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Indian American-led foundation to fund fellowship for Indian journalists

Washington, Dec 14 (IANS) A foundation started by prominent Indian-American IT entrepreneur Frank Islam and his wife Debbie Driesman will fund a fellowship in the US for a mid-career journalist from India for six months in 2017.

The Frank Islam & Debbie Driesman Foundation, whose mission is to promote education, art and culture and peace and conflict-resolution, is joining hands with Alfred Friendly Press Partners, a leader in transforming journalists from information hungry societies, for the fellowship .

The Frank Islam & Debbie Driesman Fellow will work in a major newsroom in Washington, DC, for five months after undergoing a five-week training programme at the Missouri School of. Journalism in Columbia, Missouri.

During the roughly six-month programme, the FIDD Fellow will:

* gain experience in reporting, writing, editing, and editorial decision-making that will enhance professional performance;

* secure a practical understanding of the function and significance of the free press in American society;

* acquire first-hand knowledge of the industry’s technological advances; and

* develop the skills to transfer knowledge to colleagues at home in India.

Frank Islam, President of the Frank Islam & Debbie Driesman Foundation, stated: “Our foundation is proud to join hands with AFPP to support this fellowship. Debbie and I consider the fellowship a strategic investment in the free press.”

“Over the past three decades, AFPP has trained 15 world class journalists from India who have gone on to become leaders in the field. It is our earnest belief that the FIDD Fellow will continue that tradition.”

Randall D. Smith, President of the Alfred Friendly Press Partners, stated:

“We are especially delighted to welcome Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman to our fold.”

“Support such as theirs is the reason that we’ve been able to train more than 300 journalists from 90 different countries for over 30 years.”

“Debbie and Frank are ambassadors for democracy and they understand the critical importance of a free press. Their investment will impact countless lives in ways that can’t yet be imagined. That’s the potential of quality journalism,” Smith added.

The AFPP will administer the fellowship. A candidate who has three years of professional experience as a journalist and is currently employed as a journalist by an independent news media organization in India can apply for the fellowship by contacting the AFPP, the Foundation said.

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