Each month, IJNet features an international journalist who exemplifies the profession and has used the site to further his or her career. If you would like to be featured, email a short bio and a paragraph about how you have used IJNet here.
This month we feature Amie Ferris-Rotman, a journalist who has reported from 10 countries. Her career began in 2005, as a business reporter in her native London. A year later she joined Reuters, where she became an energy reporter and political correspondent in the Moscow bureau, and a senior correspondent in Afghanistan. Her reporting has included coverage of gas wars, Russia’s Islamist insurgency, women’s rights in Pakistan and the NATO-led war in Afghanistan.
On IJNet, Ferris-Rotman discovered the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She applied and was awarded a 2014 fellowship, during which she is "creating sustainable networking, training and mentoring for Afghan female reporters, resulting in publication of their work in outlets with global reach."
How has IJNet helped you?
IJNet is my go-to site when I need a sense of what is trending and happening in the world of international journalism. It is by far the most comprehensive site I’ve found for both global job postings and training opportunities. This is especially valuable now as I find myself in an unfamiliar setting, away from reporting and researching my project at Stanford, where I am looking for potential collaborators and partners.
I also would not be where I am without IJNet – literally. I found out about the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship on IJNet, and also discovered a lesser-known, short-term fellowship, the Kiplinger, which I attended in April last year.
How do you get your ideas for stories?
I sniff them out. I am a naturally curious person, but I’ve found that the more I read, and chat and listen to those around me, the more stories I find.
What has been your best story or work so far?
I am very proud of a special report I wrote on Russia’s crippling heroin addiction and subsequent HIV/AIDS crisis. I am also particularly fond of a feature I wrote on Afghanistan’s female addicts. Unlike their male counterparts, being a woman and addicted to opium in Afghanistan means fewer possibilities to seek help and treatment.
What advice would you give aspiring journalists?
Become an all-rounder. Agree to assignments you’d usually say no to, and tackle stories you don’t find appealing. By forcing yourself to find their angles you will sharpen the craft of storytelling.
Image: Amie Ferris-Rotman in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2011.