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Earth Journalism Network Bay of Bengal Media Grants 2020

Call for Proposals

Published on
07 Oct 2019
31 October 2019, +0530 info.ejn [at] internews.org

Funding is available to support media and other information-generating organizations grow, expand and improve news coverage of climate change, the environment and natural resource issues along the Bay of Bengal coast in Bangladesh and India.

Overview

Communities living along the coast face a two-fold problem when it comes to climate and environmental change: Their voices and perspectives are often overlooked or undercovered, and they face barriers to information that would help them adapt and respond to climate change’s impacts.

The reasons vary. Information on these topics may be unintelligible to the public and to policymakers, or a shortage of access to communications due to a history of marginalization and poverty may be a constraint.

For many journalists working for small or local media outlets, access to critical information and data needed to support their environmental stories is often made difficult by a lack of funds, time and expertise, research institutions ill-equipped to provide studies or a reluctance by authorities to release data.

This grant will help enable media outlets, civil society organizations, think-tanks and academic institutions working in the Bay of Bengal region of Bangladesh and India to help build local capacity for reporting and information exchange related to climate change, natural resource management and the environment.

Objectives and Scope

Implemented as part of the Bay of Bengal project’s Enhancing Climate Justice and Resilience Narratives, supported by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, these media grants are aimed at enhancing the quantity and quality of environmental reporting so impacted communities can get the information they need to respond.

A typical grant will be for up to US$20,000 and support a one-year project.

Proposed activities should contribute to one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Improve access among policymakers and the public to reliable, accurate socio-environmental news and information;
  • Improve the capacity of local or regional journalists and other content producers to report on environmental and climate issues in an accurate and compelling way;
  • Strengthen organizational and/or journalistic capacity to produce a greater quantity and quality of environmental and climate-related news and information;
  • Address barriers marginalized groups (defined as women, youth, ethnic minority groups, indigenous people and people with disabilities) face when accessing environmental news and information, and ensure their voices are included in environmental reporting;
  • Improve engagement among targeted communities around environmental issues.

 

We are particularly interested in activities that cover one or more of the following:

  • Use of innovative approaches and platforms to create and disseminate news and information. Examples include: Training local journalists to produce data-centered stories; development of online tools that allow local communities to monitor and report on environmental impacts.
  • Build the knowledge, resources and tools available to local journalists and other information providers to cover the environment more effectively. Examples include: Workshops for journalists on topics such as sea-level rise or coastal management or based around technical skills such as data or investigative journalism; development of safety tools for strengthening safety of journalists working on environmental issues.
  • Build the institutional capacity of organizations that support environmental journalism. Examples include: Seed grants to establish a new environmental journalist network; training in financial reporting, inclusion and fundraising for staff of organizations.
  • Support partnerships among peers or with other environmental stakeholders for environmental reporting. Examples include: A cross-border investigative reporting project; story creation labs for journalists and researchers to jointly produce evidence-based stories.

 

While content production is an important aspect of the proposed activities, applications should include some form of networking, knowledge sharing, and/or capacity building. We are open to supporting fellowships and travel grants that tied to specific story ideas or events coverage, but these activities should facilitate the building of networks and/or be part of a training process.

Please note that we will soon launch a separate story grant opportunity for individual journalists. EJN also has a separate Fellowship program currently accepting applications to support journalists to attend this year’s UN Climate Change Conference.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Media organizations, journalism networks, universities and journalism schools located in the Bay of Bengal region in coastal Bangladesh and the coastal areas of four Indian states – West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (including Pondicherry). The grants can also be used to support the establishment of environmental journalists’ networks in places where they don't exist. In such cases, applicants should note their affiliations with existing media organizations, if applicable, or provide detailed plans about how this project would facilitate the creation of a new organization.

Non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations and research institutes will also be considered, but only those with strong media and communication programs who are dedicated to supporting fair and accurate reporting. Please note that we will not consider applications rooted in advocacy or political campaigning.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can the grant be used to purchase equipment?

A: Yes. But applicants should clearly state how the equipment can contribute to the expected outcomes and outputs. The cost of equipment should make up a relatively small proportion of the overall budget.

Q: Are grantees expected to include monitoring and evaluation in their proposed activity?

A: Grantees are expected to give their full cooperation in monitoring and evaluating the results of the projects, and are encouraged to submit their own monitoring and evaluation plan along with their application. The final monitoring and evaluation plan will be agreed upon by EJN and each individual grantee.

Q: Can applicants offer to raise co-financing for the proposed activity?

A: Projects that can offer or raise co-financing to complement EJN’s support will be favorably viewed. Please indicate co-financing, if any, in the budget.

Q: Can existing or former EJN grantees apply?

A: Yes. But we will take the performance of existing or previous grantees into consideration during the selection process.

Q: When will applicants know whether they’ve been selected?

A: We expect to update applicants on the status of their proposals within a month after the closing of the call.

How to Apply

  1. Fill in the online application form by clicking on the “Apply Now” button at the top right of the page.
  2. If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you must register for an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page.
  3. If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click “Save Draft.” To return to the draft, you’ll need to go back to the opportunity and click “Apply Now” again to finalize the application.
  4. All applicants are required to submit a budget on the application form. Please download this form now and use it to build your project budget.
  5. If you encounter any difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected].