Persephone Miel Memorial Fellows Announced

Persephone, a long-time employee of Internews who passed away in June 2010, wanted to be remembered by a fellowship that would help media professionals outside the United States report on their home countries and bring their work to a broader international audience.

The Persephone Miel Fellowship provides $7,500 to an international journalist to report on a systemic global issue in their home country. Fellows also receive editorial, multi-media, and outreach support from the Pulitzer Center, to extend the reach of their stories.

“We are so proud to see Persephone’s passionate belief in the power of independent information realized through these Fellows,” said Marjorie Rouse, Internews Senior Vice President for Programs. “I know she would be thrilled by the issues they are investigating, and their commitment to bringing their country’s stories to a broader audience.”

Originally, the fellowship was designed to support one journalist per year. However, the Pulitzer Center decided to support the additional two fellows through its own funds this year, due to the quality of applicants. Close to 170 applications were received from all over the world.

The three winners are:

Shivam Vij, a freelance journalist based in Delhi who has worked as a correspondent for Tehelka, Outlook and several other Indian publications. He will produce a multi-part series on the changing nature of India’s caste crisis in a rapidly globalizing society.

Marvaiz Khan, who publishes under the name Shaheen Buneri, is a Pakistani radio journalist who currently works for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Mashaal Radio in Prague. He plans to produce a series of reports on the situation in Pakistan’s Swat Valley two years after the government deployed 25,000 troops to wrest control of the region from the Taliban.

Tariq Mir, a freelance journalist based in Haryana, India, who served as Kashmir Bureau Chief for Times Now, India’s leading 24-hour English news channel, and before that as a senior staff writer for The Indian Express. He will report from Kashmir on how the Sufi tradition of Islam, for seven centuries a force for moderation and spiritual co-existence in the region, is now being challenged by a much more doctrinaire and militant strain of Islam imported from Saudi Arabia.

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