The 2017 Chevening South Asian Journalism Programme launched this week and this year has welcomed participants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives as well as India and Pakistan. 

The Chevening South Asian Journalism Programme has been running since 2012 bringing senior Indian and Pakistani professionals together at the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design for an intensive eight-week course.

In 2016 Professor Jean Seaton and Professor Rosie Thomas who run the programme successfully won a prestigious contract from the UK Foreign Office to extend the programme to include other countries across the region. For the first time the programme has been opened to journalists from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives journalists, posing an exciting challenge to bring together participants from multiple societies with the different traditions and histories.

This year the University will welcome seven participants from Pakistan, seven from India, two from Sri Lanka, one from Bangladesh and one from The Maldives for the eight week programme designed to help the fellows sharpen their leadership and practical skills through a rigorous academic curriculum and to broaden their networks through interactions with leading UK academics and journalists. The programme will culminate in a symposium which the participants will theme and organise presenting the learning outcomes to a network of journalists from across the UK.

Speaking about the programme, Professor Jean Seaton said: ''We are thrilled to see that the journalists we have interviewed and selected from a hugely competitive field all over South Asia have come to the UK. The project is demanding, we all work very hard, it is important, we all grapple with the role of journalism in holding power to account and it is stimulating and rewarding for all of us. Nowhere could be more exciting than the countries of South Asia.”

Speaking at a pre-departure briefing for participants from Pakistan the Press Attaché and Deputy Head of Communications at the British High Commission, Mr Andrew Cuff said: “The South Asia Journalism Programme is unique for this region and the fellowship is a great professional development opportunity to identify and support the next generation of media leaders from the South Asia region.

“The scholars selected this year are from across Pakistan and represent some of Pakistan’s most highly respected media organisations. I am confident that these journalists will benefit greatly from the UK’s tradition of academic excellence and make positive contributions to the media landscape in Pakistan.

“2017 also marks the 70th Anniversary of UK-Pakistan relations and our Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme is an important part of the great relationship we share with Pakistan.”

The final symposium will take place on 17 May 2017 at the ICA.

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