Sahar Speaks is unique: it is the first programme of its kind to produce consistent, high-quality journalism from Afghan female correspondents in a global media outlet.
Sahar Speaks was founded in 2015, in order to equip Afghan female journalists with the skills, networking and publishing opportunities needed to give them a voice in international media. The project was developed in 2014 by British-American journalist Amie Ferris-Rotman during her John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University, in response to the lack of Afghan women working for the foreign media outlets in Kabul. To date, we have trained 22 Afghan female journalists from around the country on how to work for international media. In June 2016, the multimedia work of the first 12 participants was published in the HuffPost, marking the first time a global media outlet featured the work of so many Afghan female reporters. In September 2017, our second round, this time focused on visual storytelling, was published in the HuffPost. A month later, the London theatre company Palindrome Productions adapted three stories by our alumnae for the stage. A new collaboration with the theatre is coming soon.
We are currently publishing stories from our third round, with the Guardian's Global Development site.
Their compelling reportage offers an intriguing and rare glimpse into the lives of Afghan women today, stories that only Afghan women can unlock and have access to.
- Since training and mentoring, our alumnae have gone on to work for the BBC, al Jazeera, Norwegian and German newspapers, The New York Times and News Deeply, amongst others.
Success is: the world hearing and reading Afghan women’s stories, in their own words, as relayed via the global press.
An entrepreneurial news project, Sahar Speaks will ideally serve as a model that can be enlarged and replicated in the future.
*Photo: Amie Ferris-Rotman