Dil Afrose Jahan

"It was eventful, inspiring and motivating."

Right from the start, 2019 was a very exciting year for me. I came across a call for applications for a scholarship programme run by RSF Germany on the Facebook page of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN). Colleagues from Myanmar also advised me to apply for the programme. I saw it as a chance to advance my career and decided to give it a try.

The scholarship programme provides training in digital security. This training was the reason I applied for the programme. I had always wanted to improve my knowledge and skills in this area. Thanks to the programme I’ve had the chance to get to know a world I never thought I would explore. Now I’m looking forward to sharing my new knowledge with my colleagues at home.

Participating in the scholarship programme has confronted me with the new challenges in journalism. Journalists can be very vulnerable when a state wants to assert its national security interests at their expense, and legal loopholes can increase the security risks for journalists in a hostile digital work environment. This makes basic digital security skills indispensable for protecting journalists’ professional and personal security. The experiences I have gathered with this project are therefore very useful for my fellow scholarship holders and myself. 

My time in Berlin was eventful, inspiring and motivating. As a fellow on the Berlin Scholarship Programme I spent the best season of the year – summer – in the German capital. It was perfect for taking a break and getting a taste of Europe. When my residency ended I couldn’t believe that four months had gone by so quickly. I can’t remember having had so much time to myself since I started working as a journalist. It was just what I needed to stop and take a closer look at myself and my life. I enjoyed my stay in Berlin to the full. I was treated as an equal. This meant that in Berlin I could live life the way I want to live it. The sense of freedom in this city has taught me to love and trust myself more. Through the professional recognition, the opportunities for learning, the campaign for press freedom and digital security I have learned many life lessons that will be very useful to me when I return home. The opportunity that the scholarship programme gave me was a life-changing experience."

Dil Afrose Jahan is a young investigative journalist from Bangladesh who campaigns for human rights and women’s rights. She is taking part in the Berlin Scholarship Programme because she wants to learn more about digital security for journalists and newsroom security in the digital age.

Jahan began her carreer in 2012 at the Daily Shokaler Khabor (Bangla News Daily). She then worked for TV broadcaster Deepto TV and for the prestigious daily Dhaka Tribune. In 2016 she resumed her work as a reporter with this daily.

Jahan focuses on women’s and children’s rights, education and labour rights, human trafficking, ethnic and religious minorities and migration. She reported from the Indian border on the Rohingya crisis of 2017/2018, in which members of the Rohingya Muslim minority were persecuted in neighbouring Myanmar.

 jahan has gained international recognition for her work. She was nominated by UNICEF for the Meena Media Award 2016 for her reporting on early childhood and psychological health development. Her documentary film Champa Jhiripara (2016) was shown in two categories at the 14th Dhaka International Film Festival.


Because of Jahan’s critical reporting her social media profiles were monitored by the government. She was harassed in her day-to-day life and subjected to phone threats and psychological terror by law enforcement agencies and extremists. Her activities as a journalist meant that she had to live in constant danger of imprisonment. (Current as of: 08.08.2020)

Dil Afrose Jahan ist eine junge investigative Journalistin aus Bangladesch, die sich vor allem für Menschenrechte und Frauen einsetzt. Sie nimmt am Berliner Stipendienprogramm von Reporter ohne Grenzen teil, da sie mehr über digitale Sicherheit als Journalistin und die Sicherheit der Nachrichtenredaktion im digitalen Zeitalter erfahren möchte.

Jahan begann ihre Karriere 2012 bei der Daily Shokaler Khabor (Bangla News Daily). Daraufhin hat sie sowohl für den Fernsehsender Deepto TV als auch für die angesehene Tageszeitung Dhaka Tribune gearbeitet. Seit 2016 ist sie dort wieder als Reporterin tätig.

Inhaltlich befasst Jahan sich mit den Rechten von Frauen und Kindern, Bildungs- und Arbeitsrechten, Menschenhandel, ethnischen und religiösen Minderheiten und Migration. Sie hat beispielsweise die Rohingya-Krise 2017/2018, bei der die muslimische Minderheit der Rohingya im Nachbarland Myanmar verfolgt wurde, von der Grenze aus begleitet.

Derzeit arbeitet Jahan an zwei Projekten: an einem eigenen internationalen Nachrichtenportal, das Fragen der frühkindlichen Entwicklung in Asien und Afrika behandeln soll, und an einem auf LGBTQ-Rechten basierenden Online-Portal über die Menschenrechtslage in Bangladesch.

Mit ihrer Arbeit hat sie internationale Anerkennung erlangt. So wurde sie beispielsweise von UNICEF für den Meena Media Award 2016 nominiert, wegen ihrer Berichterstattung über frühkindliche und psychische Gesundheitsentwicklung. Außerdem wurde ihr Dokumentarfilm Champa Jhiripara (2016) beim 14. Dhaka International Film Festival in zwei Kategorien gezeigt.

Aufgrund ihrer kritischen Berichterstattung wurden Jahans Social-Media-Profile von der Regierung überwacht. Sie wurde im täglichen Leben verfolgt sowie telefonisch und physisch von Strafverfolgungsbehörden und Extremisten bedroht. Bei ihrer Tätigkeit musste sie stets mit der Gefahr leben, im Gefängnis zu landen. (Stand: 08.08.2019)


Our fellow Dil Afrose Jahan introduces herself.