On Monday, August 16, applications for the Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon Scholarship open today. This is the eighth edition of this scholarship, which each year trains ten young journalists and radio technicians from French-speaking Africa. An award bearing the name of our colleagues who were murdered in 2013 while reporting in Kidal, in northern Mali. The selected candidates will first be trained for one month, then the scholarship winners will be welcomed in Paris to continue their training within RFI’s editorial staff. How do you try your luck? Cécile Mégie, Editor-in-Chief of RFI, explains everything to you.
***For those who want to apply, visit our website on the dedicated pagewww.rfi.fr
RFI: For the second year in a row, due to the health crisis linked to the coronavirus, the Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon Scholarships are not organized in a given country.
In fact, this year again, and you said that for health and organizational reasons, we cannot choose a country and say to ourselves that by the end of November 2, we will have organized the Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon Scholarships. To pay tribute to our two murdered reporters.
Once again this year, we decided that the stock exchange is open to 25 countries. So against bad luck, 25 French-speaking African countries may be worried about this call, which is aimed at young professionals, journalists and technicians.
It was not possible to imagine going to one country or another and not be sure of its continuation.
Among these young professionals, can you remind us who can apply?
Applications are open from Monday 16 August to 12 September for all journalists and technicians from 25 French-speaking African countries who have been active for at least two years, and who will be under 35 years of age at the time of application. Those interested will find all information about RFI website. These young people will be selected. Ten journalists, ten technicians, will take part in our training, which will take place from 4 to 22 October.
What does this education really consist of?
It consists in perfecting themselves, as they are young journalists and young technicians who are already active, but who on some tools, such as certain reporting methods, may not yet be fully developed. And then it always feels good to update your knowledge. So too this distance learning, because our coaches, Muriel Pomponne who is the editor-in-chief of RFI and Rachel Locatelli, who is in charge of the education service, have set up an education platform that will be open to our ten journalists. And ten techniques, which they will discuss, they will do a lot of practical work.
They will also learn, even from a distance, to work together. That is, a reporting technician has a special function, the journalist has a different function, and together they create sound elements that satisfy the listeners’ ears. And that is the goal, at the end of these just over two weeks of training in October.
And the scholarship will be awarded to the winner on November 2
November 2 is the day of the murder of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon. And since 2013, it has become the international day against impunity for crimes committed against journalists. On that day, we will nominate the two 2021 laureates of this scholarship, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon. There will have been a few days before a jury, consisting of journalists and RFI officials, but also of our partners, the National Audiovisual Institute for the technical category and the Sciences Po journalism school for journalists.
This jury meets, a winner is chosen in each category. And at the end of these announcements we will welcome, and this time we really hope that the health situation allows it, we welcome in Paris to the RFI editorial staff, the winners in the winter of 2022 to continue their education, and especially to ‘finally meet them , that we can work with them, that they are immersed in our editorial staff.
It has been eight years since RFI established this scholarship for young journalists and young radio technicians. Do we know what happened to the previous winners?
They all work. We have news regularly or episodically depending on each other, but above all it is a real network today. An association initiated by the first Malian laureates has been formed: the association between scholarship students Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon.
By the end of this eighth scholarship, there will be 160 young professionals across the African continent. It is a true pan-African network of professionals, journalists and technicians who can work together. We at RFI also want to initiate projects with them, start businesses together, surveys … For us, it is really a breeding ground for professionalism that is expressed through these 160 young people who will gather from 2 November next.
As you recall, this scholarship was created after the murders of our colleagues Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Kidal in 2013. It is important to remind you here, RFI is always mobilized to shed light on what is happening. It really happened that day.
Yes, of course, RFI is mobilized, has been mobilized from the first days. France Médias Monde, the group, is a civilian party to the investigation. Our journalists also work with the journalistic investigation to try to move on, to find out more, also for the families.
To return to this scholarship, the idea is also that the memory of Ghislaine and Claude should be alive and well. These 160 young people are a testament to the life of Ghislaine and Claude’s memory as very great professionals in RFI.