HT journalist selected fellow for AFPP programme

Hindustan Times journalist Gulam Jeelani has been selected 2018 fellow for the prestigious Alfred Friendly Press Partners (AFPP) programme, a media announcement said today.

Jeelani is among the seven journalists from around the world selected for the six-month long Alfred Friendly fellowship programme in the US. The fellowship includes training at the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism and working for a major US news organisation.

Six other journalists are from Ukraine, Sudan, Jordan and Mexico. In addition, six journalists from Macedonia will participate in a condensed version of the AFPP programme.

Jeelani was chosen for the fellowship by eminent immigrant philanthropist Frank Islam through his Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation.

"We chose Gulam, from my motherland of India, to be our fellow because his background indicates that he has the interests and capabilities to refine his craft here and to make an even bigger impact on the Indian democracy when he returns home," Islam said in a statement.

"We decided to support the AFPP fellowship because as immigrants to the United States we realise what a critical role the free press plays in this great democracy and what a contribution journalists make to advancing the cause of a free society," he said.

Jeelani said he felt honoured to be the Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Fellow for 2018.

"It will enable me to gain a first-hand understanding and expertise in the ways of American journalism," he said, adding "I will use that to enhance my reporting in India and to share what I have learnt with my colleagues at the Hindustan Times".

Jeelani, who is HT's part of the national news team, covers politics, development and socio-economic issues such as housing for the poor. He earned a bachelor's degree and a master's in mass communication at Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, where Islam and Driesman are also benefactors.