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Open to African Journalists: The Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship (NY, USA)

16 May 2012
Open to African Journalists: The Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship (NY, USA)
Deadline: 20 July 2012

(Note: Approximately half of the previous Fellowship participants are based in North America, with the balance drawn from Central and South America, Europe, the Asia Pacific region, Africa and the Mideast.)

The Dart Center Ochberg Fellowship is a unique seminar program for mid-career journalists who want to deepen their knowledge of emotional trauma and psychological injury, and improve reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy.

Reporting responsibly and credibly on violence or traumatic events — on street crime and family violence, natural disasters and accidents, war and genocide — is a great challenge. Since 1999 the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has offered the annual Ochberg Felliowships to outstanding midcareer journalists interesting in exploring these critical issues.

Fellows attend an intensive weeklong program of seminars and discussions held at Columbia University in New York City. Program activities include background briefings by prominent interdisciplinary experts in the trauma and mental health fields; conversations with journalist colleagues on issues of ethics, craft and other aspects of professional practice; and a host of other opportunities for intellectual engagement and peer learning.

This year’s program will begin Monday, October 22 and conclude Friday, October 26, 2012.

The Fellowship is led by a core faculty of prominent journalists and mental health professionals associated with the Dart Center, along with a wide range of visiting faculty. Some recent visiting Fellowship faculty have included:
  • Judith Lewis Herman, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and author of Trauma and Recovery.
  • Jonathan Shay, M.D. Ph.D., Clinical Psychiatrist, MacArthur Fellow and author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America.
  • Chicago “violence interrupter” Eddie Bocanegra with Alex Kotlowitz, producer of the documentary film “The Interrupters” and author, There Are No Children Here.
  • Jessica Stern, author of Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill and Denial: A Memoir of Terror.
  • Steven Southwick, M.D., Glenn H. Greenberg Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine and co-author, Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges.

The Fellowship was established in 1999 by the Dart Center in partnership with the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.The fellowship is named in honor of psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, M.D., a pioneer in trauma study.

The Ochberg Fellowship covers all travel, accommodations and other expenses directly related to program participation. The program does not cover costs related to visas, health insurance or ground transportation in fellows’ home cities.


Dart Center Ochberg Fellowships are open to outstanding mid-career journalists working across all media.

Past Fellows have ranged from small-town and regional general-assignment and crime reporters to war photographers and foreign correspondents for international news organizations. Applicants’ work must demonstrate journalistic excellence and a strong track record of covering violence and its impact on individuals, families or communities.

Fellowships are open to print, broadcast and online reporters, photographers, editors and producers with no fewer than five years’ full-time journalism experience.

All fellowship seminars are conducted in English. Fellows must be fluent in spoken English to participate in the program.


This year's application deadline is July 20, 2012. Selected fellows will be notified by August 20, 2012.

To apply, please complete the online Ochberg Fellowship Application and submit it electronically, as described. A letter of interest (no more than one or two pages in length), resume, two samples of work and two letters of recommendation are required for the application. Instructions for uploading are included with the application.

Note: Application materials must be submitted in English. If your journalistic work is conducted in a language other than English, please submit two sets of work samples - one in its original language and another in English translation. For non-English audio, video or multimedia, you may submit a translated transcript.


Applicants are reviewed by a judging committee comprised of Dart Center staff, Fellowship core faculty and past Fellows. Selection is not based on any single factor. Among judges' considerations are whether applicants:
  • demonstrate consistent and thoughtful journalistic engagement with issues of violence, conflict, tragedy and their aftermath;
  • have demonstrated journalistic excellence and leadership;
  • will likely benefit personally and professionally from the Fellowship experience and contribute meaningfully to the program.

Other considerations may include geographic and other diversity, and overall group composition.

The judging committee will review applications and select 10-15 fellows for 2012. Selected fellows will be notified by phone and email in mid-August.


For inquiries: direct any queries to Kate Black at kate.black@dartcenter.org

For submissions: apply online here

Website: http://dartcenter.org
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