Raising the bar in healthcare reporting: a training programme for journalists in the Middle East
Dates: 15 May 22 June | Location: Online
Application deadline: 23 April | Programme: Environment, Health & Resilience

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

الرجاء الضغط هنا للوصول إلى نموذج الطلب باللغة العربية

Are you an active journalist with an interest in health? Then we want to hear from you!

Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) is launching a new flagship journalism training programme with an unrestricted educational grant from global healthcare company Roche. The programme aims to strengthen healthcare reporting among journalists in the Middle East. As the world focuses on revitalising healthcare provision after nearly three years of effects brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for more inclusive and thriving healthcare systems will be a priority of governments and societies around the globe. At this juncture, the media must play a vital role – providing world-class, accurate and independent reporting on healthcare issues that clamps down on the rife spread of misinformation, amplifies the voices of vulnerable communities, holds power to account, and ensures audiences can make informed, life-saving decisions.

The time for action has rarely been more pressing.

This exciting new programme leverages TRF’s unique combination of trusted journalism and 40 years of training experience to support independent media in demystifying health and science concepts and strengthening coverage of healthcare issues in ways accessible to the general public.

TRF will deliver a six-week online training programme in Arabic, which includes a two-day in-person workshop in Dubai. The programme will involve a blend of lively interactive online sessions led by TRF trainers with international journalism experience, briefings from industry experts with opportunities for Q&A, and exercises to sustain a highly practical, engaging and relevant learning experience. Additional offline work will further strengthen journalistic skills in healthcare reporting.

TRF is excited to invite interested journalists, based across the Middle East, to submit applications to participate in this new training opportunity via the application process set out below. The countries eligible for participation are Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.

The six-week programme will include:

  • Reporting with the Reuters Trust Principles (the same principles of accuracy, independence and freedom from bias that the Reuters news agency uses every day)
  • An introduction to essential health-related terminology and concepts, and the ability to simplify and make these terms and concepts accessible to audiences
  • Sound news judgement and reliable sourcing
  • Ethical guidelines, including libel and legal pitfalls, and sympathetic interviewing skills to use with vulnerable individuals
  • Human-impact stories with a special focus on vulnerable and/or marginalised groups
  • The role of journalists in covering healthcare systems and policy and improving access for audiences
  • Introducing a solutions approach to journalism, with a focus on critical reporting and analysis of social responses
  • A range of digital skills labs on topics such as digital newsgathering, data visualisation techniques, combatting disinformation, social media promotion and online presence and safety of journalists
  • Access to industry experts, with opportunities for question and answer sessions with leading healthcare professionals in the region
  • A fully-funded trip to Dubai for an in-person training workshop during one week of the course.

In addition to the above, the programme serves to strengthen networking between like-minded journalists across the Middle East region. Emphasis will be placed on collaborative working, and strengthening relationships to collectively drive stronger healthcare coverage across the eleven focus countries. 


The programme will run for six weeks. Five of these weeks will be delivered through online live sessions, during which trainees will come together twice per week for training sessions that will comprise a blend of online live group sessions, group exercises, offline learning, and sessions with expert guest speakers. Time will also be available for one-to-one sessions with TRF trainers.

Participants should expect to allow for a weekly time commitment of:

  • 4 hours per week for live sessions on Tuesdays or Wednesdays
  • 2.5 hours per week for expert speaker sessions with Q&A on Thursdays
  • 2-3 hours per week to complete individual assignments.

In total this requires a commitment to 6.5 hours (roughly one day) of online sessions, plus 2-3 hours of individual assignments, per week. The course flow is designed in this way to allow participant journalists to continue with their regular work alongside their participation in the programme.

One week of the programme will be delivered in-person in Dubai, and programme participants must be available to travel during one week of the course. All travel costs will be covered by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

At the end of the course, participants will pitch story ideas for the opportunity to participate in a mentoring programme. Successful participants will work one-to-one with a TRF trainer to develop an original piece of journalism, and be eligible for a small grant to contribute to the costs of producing the story.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must be full-time journalists or regular contributors working for media organisations based in the following countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen.

Applicants should have a minimum of two years’ professional experience. You will need to provide a 250 word statement as part of your application explaining why you will benefit from participation in this programme, your interest in healthcare reporting, and how you plan to use the learning in your professional work.

Once selected, you will need to provide a letter from your editor in support of your participation in the programme, including a commitment to publish a healthcare focused story should you be selected to participate in the mentoring component of the course. This will only be requested by TRF if your application is successful.

Applicants must have access to a minimum internet speed of 1.5 MB/second. (You can check the speed of your device at www.speedtest.net). Applicants will also need access to a computer to participate in the training; participation from a mobile or smart phone will not be possible.

Please note: To ensure a reliable connection, Thomson Reuters Foundation can make a financial contribution towards participants’ data costs.


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

  • Two relevant work samples (maximum file size 5 MB), with visible by-line. 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 explaining why you will benefit from participation in this programme, your interest in healthcare reporting, and how you plan to use the learning 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 trfmedia@thomsonreuters.com

Environment, Health & Resilience
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