Bringing displaced journalists into the newsroom: A guide by the Refugee Journalism Project

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This toolkit is an informed resource for media organisations seeking to support, employ or deliver projects with those who have a background of forced migration.

With the right support, refugee journalists can thrive in a new country – and enrich the organisations they work with. We’re here to help you take your first steps in the process.
about the toolkit
Since 2016, the Refugee Journalism Project (RJP) has supported displaced and exiled journalists and media workers to rebuild their careers. Based in London, RJP helps people to network and connect with the UK industry by updating their skills and identifying publishing opportunities, freelance work and jobs.

To date, RJP has worked with more than 70 people, from 20 different countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, Ukraine, China, Eritrea, Syria and Sudan. Some of the participants have gone on to win journalism awards, had their work published in national media outlets, or gained employment at global organisations. These include the BBC, the Guardian, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Bloomberg.

From the start, the team at the Refugee Journalism Project have received numerous requests to share our expertise with organisations hoping to deliver similar initiatives.

Now we can. We have developed this toolkit to provide information and guidance for individuals, organisations and educators seeking to work with or employ displaced journalists as freelancers, contractors or permanent staff.
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Our Stories
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Abubakr Bashir
Abubakr Bashir was born in Libya and moved to the Gaza Strip when he was young. He spent over two decades in the country, first as an English literature student, then as a teacher and translator, and finally as a journalist.
read Abubakr’s story
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Dr. Kate Porterfield
Clinical Psychologist
Based at the Bellevue Hospital, New York, on the Program for Survivors of Torture, Dr. Kate Porterfield supports journalists who face trauma, including those reporting from conflict zones.
read Kate’s story
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Clothilde Redfern
Director | Rory Peck Trust
Clothilde Redfern is director of the Rory Peck Trust, an international non-profit dedicated to the support, safety and welfare of freelance journalists worldwide. The Trust offers financial assistance through its crisis fund, therapy fund and training bursaries along with webinars on the business of freelancing, resilience and wellbeing.
read Clothilde's story
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Zahra Shaheer
Zahra Shaheer was a well-known journalist and news presenter in Afghanistan. An ethnic Tajik from Kabul, she was one of the country’s first female news anchors to present in the Dari language.
read Zahra’s story
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Melissa Pozsgay
Senior Editor | Bloomberg News
Melissa Pozsgay is a senior editor at Bloomberg, working on training and mentoring.
read Melissa’s story
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Temesghen Debesai
News Producer | BBC World Service
In 1998 new graduate Temesghen Debesai fell into a journalism career in Eritrea when he was head-hunted to set up the country’s first English-language television service. He became a well-known TV news anchor but fled his country in 2006 to escape the dictatorship and forced military service.
read Temesghen’s story
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Naomi Larsson Piñeda
Former Political Editor | gal-dem
Naomi was the Political Editor for online and print publication gal-dem. The organisation hosted a RJP Fellow in 2022. She has also been a mentor for the Refugee Journalism Project.  
read Naomi’s story
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Osama Gaweesh
Former Political Activist
A political activist in Egypt, Osama Gaweesh was forced to leave in 2013 after a military coup and the subsequent massacre at Rabaa al-Adawiya square. He fled to Turkey with his family but was put on a terrorist list and was arrested at Ataturk airport in 2018.
read Osama’s story
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Houda Fansa Jawadi
Digital Storyteller and Content Creator
Houda Fansa Jawadi is a Syrian-Algerian urban storyteller. She spent most of her life in Syria, where she studied architecture before completing a Master’s in urban sustainable development.
read Houda’s story
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Emma Jones
Project Manager | The Guardian Foundation
Emma Jones is a project manager at the Guardian Foundation, which aims to promote global press freedom by curating programmes and working with researchers to shape the news industry worldwide.
read Emma's story
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Douna Haj Ahmad
Journalist Douna Haj Ahmad was born in Syria. Aged 16, she began volunteering with a local organisation supporting women and early childhood. After the uprising of 2011, Douna started writing and reporting on the Syrian revolution and human rights.
read Douna’s story
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