Asia-Pacific Story Grants
With the world undergoing dramatic social and environmental change, we believe it is increasingly important for journalists to dig deep into stories that uncover the various drivers of this degradation, point out the actors and push decision-makers to respond.
We’re seeking stories that go beyond answering the basic who, what, when and where, and investigate how and why governments, businesses and financial institutions are acting in ways that directly or indirectly exploit our land and natural resources, and then outline the repercussions.
Environmental issues are often highly complex and interlinked with so many other social, political and economic challenges. We’re seeing that play out now in the Covid-19 pandemic and the ways in which it has exposed how closely tied environmental abuse is to public health outcomes. We encourage journalists to unravel the linkages that enable these exploitations to take place and explain their combined impacts on our planet.
We’re 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?
We encourage reporters to view this not just as an environmental story and to think outside their beat, considering ways their reporting could convey the intersection between the environment and other themes, such as health and the economy.
We also encourage the use of multimedia and relevant data to illustrate the issue in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. Applicants for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for accompanying multimedia elements and distribution channels in their pitch.
While the stories should be backed by scientific evidence and incorporate data in a simple and compelling way, they should also focus on proven adaptations and responses to these challenges.
We’re particularly interested in stories that uncover corruption, highlight transboundary issues, address the safety of environmental defenders and call out state and business practices that are impacting negatively on the environment and the lives of local communities.
This round of grants comes from EJN’s Asia-Pacific program and is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
For the purposes of this grant call, we 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. We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
We are seeking to support both early career and senior journalists with many years of reporting experience. We’ll accept both individual and group applications, but for the latter, we 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.
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