In a significant boost for in-depth journalism in Eastern Africa, the Debunk Barbara Achermann Fellowship has been announced, inviting journalists from the region to create compelling longform reportage. This initiative was born out of a conversation between Swiss journalist Barbara Achermann and Isaac Otidi Amuke, editor-in-chief of Debunk Media, during the True Story Awards in Bern. Their shared passion for storytelling and the challenges of funding in-depth journalism led to the creation of this fellowship, powered by Achermann’s donation from her Swiss Press Award winnings.
Barbara Achermann, the Swiss journalist and author behind the fellowship, is renowned for her work as deputy editor-in-chief of Das MAGAZIN and her award-winning texts. She brings to the fellowship her commitment to fostering journalistic excellence and her belief in the power of longform storytelling.
Debunk Media, the Nairobi-based independent newsroom, is at the forefront of innovative journalism in the region. Founded by Asha Ahmed Mwilu, Debunk Media champions a diverse array of content, including data journalism, fact-checking, and in-depth reporting. The Debunk Barbara Achermann Fellowship aligns with their commitment to providing audiences with impactful stories, reinforcing their mantra that every society deserves good journalism.
The fellowship offers ten aspiring fellows from Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda the opportunity to receive funding and support to produce longform narratives. Each fellow will receive $1,000, with an initial advance of $300 and the balance upon completion of their work, which will be featured in the second print edition of Debunk Quarterly, slated for release in March 2024.
Aspiring applicants are encouraged to send a pitch for a minimum of 4,000 words of nonfiction or reportage, links to previously published works, and an author bio to Debunk Media by the 10th of December 2023. This fellowship not only recognizes the talent in the region but also promises to be a stepping stone for journalists eager to tell stories that matter.
For more information and to apply, interested journalists should visit debunk.media/fellowship. This is a call to action for all storytellers in Eastern Africa who are passionate about longform journalism and the impact it can have on society.