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Reuters Fellows mark quarter century

Reuters Fellows old and new gathered at Oxford University for a weekend of lectures, seminars and socialising to mark the 25th anniversary of the Reuters Foundation Fellowship Programme which brings journalists from around the world to study at the renowned seat of learning. Some of the journalists had flown in specially from Africa and Asia.

First event on 26 September was a lecture by Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of The New York Times. He spoke of the economic and democratic challenges the Internet posed to the media at a time when the global audience for news is growing.

That was followed by dinner for more than 150 people at Lady Margaret Hall, down the road from the mansion on Norham Gardens where the new Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) - successor to the Foundation’s original Oxford Fellowship Programme - is centred.

Saturday saw seminars on the future of journalism in Africa, a “Moral Maze” debate on whether good journalism is in crisis and a lively, wide-ranging Fellows Symposium (pictured above) looking at coverage of the year’s major stories. 

It ended with a garden party in rare late-summer sunshine in the gardens of Green Templeton College bringing together not only the fellows but also some of the past luminaries of the programme including its founders Michael Nelson and Neville Maxwell, former directors Godfrey Hodgson and Paddy Coulter and the newly appointed  director of the RISJ, David Levy, former controller of public policy at the BBC. Past and present directors of the Reuters Foundation including Steve Somerville and the present CEO Monique Villa were also there.

The RISJ programme offers Oxford fellowships to mid-career journalists, including those from developing countries, to study media-related issues which it is hoped will benefit them and their communities. ■