The International Women’s Media Foundation has selected Priyanka Borpujari, an independent journalist based in Mumbai, as the 2012-13 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow.
Borpujari is the eighth recipient of the annual fellowship, which gives a woman journalist working in print, broadcast or online media the opportunity to build skills while focusing exclusively on human rights journalism and social justice issues. She was chosen from a pool of 85 candidates; runners-up were Lin Meilian of China, a senior reporter and war-zone correspondent for the Global Times; and Nada Alwadi of Bahrain, an independent journalist.
Reacting to the development, Borpujari said, “I am excited about my time as an IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow as it will sharpen my journalistic skills, which would go a long way in my tryst to uncover the many ignored realities of India.”
Borpujari has worked as a reporter for six years for publications including Mumbai Mirror, The Asian Age and exchange4media.com. Since launching her freelance career three years ago, she has focused on the plight of indigenous groups that are being systematically displaced from their land. She reported on the ways in which indigenous populations in the state of Chhattisgarh were being caught in a war between a government keen on displacing them to make way for mines and factories and armed Maoists.
Beginning in September, Borpujari will spend the seven-month fellowship as a research associate in residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. She will also complete internships at The Boston Globe and The New York Times.
The fellowship is named for Elizabeth Neuffer, a Boston Globe reporter and the winner of a 1998 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award who was killed while on assignment in Iraq in 2003.
Founded in 1990, the IWMF is the only non-profit organisation working exclusively to strengthen the role of women in news media worldwide.