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Saturday 21 September 2019
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Newsday’s Carla gets UN fellowship

Newsday associate business editor Carla Bridglal
Newsday associate business editor Carla Bridglal

NEWSDAY associate business editor Carla Bridglal has been accepted for the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists fellowship.

Bridglal is one of four journalists selected from developing nations, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia to cover the 74th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly held in New York in September.

To Bridglal, the selection is a dream come true since, as a child, she wanted to work at the UN.

“The UN is basically an international modulator of peace, to keep humanity in check and on paper it should work for the benefit of mankind. I believe in human rights and equality, and those are some of the things the UN is supposed to advocate for around the world.

“I wanted to be part of that.”

However, she later fell in love with journalism and with the fellowship she has been given the opportunity to merge the two.

I am a journalist at heart. My goal may have been to work at the UN when I was younger, but now I don’t want to do anything but be a journalist.

I’m happy being a journalist and I am happy for the opportunity to be able to go to the UN and cover it as a journalist – finding the stories that are relevant to TT, telling the stories, and helping people understand what goes on at the UN.”

She said although the general Assembly usually impacted TT, media houses did not often send reporters to cover the event.

Therefore, any news from the meetings were relegated to the international pages, or missed altogether.

“The whole point of this programme is to allow developing world journalists who may not otherwise get the opportunity to report on what’s happening in the General Assembly in an in-depth way.

Also, by virtue of the fellowship you get access to senior members of the UN that you probably may not have been able to get access to otherwise.”

Bridglal said she knew about the fellowship but never applied.

She did so this year because she had been following the Venezuela crisis and its impact on TT, and wrote several articles on freedom of the press and human rights.

She believed the themes tied in with the UN’s mission.

She said although she felt she had a “decent portfolio” which highlighted her capabilities, she did not really expect to get the opportunity.

“Possibly thousands of working journalists applied so it’s still sort of surreal that I won it. It was a great surprise but I’m very grateful.”

Bridglal said she was looking forward to the atmosphere at the UN headquarters and the thrill of reporting international policies and major announcements presented by top world leaders.

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