journalists with ideas that approach the issue from a new angle. We will not share your ideas with anyone. 

If you have any difficulties applying, please email trfmedia@thomsonreuters.com. 
 

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Following the Aid Money
  • The world spends more than $100 billion on aid every year - and there is more data than ever before on where and how this money is spent. The Thomson Reuters Foundation works with journalists and newsrooms to help them report on aid spending and tell the story of aid’s impact – both its successes and its failures. 

    Find out more

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