This industry can be a tough nut to crack.

It’s difficult to know where to start, who to speak to, and how to get a foot through the door. This is true for filmmakers and journalists all over the world. Filmmakers and journalists who have creative, nuanced and untold international stories at their fingertips, but no support to be able to tell them.

That is why the One World Media Fellowship (previously the Production Fund) is determined to champion and support as many journalists, from every corner of the planet, to tell their stories. Something we feel is even more crucial in today’s climate of challenged media freedoms and proliferating ‘fake news’!

We have been supporting emerging talent since 2001, and recently had the chance to catch up with a few of the Fellowship alumni to hear what they’ve been up to, their favourite memories from their time as a Fellow and why they feel it is so important to give new voices the support to tell international stories…

 

Keralan cargo truck, India © Lottie Gross 2014

 

Lottie Gross

Freelance Travel Writer

One World Media Fellow, 2012

What have you been up to since the Fellowship?
I got my dream job straight out of uni thanks to my experience with One World Media. I worked for Rough Guides for 4 years before launching a travel website for a small publisher in Old St. I’m now freelance and just did my first piece for BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent, and am about to go to Uganda for The Telegraph.

What is your favourite memory or experience from your time as a One World Media Fellow?
Sitting on top of a cargo truck in northern Kenya, watching the sky turn orange as the sun set behind us. There was no road, and no public transport, so we had to hitch hike, and most of the vehicles going north were cargo trucks transporting sacks of rice or Chinese water tanks. We ended up sitting on top of the trucks for the most part, which was a slightly terrifying experience, but with a vantage point well worth the risk. The views from the trucks were incredible.

Why do you think it is important to support new voices to cover international stories?
Reporting on developing countries is important, but needs to be done sensitively. Educating and training people on the sensitivities of this is really helpful. I come across an awful lot of patronising stuff in the travel media, so there’s definitely a need for journos and those in training to be educated! New voices are essential in my industry. Travel writers become easily jaded when they’ve visited a destination numerous times, and they often make assumptions about what the reader knows. New talent will almost always see things differently, so fresh perspectives are invaluable for both editors and readers.

 

Tatsiana Yanutsevich

Video journalist, BBC News Russian

One World Media Fellow, 2015

What have you been up to since the Fellowship?
After graduation I got a digital media consultant position at UNICEF office in Belarus. Now I’m a video journalist for BBC Russian Service in Belarus.

How did your experience as a One World Media Fellow help with the next steps in your career?
As a beginner filmmaker, with a part-time waitress job, I didn’t have any opportunities to film abroad for long periods of time, so couldn’t tell the story I wanted to tell. But when I was awarded the Fellowship, I was finally able to create the film, and gained so much experience which opened doors into the world of professional visual storytelling!

I believe that one of the key skills when building a career is being able to impress at job interviews. I was able to use examples from the Fellowship journey to answer many experience-based questions during such interviews. I could prove that I can successfully pitch a story, manage budgets, work alone as a self-shooting filmmaker, deal with authorities etc.

What is your favourite memory or experience from your time as a One World Media Fellow?
As a Fellow I came to Moscow to produce a short documentary about a radio station where the DJs are all people with mental health issues. I had return tickets, a place to stay, my camera, a filming permission from a psychiatric hospital… and the fear that I would not be able to form a good connection with radio DJs!

For our first meeting in the hospital, I brought some scones, jam and English tea all the way from London. I set up the table, said “hi” and… everyone started to laugh! They joked, “it’s our ‘Madness 5 o’clock tea party'”. I will always remember that moment – I felt a ‘click’, the ice was broken.

 

Verity Ratcliffe

Oil markets reporter, Bloomberg News

One World Media Fellow, 2013

What have you been up to since the Fellowship?
The award supported me in my first radio package. I’ve since done another package for BBC World Service from Egypt (which I would not have had the courage to do had I not done the first one in Mozambique!)

Why do you think it is important to support new voices to cover international stories?
When you cover a region for a while it can be easy to miss stories that might appeal to audiences in other regions because you think ‘yes, but everybody knows about that’. Often people don’t! It can sometimes take a fresh pair of eyes to identify a story. The reporter might tell the story in a very different way too.

What is your favourite memory or experience from your time as a One World Media Fellow?
I really struggled to find good case studies for the radio package. I had less than two weeks in Maputo to gather everything for the radio piece and several print stories. I was so worried I wouldn’t find the right people. My best memory is of the day when all the key interviewees came through for me and I realised I could deliver the package. It’s been nearly 6 years and I still remember the relief!

 


 

The One World Media Fellowship supports new talent from around the world to produce engaging and creative media in developing countries. Applications are open until Wednesday 10 April.
Apply now