MSF Media Fellowship 2018

MSF invites applications for  MSF Media Fellowship 2018 that is aimed at journalists who wish to report on issues related to access to essential medicines as a public health concern.

The MSF Media Fellowship 2018 will have cross-national coverage on access to life-saving medicines focusing on India and South Africa.


About MSF

Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters and exclusion from healthcare in more than 65 countries. 

MSF currently provides free medical care in 11 states. We also respond to natural disasters and other emergencies and advocate for the development of more effective and affordable medicines to improve access to treatment for patients across the world. We currently run projects in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Telangana and Jharkhand.

MSF has worked in India since 1999, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare to people in remote areas, and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, drug-resistant tuberculosis patients, communities affected by kala azar and sexual and gender-based violence. We also advocate for the development of more effective and affordable medicines to improve access to treatment forpeople everywhere. 

Our actions are guided by the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. We offer assistance based solely on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. We do not take sides in a conflict. We can do this because of our independence, assured by the fact that a majority of our funds comes from private sources


About The Fellowship

The MSF Media Fellowship will fully fund reporting assignments for one journalist who can demonstrate the potential for incisive and original reporting on public health and medical humanitarian issues that are concerns for MSF.

The organisation will provide access to MSF field work, advocacy and research material to the fellow. The 2018 MSF Media Fellowship will have cross-national coverage on access to life saving medicines focusing on India and South Africa.



The MSF Access Campaign advocates for the development of more effective and affordable medicines to improve access to and the development of life-saving and life prolonging medicines, diagnostic tests and vaccines for patients in MSF programmes and beyond.Two major challenges to access to healthcare for patients are the high cost of medicines and the absence of appropriate treatments for many diseases including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis C and neglected diseases including Chagas disease, sleeping sickness and kala azar. 

As the ‘pharmacy of the developing world,’ India plays a vital role in improving access to affordable generic medicines across the developing world. Safeguarding and strengthening policies that protect India’s production and export of generic medicines is crucial in ensuring that developing countries across the world continue to have access to affordable generic medicines.Due to competition stemming from Indian generics, the price of medicines to treat diseases such as HIV, TB, and cancer are down by more than 90 per cent from the actual price. 

India is the source of 80% of the HIV medicines used in MSF projects. Without these life saving, affordable medicines, it would have been impossible to scale up treatment to the levels seen today. Several of India’s BRICS peers including South Africa are now looking to reform their own laws along the lines of India’s patent policy reform of 2005. 

With this backdrop, the fellows are expected to explore the intersection of  Indian generic drugs with the world, specifically South Africa – which is at the heart of legal battles on intellectual property between pharmaceutical companies and middle-income countries seeking access to affordable medicines for their people. The reporting should draw links between Intellectual Property laws, trade agreements, patents and how these impact patients and policies in India and South Africa. Reporting by the fellows should aim to increase the public consciousness on these critical issues.  


Duration and Funding

The Fellowship will last for a period of one month. The selected fellow will receive funding which will support research, travel, visa, accomodation, meals, fixers/interpreter. The Fellowship fund will be disbursed in installments. It is mandatory to produce and submit original bills for all expenditure incurred during the course of the fellowship. 



Professional journalists, including freelancers, working in print, television or digital media in India.Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of four years of professional experience in writing on health, the pharmaceutical industry, public policy and/or related issues. Journalists with other focus areas are also encouraged to apply, and will need to submit a statement of purpose highlighting why they are best suited for the fellowship. Journalists working for English and/or national language publication in India are eligible to apply to the MSF Media Fellowship.


Expected Deliverables

  • Print/Online: Minimum of 3 articles (500 words each) or 1 long-form story (2000 words) on the topic in the publication they are working for within three months of completion of Fellowship.
  • Multimedia: 2 Articles (500 words each) accompanied by multimedia content like video, data visualizations, photostory, illustrations
  • Television: 1 feature length documentary (20-30 Min) or 3 Television news stories
  • Fellows are expected to speak about their experience to the larger MSF India office and other stakeholders after the completion of the Fellowship.
  • The fellows must acknowledge the support of Medecins Sans Frontieres Media fellowship when they publish or present the articles or reports they produce under the fellowship elsewhere.
  • Once selected, the fellows will have to attend an orientation/briefing at MSF India office in New Delhi  to understand and familiarise themselves with the requirements of this fellowship.
  • All copyright for news  stories will remain with the publications, however, MSF reserves the right to share and publish all articles on relevant websites and blogs.


What MSF Will Offer: 

  • Briefings from MSF experts on medical humanitarian principles and our work 
  • Briefings from other MSF experts—based on the topic chosen.
  • Access to field and facilitation of the journalist for a pre-decided time frame  


Application Requirements

Interested journalists should send  the following the documents with their application

  • Resume not more than 2 pages
  • A proposal demonstrating initial research and story angles outlining their possible focus area while in South Africa and how it is linked to India (700-word proposal)
  • Letter of recommendation from professional referee (other than editor) detailing the applicant’s journalistic abilities and aptitude for the fellowship.
  • Two samples of previously published work. If the work is in regional language, please provide English translation.
  • Applicants must provide a ‘letter of support’ from the editor of their current employer/editor assuring Fellows time/leave for 4 weeks and agreeing to publish the articles written by the Fellows in their publication. Freelancers must also provide a supporting letter from the editor of a publication agreeing to use the articles 
  • Statement of purpose explaining the motivation for writing on this topic.
    “Why do you want to do the MSF Fellowship and how do you see it benefiting your career?” (500 words)
  • Applicants should have a valid passport 


  • All applications will be evaluated by MSF as well as an external jury member
  • MSF reserves the right to not award any fellowships if applications do not meet a basic minimum standard.
  • All decisions taken by MSF will be final


Application Submission and Deadline

Thank you for your interest but the application window is now closed

In case of any queries, please get in touch with:

Aditi Sonrexa, Media Manager

+91 9650061067


Learn more about recipients of MSF Media Fellowship 2016

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