Call for Proposals: Asia-Pacific Climate Change and Environmental Story Grants
Climate change is taking its toll on the Asia-Pacific, home to megacities such as Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila that are increasingly vulnerable to flooding and subsidence caused by rising sea levels and unregulated development.
At the same time, deadly tropical storms and natural disasters have hit the region with more frequency and intensity owing to rising temperatures, with coastal and low-lying areas among the most at risk. At least six super typhoons tore across the region in 2018.
Meanwhile, global warming is destroying coral reefs, marine fisheries and other habitats, putting the livelihoods that sustain rural communities in jeopardy. It’s raising the potential of health epidemics and loss of biodiversity. Some parts of Southeast Asia could see rice yields fall by half within this century if no efforts are made to adapt, according to the Asian Development Bank.
A sobering 2018 report on the impacts of global warming by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that urgent action is needed to limit the catastrophic consequences of a changing climate.
The Asia-Pacific has an important role to play in addressing global warming since it comprises fast-growing economies that are major greenhouse gas emitters and plastic polluters as well as populations that will feel the effects of climate change most intensely but lack the resources to respond.
Despite the scale of the problem, many media outlets in the region, especially local ones at the frontlines of these challenges, don’t have the resources to cover them effectively nor reporters devoted to environmental coverage. This leads to a lack of stories that explain the complexity of these issues to local communities and illustrate how communities most threatened by environmental change are adapting.
EJN's Asia-Pacific project aims to overcome these barriers by providing grants and mentorship to individual journalists to report on climate change, environment and natural resource management. This work is made possible with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
TYPES OF STORIES
We’re seeking in-depth or investigative stories that focus on climate and environmental change or natural resource management in any country or countries within the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular emphasis on how women and other marginalized groups (including youth, indigenous people, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities) are impacted by these changes.
We encourage stories that report on potential solutions and address how vulnerable communities are responding to challenges. We are also highly interested in stories that utilize relevant data to illustrate the issue in a compelling and easy-to-understand way.
Finally, we are looking for stories with the potential to inform policy decisions by addressing domestic or transboundary environmental concerns, such as regional cooperation to tackle climate change.
For the purposes of this grant call, we are accepting applications from South Asia, Southeast Asia, China and the Pacific region but not Australia or New Zealand.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
Journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with a track record of reporting on climate change, natural resource management and other environmental issues. We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media –international, national, local and community-based.
For this round of grants, we’re looking for applications from both:
- early career journalists with less than 5 years of reporting experience and;
- mid-level/senior reporters who have at least 5 years of experience.
Please indicate in the application form (link provided below) which category you are applying for, how you would benefit from this funding and what type of support you hope to receive.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has agreed to serve as a resource for expert sources and data for the story grant applications from the Pacific.
Grantees 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 and are encouraged to provide a letter of interest from an editor.
STORY APPROACH AND FORMAT
EJN expects to award around 30 grants averaging $1,500 depending on the proposal and reporting format. We will consider larger awards for in-depth stories using innovative or investigative approaches that may be more costly. Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided. We 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.
We also encourage the use of multimedia and new or unique media platforms to present and share the stories. Applicants with ideas for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for these accompanying elements (i.e. video, photos) and distribution channels in their pitch.
Stories can be produced in English or local languages or both. Applicants who intend to write or produce stories in the local language need to also include the English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.
Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from other donors.
EXPECTED STORY LENGTHS
- Text-based stories: 1,000 to 3,000 words
- Photo stories: 10-20 images with descriptive captions and a short 200-400 word introduction
- Multimedia package: Text between 600 to 1,500 words with 2-4 minute video and/or graphics, photos and maps
- Broadcast: Video piece around 4-6 minutes in length with a short, roughly 200-word introduction
- Audio report/podcast: Feature of up to 20 minutes in length with a short text to summarize the audio.
Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals
- Timing: We expect the proposed story or stories to be published by 31 July 2019.
- Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives? Why does this story matter and to whom? Are 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 and data visualization will be considered a plus.
- Feasibility. Can the story be realistically completed within the target time frame? Is the budget realistic?
- Diversity: We will take gender and geographical distribution into account when selecting the grantees in addition to the criteria above.
HOW TO APPLY
- Applicants should follow the link below and complete the form by the listed deadline.
- Each application will require a detailed budget proposal. You should follow this link and download and complete the budget form before beginning the application since you’ll be asked to attach it.
- In addition to answering the questions on the form, we ask that every applicant submit a resume/CV and three samples of your reporting.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.