Application Deadline: 11:59 PM January 8, 2016.
The WITNESS Media Lab is dedicated to advancing the use of eyewitness video in human rights documentation and advocacy. It does this by curating citizen videos to enhance understanding and awareness of particular issues, as well as sharing resources and leading conversations on ethical and effective video curation for advocacy.
The WITNESS Media Lab Curation Fellowship is designed to give a promising journalist, activist, or documentarian the opportunity to conduct innovative human rights reporting and advocacy by bridging citizen footage with human rights methodology.
The fellow will conduct research and compile a report on a human rights story primarily using eyewitness video (often called “citizen journalism” or “user-generated content”). The report will be shared on lab.witness.org and potentially by media or advocacy partners. The fellow will also document the process and share challenges, strategies, and learnings on the WITNESS Media Lab blog.
Finally, the fellow will work to engage with target audiences around the report, its findings, and its methodology.
The fellow will be supervised by the WITNESS Media Lab Program Manager, and will work with other WITNESS employees and possibly with external partners.
- The fellowship is open to beginning to mid-career journalists, activists, and documentarians to pursue a specific project that tells a human rights story using eyewitness video.
- Applicants should have a background in human rights, knowledge of the issue they propose to report on, an ability to research and present a story in a compelling way, and an appreciation for the opportunities and challenges of using eyewitness video to document the story.
- They should have an understanding of advocacy or include in their proposal a partnership with an advocacy organization.
Individuals from communities underrepresented in the field of international human rights advocacy are strongly encouraged to apply.
- The fellowship will take place at WITNESS’s Brooklyn office for 15 weeks beginning in early 2016.
- Fellows will receive a stipend of $11,250, funding to travel to WITNESS offices, and a small budget for research, reporting, and design of the project.
Please pay close attention to the following components required of the application, and submit them according to details below. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Read the FAQs before completing your application.
1. Resume (no more than 2 pages)
2. Why you? (500 words max)
- Why does this fellowship speak to you? Why should we be confident you are up to the challenge of implementing an innovative human rights documentation and advocacy project?
3. Project Proposal (1000 words max or 4 minute video)
- Describe the story or issue you plan to report on, and how you plan to curate citizen footage. While we will work with the selected fellow to shape the design of the project, give us a sense that you have thought through the following questions:
- What role does citizen video play in documenting the issue, and how will you find and verify that footage? (If possible, provide a link to footage online to give us a sense of what it is.)
- How do you intend to curate the footage in a way that enhances awareness or understanding of the issue?
- Do you plan to use any special tools, platforms, or strategies to contextualize, verify, and/or present the videos?
- What challenges do you foresee in finding, verifying, and contextualizing the footage, and how will you address those challenges?
4. Advocacy (400 words max)
- Describe how your project will support advocacy efforts around the issue. Who is the intended audience for the footage and how will it reach them? We expect a thoughtful consideration of the needs and challenges of advocacy around the issue and the potential for this project to be used by human rights advocates.
5. Work Samples
- Provide links to two examples of your work. Each example must be described in 300 words or less including:
- an overview of the project,
- your role (*if you worked as part of a team, clearly state your individual contributions),
- the project’s objective, and
- the challenges you faced.
- Provide names, titles, emails and phone numbers to two professional references.
- A complete application will be one single file, preferably in a .doc or .docx format. The third question only–the project proposal–can be answered in video form instead of a typed response. If you prefer to respond in a video, upload a video no longer than 4 minutes to YouTube and include a link to it in your application.
- Send the application as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with WITNESS Media Lab Curation Fellowship as the subject line.
- One email per applicant please. Applications are due no later than 11:59 PM January 8, 2016.
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