The Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is currently seeking applications for the Asia-Pacific Story Grants 2020-21.
EJN is looking for incisive, in-depth stories that put human experiences at the center of the storytelling. Ideas should consider but not be limited to questions such as:
- Could Covid-19 lead to a green wave in Asia ? Are governments thinking of ways to integrate more sustainable and environmentally friendly policies into economic stimulus packages? Or are governments pumping in funds to support polluting industries?
- Have coal or oil and gas companies gotten bailouts? What about animal processing plants and factory farms? What does this indicate about those government’s commitments to the environment?
- What’s the future for coal vs. renewable energy in a Covid-19 altered world?
- What implications could the global economic downturn have on efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss? Could countries shift funds they’d committed to cutting carbon emissions and boosting conservation toward rebooting their economies?
- Could air quality in Asian cities worsen or improve amid the economic shutdowns many places have imposed?
- How could Covid-19 travel restrictions and the resulting slump in tourism affect eco-tourism and conservation efforts?
- How will Covid-19 travel restrictions affect migration and land rights?
- Are communities that have responded to past disasters – by creating community gardens to ensure access to food, for example – weathering the pandemic better?
- Are communities that bear the brunt of climate change and other environmental destruction more vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of Covid-19?
- How are Covid-19 restrictions impacting the ability of governments and/or communities to respond to environmental threats? The locust swarms in East Africa and India, for example.
- How are indigenous people managing their customary forests and protecting and conserving forests and biodiversity? Are they pushing for greater land rights or finding innovative ways to protect themselves from the impacts of environmental degradation? Has the Covid-19 pandemic made those efforts more challenging?
- For the purposes of this grant call, they are accepting applications from South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific region but not Australia or New Zealand.
- Applications are open to journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with experience in investigative reporting and covering environmental issues. They encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
- They are seeking to support both early career and senior journalists with many years of reporting experience. they’ll accept both individual and group applications, but for the latter, they ask that the application is made in the name of one lead applicant who will receive the grant on the group’s behalf, if awarded.
Story Approach & Format
- They expect to award around 30 grants averaging $1,500 depending on the proposal and needs. They will consider larger grant amounts for stories using innovative or investigative approaches that may be more costly and time-consuming.
- Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided below. They have not set a specific amount because they are asking you to consider what you’ll need to do this type of reporting. They do ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting without being extraneous.They expect that stories will be produced with equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies.
- Stories can be produced in any language. But applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language need to also include an English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.
- Those who are awarded grants are free to publish or broadcast their stories in their affiliated media as long as EJN and Sida are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely. Freelance reporters should demonstrate a plan for publication or broadcast and are encouraged to provide a letter of interest from an editor.
Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals:
Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of this call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
Angle: If the story has been covered by mainstream media, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle?
Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and urge action?
Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus.