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Media Fellows


Location: New York, USA

Organization: Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference

Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) announces a competition for reporting grants for Media Fellows to join initiative on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.” Supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, this project seeks to bring together an international community of scholars, practitioners, journalists, and activists to study the role of religion in naming, framing, and governing gendered violence, with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. For more see:

Program Description:

Over the past couple of decades, violence against women (VAW)––or more recently, the expansive term “gender-based violence” (GBV)––has come to prominence as a highly visible and powerful international agenda. By embedding gender violence in a complex matrix of international norms, legal sanctions, and humanitarian aid, the anti-VAW movement has been able to achieve a powerful international “common sense” for defining, measuring, and attending to violence against women in developing countries, particularly during conflict and post-conflict situations. Here, religion (sometimes in the guise of ethnicity) is regularly linked to gendered violence, entire religious traditions sometimes accused of promoting “cultures of violence.” The crucial question of how religious difference intersects with the VAW/GBV agenda has hardly begun to be considered. Why and when is religion invoked in global responses to VAW/GBV? What categories of the religious become seen as credible and acceptable, and are empowered as anti-GBV actors? Who pays a price and who benefits from the ways religion is used to frame global understandings of VAW/GBV? This program seeks to work with promising journalists who want to go beyond or look behind the powerful ‘common sense’ that assumes a straightforward relation between gender violence and religion.


The “Reporting Grants on Religion and Gender Violence” provide journalists with the dedicated time and resources to research and produce innovative media stories to reframe understandings.

•       As part of the grant, journalists selected will be expected to write at least one feature story about religion and representations of gender violence, or about particular newsworthy issues related to interventions against gender violence. The focus in this grant cycle is on South Asia but journalists who work on the Middle East will also be considered. 

  • The work of the Media Fellow will begin with participation in the project’s September 2018 international academic workshop at Columbia University in New York City. This is to be followed by a 2-3 week reporting stint in one of the regions on which the project focuses.


Proposed projects must include a credible plan for broad dissemination of the resulting work in U.S. and/or European news media, including demonstrated interest from editors and/or producers. The credibility of a distribution plan is generally most evident in an applicant’s track-record. Letters from editors and/or producers who have worked with you in the past, and are interested in working with you again, are encouraged as part of the application package.


  • Journalists from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.
  • Professional journalism must be the applicant’s primary profession.
  • Applicants must have three or more years of professional journalism experience with a strong background in reporting on gender issues.

Funding Details:

  • The total grant amount is $5000. This includes a stipend of $2000 and up to $3000 in reimbursed expenses for travel, visa, and accommodation connected with the fellow’s reporting research. 

How to apply:

Applications must be received in English.

Applications include the following:

  • A description of the proposed project, including dissemination plan, in no more than 250 words.
  • Three samples of published work, either print, broadcast or digital.
  • Phone number and email address of two professional references. Letters of recommendation are not required.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae with current contact information.



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