Mental healthcare in post-Ebola Sierra Leone. Vaccine preparedness in Mozambique. A major earthquake in Nepal. Waterless toilets in Ecuador. Climate change adaptation in Morocco. Nuclear security in Kazakhstan. Water and infrastructure in Lesotho. Education disparity in Mongolia. Re-examining a conflict’s origins in the Central African Republic.
These stories are years and continents apart, but they were all told by journalists who sought funding from the International Reporting Project (IRP) to make them happen.
But after two decades of supporting reporting around the world, last week IRP, where I’ve worked the past four years, announced it would close its doors this month. John Schidlovsky, IRP’s founder and director, summed up the reason in a note to alumni: “After 20 years, the year-to-year battle to raise sufficient operating funds finally caught up with us.”
Reporting fellowships have become such an integral part of the way we cover international news that it’s easy to forget what an innovative idea it was 20 years ago. Schidlovsky was a foreign correspondent, based principally in India and China, for The Baltimore Sun in the 1980s. But as newspapers began shuttering their foreign bureaus in the ’90s, he foresaw the impending threat to international news: Africa, Asia, and Latin America, regions that were already relegated to the back pages on an average day, would recede even further from the global conversation.
Read the full article about the International Reporting Project closing by Glendora Meikle at Columbia Journalism Review.
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