Breaking Down Barriers to Health Services
Dates: 03 May 07 June | Location: Online
Application deadline: 15 April | Programme: Environment, Health & Resilience

This is an opportunity provided by the Environment, Health & Resilience programme: Find out more

Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and the Global Fund are joining forces to combat human rights-related barriers to health services. This important partnership aims to advance the Global Fund’s work on human rights as part of ‘Breaking Down Barriers’  initiative, by supporting journalists to generate awareness of how stigma, gender inequalities and discrimination serve as barriers to health services for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations; the partnership will also support the Global Fund’s civil society partners to work more effectively with the media. The initiative builds on TRF’s mission to support free, fair and informed societies and its expertise in using the power of journalism and the law to advance media freedom and protect human rights.

TRF and the Global Fund would like to invite interested journalists, based in a selection of African countries supported by the Breaking Down Barriers initiative, to submit applications to participate in this new training opportunity, via the application process set out below. The five countries eligible for participation in this programme are Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

TRF will deliver a six-week online training programme in English, combining live video sessions and offline work, to strengthen journalistic skills and enhance knowledge of human rights-related barriers to health services. The programme will involve a blend of lively interactive online sessions, expert briefings, and exercises, to sustain a highly practical, engaging and relevant experience. 

The course content will include interview and news-gathering techniques as well as multimedia skills. It will also review the specific challenges associated with public health reporting, including the ethical considerations necessary when interviewing vulnerable people and covering sensitive issues specifically associated with the diseases that make up the focus of the Global Fund’s work – Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and more recently – COVID-19. The course will also explore how to identify misinformation and simplify sector-specific language and terminology. 

As part of the same TRF-Global Fund partnership, representatives from civil society organisations working on Global Fund programmes will also receive media training. Participants from both courses will be brought together at selected points in the six-week agenda to foster connections and build a sustainable network.


Across the six-week programme, trainees will come together once per week for a 3.5 hour training session. Each session will comprise a blend of live group sessions, offline and group work, and time with expert speakers. Time will also be available for one-to-one sessions with TRF trainers. 

A forum will be created for continued discussion and networking between journalist participants and the Global Fund’s civil society partners participating in the parallel media training course.

At the end of the course, participants will pitch story ideas for the opportunity to participate in a mentoring programme. 

Programme breakdown:

3rd May – 7th June 2021

•    A weekly session with TRF trainers, including online and offline segments featuring guest speakers, presentations, Q&A, exercises and group work.
•    Weekly access to TRF trainers for additional mentoring tailored to individual needs.
•    Short assignments and activities

Participants should allow for 3.5 hours for the weekly training as well as up to one hour for additional discussions and mentoring. They should also be prepared to invest an additional two hours per week for assignments and preparation.


Who Can Apply

Applicants must be full-time journalists or regular contributors working for media organisations based in the following countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Applicants should have a minimum of two years’ professional experience, and should explain through their applications why they will benefit from participation in this course, and how they plan to use the learning in their professional work.  

Once selected, applicants will also be asked to provide a letter from their editor supporting their participation in the programme, including a commitment to publish the story they will produce should they participate in the mentoring component of the course. This will only be requested by TRF once applicants have been selected for the course.

Applicants must have access to a minimum internet speed of 1 MB/second. (You can check the speed of your device by logging from it on Applicants will also need access to a computer to participate in the training; participation from a mobile or smart phone will not be possible.

Thomson Reuters Foundation will contribute to participants’ data costs. 

Meet Our Experts

Applicants will be asked to upload the following documents as part of the application process:

  • Two relevant work samples (maximum file size 5 MB). TV/Radio journalists may submit transcripts of broadcasts, a brief summary, and/or links to online versions. Participants are encouraged to provide details of circulation and reach of their publications if possible.
  • A biography of up to 250 words outlining your career.
  • A statement of between 250 and 500 words describing how you expect to benefit from this course, how you plan to use what you learn in your professional work, and any factors affecting your work as a journalist which may be considered relevant to your application.
Please note there are limited spaces available; TRF will consider all applications on merit.

If you have any difficulties applying, please email

Environment, Health & Resilience
  • In a world of information overload we work with journalists, news organisations and partners to make sure environment and health issues remain at the top of the news agenda.

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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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