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East-West Center2018 Jefferson Fellowships for Journalists
« on: February 07, 2018, 02:28:52 PM »
The East-West Center
2018 Jefferson Fellowships for Journalists

Manila, February 7, 2018 — The Jefferson Fellowships is the East-West Center’s most widely-recognized and established seminar program, with an illustrious alumni network of more than 600 Jefferson Fellows across the Asia Pacific region and the United States.  The broad goal of the program is to enhance public understanding through the news media of cultures, issues and trends in the Asia Pacific region. Participation in the Jefferson Fellowships provides journalists with an opportunity to report from cities across the Asia Pacific on key issues and developments taking place, sharing with audiences first-hand perspectives and new insights.  The program provides a unique combination of study-dialogue at the East-West Center with a reporting trip taken with colleagues from countries across the region.  This provides journalists with enhanced knowledge of the most important regional issues, reporting imbued with perspectives from journalists from 10 different countries, valuable professional contacts, and life-long friendships with their colleagues in the program.  They also gain access to the EWC’s international network of more than 1,000 media professionals and 50,000 alumni.

Program Theme: Populism, Identity, and the State of Democracy in Southeast Asia

Destinations: Honolulu, HI; Singapore; Manila, Philippines; Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Dates: June 18 – July 10, 2018
Deadline: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The 2018 Jefferson Fellowships program will explore “Populism, Identity, and the State of Democracy in Southeast Asia.”  A three-week dialogue, study, and travel program to Honolulu, HI; Singapore; Manila, Philippines; and Kuala Lumpur/Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, will enable participating journalists to better understand how domestic, regional, and global forces are influencing democratic progress in Southeast Asia and producing a new generation of populist leaders and movements as well as identity-based conflict.  The 2018 Jefferson Fellowships program will begin at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii with U.S.-based experts regarding the spread of populism in the United States and the Asia Pacific region. Journalists will also share perspectives from their own countries on populism and identity politics through topic papers and presentations.  Travel to Manila will explore the rise of Rodrigo Duterte, including his populist economic policies, criticism of the Philippine-U.S. relationship and the Catholic Church, and extrajudicial drug war.  Journalists will explore how the President has portrayed himself as an authentic voice of the masses and how his language of crisis has delineated a criminal “other.”  Travel to Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu will similarly examine Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration, the nexus between ethnic and religious identity in Malaysia, and its impact on representative and electoral politics ahead of a competitive election that must be held by mid-2018.  The Jefferson Fellowships will also include participation in the East-West Center’s 6th International Media Conference in Singapore where journalists will gather to discuss “What is News Now,” and share on-the-ground information on news and media issues in the region.  Finally, efforts by political leaders to undermine media’s legitimacy will be explored throughout the program.

Who Can Apply:

The Jefferson Fellowships are open to working print, broadcast, and online journalists in the United States, the Pacific Islands, and Asia. A minimum five years of professional experience is preferred.  Applicants must have the ability to communicate in English in a professional, multi-cultural environment.  Preference will be given to journalists who clearly articulate the relevance of the theme to their areas of coverage and how they intend to use the knowledge gained to enhance the perspectives of viewers, readers, and listeners.  Journalists are strongly encourage to generate media content during and after the program in the form of formal print and broadcast stories, blogs, tweets, Instagram and other social media communications.


The 2018 Jefferson Fellowships are funded by the Freeman Foundation and the East-West Center.  These funds provide for 10-12 full or partial scholarships, including approximately 4-5 for qualified American journalists and 7-8 for Asia Pacific journalists.  All participants must pay an $800 program fee to cover costs not provided by the scholarship funds.  Participants are also responsible for all applicable visa fees, any additional visa-related expenses, health insurance, and baggage fees.  Given that there are very few full scholarships available, we strongly encourage media organizations to cost share program expenses and/or airfare.  Cost sharing is seen as an indication of the commitment of media organizations to the value of the program and their willingness to invest in the participating journalist.  It is an important consideration of the Selection Committee.

For application instructions please visit our website at

For inquiries about the application process, please call: 808-944-7727.
Questions about the Jefferson Fellowships should be directed to: Liz A. Dorn, Program Coordinator,; 808-944-7368.

Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

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Romans 10:9-10
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