Apply! Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Reporting Grant on Climate Change in Kenya

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Apply! Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Reporting Grant on Climate Change in Kenya

Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering reporting grants to journalists in Kenya to support the production of in-depth stories on the impacts of climate change.

Kenya, like its counterparts across sub-Saharan Africa, is grappling with challenges exacerbated by climate change; from intense drought to rising sea levels to heatwaves to increased human-wildlife conflict.

Without urgent action to change the trajectory of warming, the climate crisis will have irreversible impacts that will be felt hardest in vulnerable regions around the world, including East Africa.

To address this, relevant and evidence-based information on the climate crisis – and ongoing efforts to combat its effects – is crucial.

The problem, however, is that in East Africa, news about the impacts of climate change is scarce, and media houses do not often have the capacity to invest financial, human, and even technological resources to generate the high-quality content that would fill the information vacuum.

It is for this reason that EJN is offering reporting grants to help journalists in the region to unearth these issues, highlight solutions and point out the key obstacles to climate action.

The story grants are provided as part of EJN’s East Africa Wildlife project funded by the US Department of Interior and the US Agency for International Development.

Story themes

EJN welcomes story ideas that focus on the short- and long-term consequences of environmental destruction and other drivers of climate change.

It seeks incisive, in-depth, and solutions-focused stories on climate change that put human experiences at the center of the storytelling.

While EJN encourages stories that are 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.

Story ideas should consider questions such as:

  • How is climate change accelerating phenomena like droughts, scarcity of water, human-to-wildlife conflicts, etc?
  • What is the connection between climate change to health (zoonotic diseases) and other aspects of human/planet and animal life?
  • In what ingenious ways are communities working to conserve their immediate environments and ecosystems to mitigate the effects of climate changes?
  • How do law enforcement agencies deal with human activities that cause climate change?
  • What role do policies play in promoting climate action? What are some examples of successful regulations that could serve as models for similar places?

Earth Journalism Network encourages reporters to view this not just as a climate change story and to think outside their beat, considering ways their reporting could address broader angles.

For example, journalists may explore the economics and financing driving the degradation of the environment, or produce detailed “live-action” profiles of the people who are bearing the cost of the effects of climate change.

EJN aims to support the production of stories that raise awareness about the climate crisis in Kenya and drive conversation among communities and policymakers at the local, national, and regional levels.

Proposals that focus on topics or stories that have not been widely covered are preferred.

Please note: Issues that have already received a lot of media coverage or don’t provide unique angles to environmental or climate challenges are less likely to be selected.


Journalists from Kenya are welcome to apply.

Groups of journalists are eligible. However, the application must be made in the name of one lead applicant. Lead applicants are responsible for communicating with EJN and receiving funds on the group’s behalf if awarded.

For the purpose of this grant opportunity, Earth Journalism Network will only be accepting applications in English.

Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with professional reporting experience.

Earth Journalism Network also welcomes applications from early-career journalists and experienced reporters with a track record of covering environmental and climate issues. EJN encourages applications from freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local, and community-based.

Earth Journalism Network reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.

Story logistics

We expect to award up to 10 grants with an average budget of US$800 each.

EJN plans to issue grants in early April with the expectation that all stories will be published by mid-June at the latest. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan.

Safety: EJN encourages reporters to follow best practices for Covid-19 when out in the field so you do not endanger yourself or the people you’re interviewing. If needed, you should include any Covid-related costs, such as tests or personal protective equipment, in your budget.

Language of publication: Stories can be produced in English, Kiswahili, or local languages. However, applicants who intend to write or produce stories in Kiswahili or local languages need to also include an English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.

Story budget: All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided.

Earth Journalism Network asks that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting, such as travel and accommodation. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story.

Generally speaking, applications with smaller budgets will be more competitive, but EJN will consider larger grant amounts for stories using innovative multimedia, collaborative or investigative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming.

Earth Journalism Network expects that proposals will largely reflect what equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new equipment.

Earth Journalism Network will consider a stipend for the reporters’ salary, particularly if the applicant is a freelancer. Please estimate the time you’ll need to complete this story and propose compensation you believe reflects a fair market rate. EJN asks, however, that this comprises no more than 30% of the total budget.

Acknowledgment of EJN support: Published stories and/or broadcasts must disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced with support from Earth Journalism Network”.

Republication rights: Those who are awarded grants are free to publish or broadcast their stories first in their affiliated media as long as Earth Journalism Network and its partners are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast, and distribute them freely.

Judging criteria

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals.

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the call? 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, does your proposal bring new insights to 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 spur action?
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus.
  • Feasibility: Can the story be realistically completed within the target time frame? Is the budget realistic?
  • Plan for timely publication: Reporters, whether freelance or employed at a media outlet, will need to include a letter of support from an editor in their application, committing to publish the stories by June 15, 2022.

Selected journalists will receive an average of US$800 in funding to cover travel and field reporting costs. Stories that use particularly innovative or investigative approaches that are more expensive to produce may be eligible for additional funding.

Interested? Click here to apply. Note that you must sign up on the page to apply.

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