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Reporting on Malaria in Africa - Thomson Reuters Foundation

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Application deadline: 28 July | Programme: Reporting Malaria

Thomson Reuters Foundation is delighted to offer African journalists, who are motivated to report on malaria, the opportunity to take part in a new remote training initiative, Reporting on Malaria in Africa. This remote course will begin on Monday, 10 August and end on Friday, 28 August.

Since the turn of the century, the fight against malaria made tremendous progress and global malaria death rates dropped substantially. Developments in disease prevention and treatments have helped to ease the burden of the disease, but obstacles to reducing malaria incidence persist. After decades of improvement, malaria cases are either flat or increasing again, challenging current approaches and interventions. New tools and innovations are being developed and delivered to rise to this challenge.
In 2018, the WHO estimated there were 228 million cases of malaria worldwide and global deaths tallied at 405,000, with pregnant women and young children most vulnerable to the deadly disease. The WHO African Region represented 93% of cases and 94% of deaths that year. 

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rapidly across the world, now more than ever it is crucial that efforts to control malaria are not undermined. Adding to this crisis, widespread mis- and disinformation present a serious challenge to public access to accurate information about public health crises such as malaria.

As new technologies emerge, new reporting techniques must be employed to accurately report on diseases. Media plays a critical role in creating a sustained and informed discourse on any public health initiative, and to that end has a responsibility to be impartial, responsible and informed. 

Working with journalists across sub-Saharan Africa, this initiative seeks to:

  • Deepen participants’ knowledge of malaria and public health more broadly.  
  • Strengthen journalistic standards and enhance evidence-based reporting skills to help African journalists cover the topic in an accurate and balanced way.
  • Provide intensive technical training and unique insights to participants in how to enhance reporting skills in this field.

The cohort will meet at least twice a week for a live two-hour virtual session with trainers and/or expert speakers to ask questions, share ideas, learn new skills and practice them. All live sessions will be supplemented with extra material. Post-session discussions and feedback on an exclusive forum will extend the learning process.
Journalists who take part must commit to all elements of the scheme, signing an agreement to this effect. These elements include:

  • Remote training on malaria reporting over three-week period. Approximately 6- to 8-hour time commitment on average per week.
  • For selected participants, following the end of the remote course:
    • The production of stories on malaria
    • An editorial support scheme that will help produce these stories


Participants of this course will:

  • Receive training on ethical reporting and standards in health reporting, working with sources, how to search for trusted information and identify fake news, story pitching;
  • Deepen their knowledge of malaria and public health more broadly, covering the impact of malaria on economies, society and efforts by countries to meet SDG targets, health systems, scientific methods, new and innovative approaches of reducing malaria incidence and associated challenges and criticisms, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on malaria-affected countries;
  • Be exposed to expert speakers;
  • Gain access to story ideas and editorial advice and will be invited to share your own expertise with other participants;
  • Propose one or more malaria story ideas that you wish to work on – if you are selected, we will provide experienced journalists to help you pursue your malaria stories right up to publication/broadcast. Selected participants will receive modest funding to help them realise their malaria stories.


We are looking for: 

  • African journalists, based in sub-Saharan Africa, working as staff journalists or regular contributors to English-language media organisations in their respective countries; 
  • Journalists working for a news organisation will need consent from their editor to take part. Freelancers should provide evidence that one or more media organisations will be willing to take their work.
  • Journalists able to commit to the full length of the 3-week course and to spending significant time working on malaria stories in the weeks following the end of the course;
  • Journalists with at least three years of professional experience;
  • It is an advantage if you have health reporting experience, but if you have a strong motivation to learn about malaria and health and report on these issues then we will consider your application;
  • Journalists working in any medium or multiple media are welcome to apply (print, online, radio or television);
  • Journalists applying must have fluent English;
  • Journalists applying must have access to a minimum internet speed of 1 MB/second. (You can check the speed of your device by logging from it on www.speedtest.net).


We are offering small grants to cover internet/data costs. Selected participants will receive modest funding to help them realise their malaria stories.


  • 2 relevant work samples in English. TV/Radio journalists can send in their scripts and a brief summary. 
    • If relevant work samples are in local language, please provide an English translation (if work sample is online, please share link so that we the web page can be translated).
  • A letter from your editor consenting to your participation in the 3-week course and confirming that they will publish any story produced as part of the editorial support scheme should you be selected.
    • For example, the letter should say "I confirm that we will publish any story that may be produced as part of the programme".
    • If the letter from your editor does not explicitly state this, we will not be able to consider your application. 

Please have these ready before you begin the application form. 

Please note that acceptance on the programme does not mean that your story proposal has been approved. If you are accepted, the story proposal will be reviewed before approval.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, 28 July 2020. We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis, please apply as soon as possible. 

Organisers do not provide feedback on rejected applications. 

If you have any difficulties applying, please email 
TRFMedia@thomsonreuters.com with the subject title ‘Reporting on malaria in Africa 2020’ - we cannot guarantee a swift response if this subject line is not quoted.

You can apply by clicking this link.

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