Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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BuzzFeed Launches Afghan Journalist Fellowship

BuzzFeed News and HuffPost announced today that they launched a one-year fellowship for two Afghan journalists who have recently fled the country in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. The fellowship will provide Afghan journalists with the opportunity to continue working in their chosen field of journalism, cover a broad range of issues, and work closely with the Pulitzer Prize-winning BuzzFeed News and HuffPost teams.

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is forcing countless journalists to flee the country, leaving many talented journalists without security, income, or professional identities. BuzzFeed leadership is proud to offer a massive platform, high caliber editing, and world-class security and legal support to the selected fellows, and to have their experience and expertise help shape both news organization’s global coverage. BuzzFeed News’ and HuffPost leadership is also committed to providing ongoing resources and guidance for fellows who wish to pursue long-term employment opportunities in journalism, including assistance with visa or citizen applications as needed for incoming fellows.

Following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan and the uncertainty facing international journalists, three BuzzFeed team members, Nilla Ali, BuzzFeed SVP of Commerce, Akbar Shahid Ahmed, HuffPost Senior Foreign Affairs Reporter, and Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost Senior Reporter, came up with the idea to create a fellowship program for displaced Afghan journalists.

Their goal was to identify solutions that would have the greatest impact on displaced journalists, and understood that refugees not only face the emotional toll of leaving their security and home behind, but also face the fear of losing their professional identities. Nilla, Akbar, and Jessica wanted to create a program that had a direct impact on journalists from Afghanistan and set a precedent for American companies to give equal consideration to refugees and the talent and unique perspectives they bring to their new countries. They also recognized that our readers benefit from a more diverse newsroom. The team’s quick thinking, creativity and resourcefulness led to the creation of the BuzzFeed News and HuffPost Afghan Journalist Fellowship.

Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed commented, “At a time of great international confusion and concern, BuzzFeed is committed to supporting journalists who have been displaced, while also championing global news. BuzzFeed News and HuffPost produce world-class journalism because of the dedication and talent of our journalists, editors and entire newsroom. We hope to bring Afghan journalists into the BuzzFeed News and HuffPost teams to foster their talent, expand their reach and deepen our coverage.”

Mark Schoofs, BuzzFeed News Editor In Chief commented, “High quality, in-depth journalism relies on the expertise and dedication of reporters across the globe, including the many remarkable journalists in Afghanistan. BuzzFeed News is proud to use our resources to support displaced Afghan journalists, and to bring their knowledge, background, and talent into our newsroom.”

Danielle Belton, HuffPost Editor In Chief commented, “Our Fellowship will provide a platform and institutional support for journalists who have fled Afghanistan, and will allow them to continue reporting on their preferred topics with the help of the extraordinary team at HuffPost. During this tumultuous time, we are committed to uplifting the voices and experiences of Afghan journalists.”

BuzzFeed’s Afghan Journalist Fellowship applications can be found here:

International Applications: Afghan Journalist Fellow, BuzzFeed News and HuffPost

United States Applications: Afghan Journalist Fellow, BuzzFeed News and HuffPost

BuzzFeed Afghanistan Relief Fund

BuzzFeed is also committed to supporting relief efforts in Afghanistan through the BuzzFeed Afghanistan Relief Fund. BuzzFeed is fundraising in partnership with GoFundMe.org, an independent charity that partners with GoFundMe.com for charitable fundraising purposes. The fundraiser will tap into the power of our audience to raise awareness and donations for community-led organizations on the ground providing relief for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The fund is available at gofundme.com/buzzfeed, and contributions will be tax-deductible.

About BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is the world’s leading tech-powered, diversified media company that reaches hundreds of millions of people globally through its cross-platform news and entertainment network. The company produces articles, lists, quizzes, videos, and original series; lifestyle content through brands including Tasty, the world’s largest social food network; original reporting and investigative journalism through BuzzFeed News and HuffPost; an industry-leading affiliate business, strategic partnerships, licensing and product development through BuzzFeed Commerce; and original productions across broadcast, cable, SVOD, film and digital platforms for BuzzFeed Studios.

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