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Former Wincott fellows share touching tributes to Reuters Institute experience

27 May 2016

A collection of essays by former Wincott fellows, recounting their experiences in Oxford as part of the Reuters Institute fellowship programme has been published online.The collection was commissioned to commemorate the fellowship’s 20 year period, from 1995-2015 during which it sponsored 38 selected journalists from the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The ambition for the fellowship was to provide the transitioning countries with well-informed journalists, capable of reporting and analysing economic issues as they moved towards becoming fully-functioning market economies. In 2015, the trustees decided it was time for a new focus for the fellowship, and resources were directed to sub-Saharan Africa, where there is also a demand and need for high-quality economic journalism. As a result, the Eastern European programme was brought to an end, and the new African programme introduced. To mark the end of the 20 year Eastern European programme, former fellows were invited to reflect on their experiences at the Reuters Institute, and the impact it had on their future careers. The responses give insight into the specific challenges faced by journalists in some of the ex-Communist countries. As well as the global challenges as media organisations worldwide seek to handle the transition from print to digital, the essays reveal journalists in these countries tackling challenges of independence and pressure from political forces and business owners. The collection of essays has been published on the Wincott Foundation’s website, along with an introduction by Sir Geoffrey Owen, former Chairman of the Wincott Foundation.