Welcome to the Burke Scholarship
A programme dedicated to advancing democracy through developing extraordinary journalists
While academic excellence is a prerequisite for consideration, the programme seeks to support candidates who are well-rounded in every facet of their lives, from extra-curricular activities to leadership and community service.
It is expected that Burke Scholars would show an interest in others, journalistic experience, a capacity to lead, a desire to affect positive social change, courage in challenging circumstances, an unfaltering moral compass, a commitment to self-improvement and a hunger for achieving ever more than average. While the selection panel is not prescriptive of what form prior work and leadership experience should take, the following characteristics will guide the scholarship programme in assessing applicants:
The Scholarship will cover full room and board for selected BA Honours in Journalism students at the Potchefstroom Campus of the NWU. The programme aims to holistically develop promising journalists and equip them with the latest tools and resources needed to excel in a changing landscape where citizen journalism and the democratization of information is playing a continuously greater role. Some of the skills and principles that the programme will instill include:
Quality writing and analysis is as important to individual journalist's career as it is to the reputation of the profession as a whole. This is especially true in an era where journalists are facing increased pressure from those in power.
In an age of unparalleled information access at the tip of the fingers of a tech savvy generation, the ability to speak to audiencies in a way that relates to them is priceless.
The willingness to be on the front line of unfolding stories and ability to capture the salient details efficiently will provide aspiring journalists with the edge needed to bring truth.
Speaking truth to power and learning to stand up for the voiceless is eventually what will allow journalists to live out their passion. Doing so in a coherent and convincing manner will require practice, guidance and the humility to listen.
Honest journalism is willing to expose corruption, exploitation and injustice. This willingness is at the heart of a functioning society. Few professions could be more crucial in the survival of a democracy. The founding of the Burke Scholarship was in response to a dire need for authentic, principled, intelligent and committed journalists. The Burke Family decided to initiate the process of supporting a severely under funded, yet noble profession. As noted by the founder, "it is hoped that this programme will expand far beyond one family or a handful of beneficiaries, but will indeed count in its ranks both those selfless enough to contribute capital and those sensible enough to challenge the status quo". The programme relies on three principles: