ABOUT THE PROGRAMME
The Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism (RAF) Fellowship is an opportunity for young journalists from countries with developing economies and economies in transition to cover the United Nations. Hosted every fall at UN headquarters, the programme brings a select group of journalists to New York for the opening of the General Assembly.
During their time at headquarters, fellows have an opportunity to observe the UN in action, interview senior officials and exchange ideas with colleagues from around the world. In previous years, fellows have met with the UN Secretary-General, President of the General Assembly and permanent representatives to the United Nations. The programme also arranges visits to various news organizations, such as the New York Times, the Associated Press, and WNYC radio.
Since its founding in 1981, the fellowship has been awarded to 566 journalists from 168 countries.
The programme runs for approximately three weeks. Fellowship awards cover the cost of roundtrip airfare to New York and provide a daily subsistence allowance (DSA) to cover accommodation and related expenses.
Information on eligibility can be found here.
The Programme is sponsored annually since 1981 by the United Nations Department of Public Information as a fellowship programme for junior and mid-level broadcasters and journalists from developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
It also provides journalists with an opportunity to gain first hand experience in the work of the United Nations. It is also an opportunity to meet journalists from other countries and exchange ideas with UN communication professionals.
Upon completion of the Programme, participants are expected to continue working in journalism or broadcasting and help promote better understanding of the United Nations in their home country. The Programme is not intended to provide basic skills training to broadcasters and journalists as all participants are already working as media professionals. The Programme also does not lead to employment by the UN.
Reham Al-Farra was a 29-year-old Jordanian public information officer who was killed in the August 19, 2003 bombing of UN Headquarters in Baghdad. Ms. Al-Farra was in baghdad on assignment with the Office of the Spokesperson for the Special Representative.
Before joining the United Nations nine months earlier, Ms. al-Farra was the first female daily political columnist writing for Al Arab Al Yawm. She was also actively involved with the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists.
In September 2003, the UN Department of Public Information renamed its annual training programme for young journalists in her honor.