A Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) alumna will spend 2024 on a year-long investigation after being named an investigative journalist fellow by the Bertha Foundation.
Dahaba Ali Hussen started her career in 2020 by using a JDF bursary to study for her NCTJ Diploma in Journalism on a fast-track course with PA Training.
She is one of seven journalists around the world to win one of the investigative journalism fellowships, which means the Bertha Foundation will fund her to work on a project throughout 2024.
She will investigate how disinformation and hate campaigns against land defenders in Brazil, the Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia and Nigeria have exacerbated the destruction of ecosystems that are vital to the environment.
Her host organisation – openDemocracy – will receive and administer the fellowship award and project funds.
She said: “I am slightly apprehensive because 12 months is a long time and it’s going to be quite a challenge, but I have been developing the idea for a year so I am ready.”
The Bertha Foundation is an organisation which supports activists, storytellers and lawyers working to bring about social and economic justice.
Other recipients of the award for 2024 are based around the world, including in Peru, Nigeria, Indonesia, Italy and Ukraine.
Dahaba has achieved a lot in the years since she achieved her NCTJ diploma, including working with the Financial Times, ITV, the BBC, The Guardian and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
She has also launched a current affairs talk show on Voices Radio.
“Without the JDF I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am today, and not so quickly,” Dahaba said. “That’s why the JDF is so invaluable.”
The JDF awards bursaries to people from diverse backgrounds who need help funding their NCTJ journalism training.
Since it was set up in 2005, the JDF has awarded more than 500 bursaries.
Nikki Akinola, senior diversity and inclusion co-ordinator at the NCTJ, said: “We’d like to send a big congratulations to Dahaba for this achievement.
“The JDF helps talented aspiring journalists, who may not otherwise have the chance, get their foot in the door in the industry.
“We are proud to have supported these recipients who, like Dahaba, are now making their mark through their brilliant work.”
The scheme is open to people studying for the Diploma in Journalism either as a standalone qualification or as part of a master’s degree course.
Since 2018, in addition to the financial support they receive, all JDF recipients have been paired with a working journalist to mentor them during their studies.
Find out more about the JDF here.