Application details for Sasakawa USA’s Journalism Fellowship 2017


June 12, 2017

Note: Applications have closed for the “Illuminating Today’s Japan for American Audiences” program for 2017. 

The Sasakawa USA Journalism Fellowship offers an opportunity for U.S.-based journalists to travel to Japan and conduct field reporting that delves deep into the economic, social, cultural, environmental, and energy-policy challenges facing the country.

Although the world is interconnected as never before, international news coverage is likely at an all-time low. As important as Japan is in the constellation of U.S. relationships abroad, Japan’s appearances in the news reflect neither its global importance nor that of the Japan-U.S. relationship. This program will help to make independent coverage of neglected issues possible. As a result of this program, American audiences will receive fresh, innovative coverage of topics that highlight Japan.

In its second year, Sasakawa USA again is partnering with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to administer the fellowship as part of ICFJ’s “Illuminating Today’s Japan for American Audiences” program. The program will select one U.S.-based journalist to participate in a 19-day reporting trip in Japan throughout fall 2017, fully sponsored by Sasakawa USA. The participating journalist will work with an experienced Japanese interpreter and fixer, and is expected to dig into the economic, social, cultural, environmental and energy-policy challenges facing the country.

PHASE 1: Program Orientation: Late August/early September 2017

Before the selected journalist travels to Japan to begin reporting, ICFJ program staff, the participant and the Japanese fixer and interpreter will convene in a series of web conferences using Google Hangout. These opportunities will acquaint the journalist with one another and the Japanese interpreter-fixer who will assist him/her during his/her 19-day reporting tour. The sessions will also offer an opportunity to discuss the journalist’s story ideas, suggest ways to fine-tune his/her approach, determine his/her travel schedule, and identify key people to interview. ICFJ program staff will assist with travel arrangements, visas and other logistics. Orientation will take place in September 2017.

PHASE 2: Individual Travel and Tour: mid-September – December 2017

After the orientation program, the journalist will depart for his/her 19-day reporting tour accompanied by an experienced Japanese reporter and journalist. The participant will work with the Japanese expert to organize necessary meetings and plan travel around Japan.

PHASE 3: Return and completion of reporting: December 2017 – March 2018

After the American journalist returns home, s/he will complete his/her story for publication or broadcast. ICFJ will use its own website to promote the stories. The journalist is expected to publicize his/her story via social media and professional connections.

The applicant’s topics for reporting must be in line with the objectives of the fellowship:

• Increase media coverage of key issues in the US-Japan alliance
• Educate members of the media on important issues in Japan and their connection to the U.S.
• Bridge the gap between local U.S. cities/industries and Japan

Applicants must have a guarantee that at least one report or article will be broadcasted/published by U.S. media.

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