International Center for Journalists

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Completed Evaluation
Author Organization
Philliber Research Associates
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Journalism & Media Innovation

Eric Newton discusses the findings of the ICFJ grant assessment.


To advance journalism excellence and free expression worldwide through a redesigned, project-based Knight International Journalism Fellowship (ICFJ) program. As part of the fellowship, international media professionals work in partnership with local organizations to promote reliable, insightful journalism that improves the quality and free flow of news in the public interest around the world.


Key Questions

•    What outcomes have been produced by inpidual fellows in the program?

•    To what extent has ICFJ support and the program redesign helped fellows improve their ultimate effectiveness?

•    What lessons about developing strong partnerships with local news organizations have been learned that could be applied to media development and training programs elsewhere?

Approach: The evaluation gathered survey and interview data from the staff of partner media organizations, fellows, and select ICFJ staff.  In addition, the evaluator reviewed fellows’ progress and outcome data collected by ICFJ staff.

Assessment Partner: Philliber Research Associates


•     Program Reach – The program placed 45 fellows in 37 countries.  ICFJ estimates that fellows trained more than 4,100 journalists and media managers, just short of the 4,800 estimated. Of the 4,100 trained, ICFJ estimates 150 were trained as trainers in nearly 30 countries.

•     Fellow Impact – Fellows created 5 journalism schools or academic programs, 16 journalism associations and organizations , 15 news sections/ programs, and 11 manuals in 12 languages. ICFJ recorded major improvements in government policies in response to stories by trainees.

•     Sustainability – The program attracted nearly $7 million in alternative funding since 2007 from a multitude of foundations, government programs and private entities. Meanwhile, Knight Fellows have been entrepreneurial in finding alternative sources of funding for their projects to expand their activities or prolong their involvement.

Projects discussed in this publication

About our Journalism & Media Innovation focus area

Our goal at Knight Foundation is to preserve the best aspects of journalism and use innovation to expand the impact of information in the digital age.

About our Grant Assessments methodology

As part of our grant making process, program teams work with grantees to establish indicators that will be tracked to provide feedback on project implementation and outcomes. In certain cases, we also partner with grantees to conduct in-depth third-party evaluations to understand the effectiveness and impact of specific projects.