Fellowships Available to Support Media Coverage of Safety

In partnership with the World Health Organization, Internews launches fellowships for 10 journalists to attend the 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion in New Zealand

Construction on a street in Egypt
Road construction outside Cairo, Egypt (credit: Internews)

Are you a health reporter? Are you interested in road safety and injury prevention as a public health issue? Did you know that around the world road traffic injury is the number one leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-29, and that about 5.8 million people die each year as a result of injuries? Are you a journalist working for an established media house in the developing world? If so, then this Internews short-term fellowship may be the right fit for you.

The fellowships will be awarded to 10 journalists representing established media houses in the developing world to attend the 11th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion held in Wellington, New Zealand, from September 28 – October 4, 2012.

Journalists from all developing countries will be invited to apply but priority will be given to journalists working in the 10 Road Safety target countries identified by the World Health Organization: Brazil, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and Vietnam.

The theme of Safety 2012 is “Connecting pathways for a vibrant and safer future.”  Held biennially under the auspices of WHO the conference brings together the world's leading injury prevention and safety researchers, practitioners and advocates, to build knowledge and strengthen the fields of injury prevention and safety promotion worldwide. The scholarships will cover attendance to the conference - including the cost of airfare and lodging - and will include specialized training on road traffic and other safety issues prior to the conference as well as expert follow-on mentoring on journalistic skills relevant to such coverage after the conference.

Road traffic is often covered in the media as an event – not as an enormous drain on a country’s health resources or a leading killer of its citizens. Although not a typical health story, by framing it as such, Health journalists have the opportunity to impact the way these stories are told, and potentially help shift policy and public reaction. “ Crashes are one of the greatest public health concerns in the developing world,” said Deborah Ensor, Internews Vice President of the Africa, Health and Humanitarian Media unit. “The number of deaths – and the massive impact on individuals, families, health care systems and the economy for those who survive crashes, is astounding. I strongly believe that increased attention to this issue by the local media can have a great impact on the way people think, behave and demand for safer roads and policies.” Successful applicants must have commitment from their editors to publish and champion stories related to traffic deaths and injuries.

If you are passionate about this issue, can demonstrate a commitment to increasing public awareness of important issues in your home country, and interested in a full scholarship, download the application form. Applications are due no later than Friday, July 27th, at 5 PM EST, and must be submitted to safety2012@internews.org. Applicants will be notified by Friday August 10th, 2012.

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