Apply for the Earth Journalism Network Indigenous Environmental Journalism Story Grants 2022

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Apply for the Earth Journalism Network Indigenous Environmental Journalism Story Grants 2022

Indigenous peoples make up less than 5 percent of the overall global human population but only occupy over a quarter of the earth’s land area despite the region supporting about 80% of the world’s global biodiversity.

Despite their in-depth knowledge of and contribution to the earth’s biodiversity, and being the most impacted in terms of natural resources exploitation and environmental degradation, their views are usually missing from conversations about biodiversity, climate change, and other critical environmental issues in the global scene.

It is for this reason that Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is giving reporting grants to Indigenous journalists to support the production of comprehensive stories that will spotlight climate justice, sustainable ecosystems, biodiversity, Indigenous leadership, and other issues pertaining to the rights and welfare of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Earth Journalism Network (EJN), through the funding given by the Nia Tero Foundation and the Svenska Postkodstiftelsen (The Swedish Postcode Lottery), will provide 20 grants to Indigenous journalists who intend to investigate and create stories about environmental degradation in Indigenous communities and map out strategies for advocacy, adaptation, and resilience.

What are the story themes?

Earth Journalism Network welcomes story ideas that will explore the link between environmental and climate change issues and the rights and welfare of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Earth Journalism Network is especially interested in stories that explore the following: environmental solutions and resiliency, agriculture and traditional management practices, investigate land rights and environmental sovereignty, spotlight resource use, address Indigenous Peoples’ roles as custodians of the environment or emphasize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Indigenous land and communities.

Preference will be given to proposals that focus on stories or topics that have not been widely covered, while issues that have been widely covered by media or don’t bring fresh perspectives to environmental challenges will less likely be selected.

Who is eligible to apply?

Application is open to journalists from any country in the world who are working in any medium (online, print, television, radio) as well as other expert media practitioners who possess investigative reporting experience and specialize in covering environmental issues.

Freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – local, community-based, national, and international are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants must identify as Indigenous and will be asked to provide details proving their Indigenous affiliations in the application, as not being an Indigenous journalist automatically disqualifies them.

However, applications from groups of Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists will be accepted with the condition that the Indigenous journalist in the group is the lead applicant.

The lead applicant will oversee communications with Earth Journalism Network on behalf of the group and receive funds on their behalf as well if they are awarded the grant.

Only applications in English, Spanish and Portuguese will be accepted and applicants must either have a working understanding of English or have a translator on standby to assist with communication with Internews staff.

What is the story approach and format?

A total of 20 grants is expected to be awarded at two funding levels: 10 grants to be awarded at an average budget of $1,450, and another 10 grants to be awarded at an average budget of $1,250.

Applications with smaller budgets are more likely to be considered, but consideration will also be given to larger grant amounts if their stories employ innovative or investigative approaches that may be expensive and time-consuming.

Grants are expected to be issued in February with the expectation that all stories will be published, latest, by the end of August. Applicants are therefore advised to consider the timeline when drafting their work plans.

Reporters are encouraged to follow best practices for Covid-19 when they are out in the field so they do not put themselves and the people they are interviewing at risk. You can include any Covid-related costs like tests or personal protective equipment in your budget if the need arises.

You can produce your stories in any language provided it includes an English translation. The cost for translation can be included in your budget, if necessary.

If you are awarded grants, you are free to publish or broadcast your stories first in your affiliated media provided Earth Journalism Network as well as Nia Tero Foundation and the Svenska Postkodstiftelsen (The Swedish Postcode Lottery) who are the grant funders, are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and share them freely.

If you are a freelance reporter, you can show a plan for publication or broadcast, also providing a letter of interest from your editor.

What are the judging criteria?

Applicants should have the following points in mind when drawing up their story proposals:

  • Relevance: If the proposal meets the criteria and objectives of the call; why the story is relevant and to whom does it matter; if the main idea, context, and overall value to the target audience is distinctly defined.
  • Angle: If your proposal brings fresh perspectives or insight in a case when the story has already been covered.
  • Impact: If the proposal has a captivating narrative or investigative component that will educate, engage, spotlight, spur debate and cause action.
  • Innovative storytelling: Employing creative approaches, multimedia, and data visualization will be a bonus.

How to apply

  • You must have an Earth Journalism Network account before you can apply. If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you can create one by clicking “Join the Network” at the top right of the EJN page.
  • In a situation when you begin the application and want to complete it later, you can click ‘Save Draft.’ If you want to return to the draft, you will have to go back to the opportunity and click ‘Apply now’ again for you to finalize the application.
  • You are advised to provide a detailed budget which must justify the amount they are requesting. You can download the budget template via this link.
  • Proposals must greatly reflect what equipment the applicant already possesses (cameras, lighting, tripods, drones, etc.) as consideration will not be given to budgets with a heavy focus on supplies procurement. A small portion of the overall budget will be earmarked as salary particularly for freelance reporters. It is advised that the cost for translation be included if necessary. Also, indicate in your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story.
  • Applicants must submit two samples of their stories or links to relevant work. This will be required of you once the application process begins so it is best you have them ready.

If you experience difficulties submitting your application or further inquiries about the grants, you can contact [email protected].

Kindly note that applications that are submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

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