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Rappler, JNBF accept 13 journalists for Aries Rufo, #FactsMatter fellowships

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Rappler, JNBF accept 13 journalists for Aries Rufo, #FactsMatter fellowships
(1st UPDATE) Eight of 13 fellows successfully complete the program.

MANILA, Philippines – Rappler, in partnership with the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation (JNBF), granted fellowships to five community journalists, five campus journalists, and three Southeast Asian journalists.

This group of fellows marks the third cycle of the Aries Rufo Journalism and #FactsMatter Journalism fellowship programs since their launch in 2022.

These fellowship hybrid programs (online and on-site) aim to equip participants with the tools necessary to tell impactful stories and combat disinformation, both locally and internationally. At least 17 fellows have completed the Aries Rufo fellowship, while five have gone through the #FactsMatter fellowship program.

The Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship was designed for campus journalists to be given an opportunity to be mentored by veteran journalists in local newsrooms, and for community-based journalists across the country to further hone their craft.

The #FactsMatter fellowship, on the other hand, gives Southeast Asian journalists the opportunity to better understand digital media, their impact on conversations about critical issues, how these could be manipulated, and how this manipulation can be prevented. 

Running for four months, the fellows are expected to work on community-related stories and write fact-check articles on a regular basis, and submit an in-depth or investigative story related to disinformation, media, technology, and society as a final requirement of the program.

Two community journalists from Mindanao, two from the Visayas, and one from Luzon were selected for the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship awards. They are the following: 

  • Wenilyn Sabalo – SunStar Cebu (Cebu City, Cebu)
  • Joseph Ben Deveza – Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental)
  • Ivy Marie Mangadlao – Mindanews (Butuan City, Agusan del Norte)
  • Rowel Montes – Sunshine Online News (Tacloban City, Leyte)
  • Gerardo Jr Reyes – Palawan Daily News (Puerto Princesa City, Palawan)

This is also the first time that the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship is welcoming at least five campus journalists into the program. Two of them are based in Luzon, two are from the Visayas, and one from Mindanao. They are the following:

  • Chris Burnet Ramos – The Communicator, Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Manila, Metro Manila) 
  • Lance Arevada – Matanglawin Ateneo, Ateneo de Manila University (Binangonan, Rizal)
  • Brian Jay Baybayan – The Papyrus, Mindanao State University-General Santos City (President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat)
  • Jerry Yubal – Amaranth, Visayas State University (La Paz, Leyte)
  • Jed Nykolle Harme – Eamigas Publication, Explained PH Aklan, Aklan State University-Main Campus (Kalibo, Aklan)

Three Southeast Asian journalists were chosen for the #FactsMatter Fellowship:

  • Chanapat Komlongharn – The Nation (Thailand)
  • Jonathan James Meadley – Laotian Times (Laos) 
  • Fiona Tan – Mothership (Singapore)

The selected fellows showcased potential for investigative reporting and commitment to addressing critical issues in their respective regions. Their training sessions, both online and on-site, at the Rappler office in Manila, will cover a wide range of topics that will help fellows understand and address disinformation, as well as do public interest journalism.

These 13 fellows are set to begin their fellowship this November 2023 until March 2024.

Editor’s note: For this batch of fellows, at least 8 of 13 fellows graduated from the program. Here’s the list of fellows who successfully completed their fellowships: 

#FactsMatter Fellowship for international journalists

  • Fiona Tan 
  • Chanapat Komlongharn
  • Jonathan James Meadley

Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship for community journalists

  • Wenilyn Sabalo
  • Ivy Marie Mangadlao

Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship for campus journalists

  • Jed Nykolle Harme
  • Lance Arevada
  • Jerry Yubal Jr.


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