Open Society Fellowships in Investigative Reporting

Deadline: 21 September 2019
Open to:  BA/MA candidates with at least 2 years of a relevant experience
Benefits: fully funded


A special and exciting new program to develop a new generation of investigative reporters, a partnership between Wits Journalism, Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies and the Open Society Foundation.

Five Open Society Fellowships in Investigative Reporting are available each year for 2019, 2020 and 2021. Each fellowship will last for 18 months, consisting of 12 months’ study, 6 months’ internship and attendance at two international investigative journalism conferences (one in South African and one in the USA/Europe).

Fellows can study either the Wits University BA Hons in Journalism and Media Studies or the MA in Journalism and Media Studies, depending on their previous qualifications and experience. They will also get an accredited certificate from a Rhodes PAMS course, a portfolio of work and letters of recommendation for their internships.

For the BA Hons in Journalism and Media Studies with a specialization in Investigative Journalism, the program will be made up of four courses and a research report:
– Journalism Studies
– Investigative Journalism A
– Data Journalism
– and a choice of one of Video Journalism, Online Journalism, or Photojournalism

For the MA, the program consists of three courses and a research report
– Media and Society
– Investigative Journalism
– Data Journalism

Research report: Based at Rhodes University for a semester, the fellows will do a major investigative project, under individual mentorship, along with a self-critical essay and two articles for publication.

The additional elements will be:
– One international conference chosen from:
– Investigative Reporters and Editors annual Data Journalism Conference in March in the USA
– IRE’s annual Investigative Journalism Conference in June in the USA – (for 2019 and 2021 only)
– The Global Investigative Journalism Conference, 2019 in Hamburg, 2021 venue TBC
– The African Investigative Journalism Conference held every Oct/Nov at Wits
– The Fundamentals of Social Accountability Monitoring course run by PAMS at Rhodes University.


Candidates for the BA Hons must have a minimum of two years of journalism or relevant experience and be eligible for Wits Journalism’s mid-career Honours program: you must either have an undergraduate degree with 65% or better or pass through an RPL entrance test.

Candidates for the MA must have at least two year of journalism or relevant experience and be eligible for Wits Journalism’s MA program: an equivalent of our BA Hons with 65% or better.

This is an affirmative action program and black and female candidates will be favored. Four of the positions will be reserved for South African residents, and the fifth is open to candidates from the African continent.


The Fellowship pays all study and travel costs, as well as a stipend for the 18 months.

How to apply?

Applications for 2020, including a: full CV, supporting documentation and two recommendations, must be sent by September 21, 2019 to

For more information, please visit the official web page