When Western journalists parachute into a country for a week of reporting, they contact journalists like Firdaus who give them story ideas, sources and generally work as a “fixer” (usually without a byline or fair financial compensation). We’re out to change that. It’s our model to pair a Western journalist with a journalist from the country where the story is taking place to work together inequal partnership. Firdaus dreams of the day when her byline will appear in a western media outlet. We hope to make that a reality for this brave young reporter.
Firdaus recently received the Oktovianus Pogau Award for reporting on human rights issues in her country, including Indonesia’s 1965-1966 anti-communist massacres and violence against LGBT people. Threats — which sent Firdaus into hiding — came after her expulsion from a “meeting of militant Islamists and former senior military officials, all of whom fiercely oppose Indonesia’s tentative steps toward accountability for the 1965-66 ‘anti-communist” massacres,'”according to Human Rights Watch.
Despite the threats, Febriana Firdaus says: “This award [the Pogau Award] serves as a reminder to Indonesian journalists of the importance of reporting on human rights cases. It instills more confidence in me to work on new projects.”
We would be honored to work with — and support — this fearless young journalist.