Call for Proposals
Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering up to 20 reporting grants to youth journalists in the Asia-Pacific region, to support the production of in-depth stories on environmental and climate injustice.
Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process.
Traditional media often overlook or under-report issues that are of central concern to youth and marginalized communities – such as environmental and climate injustice. Environmental injustice, or the fact that some communities bear unequal environmental burdens and are at greater risk of being harmed by resource extraction, environmental degradation and pollution, “remains largely absent in the daily news cycle” finds Nieman Reports.
At the same time, as independent media outlets around the world struggle to remain viable, opportunities for journalism students, and emerging and early-career journalists have grown scarce; even more so when youth journalists are from marginalized communities, such as indigenous peoples and ethnic minority groups.
To help fill this gap, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network is awarding story grants to selected youth journalists in the Asia-Pacific region to carry out environmental justice reporting.
Environmental justice reporting centers communities that bear the brunt of climate or environmental disasters and policies — and the resilience they demonstrate in the face of these systemic inequities. Please see examples listed below.
By supporting youth journalists, we hope to build their reporting capacity, improve youth representation in the media and raise more awareness about environmental justice and their experiences. Selected journalists will be paired with mentors who will support them to report the stories they believe need to be told, their way. If needed, mentors will also guide journalists on how to pitch stories to media outlets, how to find sources, interview experts and disseminate their work.
These story grants are made possible with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to the EJN Asia-Pacific project, phase two.
EJN is pleased to offer around 20 story grants of USD 1,000 each on the average to youth journalists aged 30 and below from the Asia-Pacific to produce innovative and engaging stories on environmental and climate issues in the region.
Journalists are encouraged to explore under-reported environmental injustice issues while amplifying the voices of youth and vulnerable groups. Examples of topics include (but are not limited to):
- The disproportionate impacts of environmental degradation and climate-driven impacts, such as forced migration, on the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups (including the poor, youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, etc)
- Efforts by youth and/or marginalized communities to defend their territories and protect their food sovereignty, land and water rights and biodiversity from the impacts of unplanned development, over-tourism, logging, mining, fossil fuel extraction, fishing, industrialized farming, land-grabbing and other activities that threaten their surrounding environment.
- Efforts by youth and marginalized communities to raise environmental awareness, adapt to and mitigate climate change, promote renewable energy, decarbonization and a just transition to net zero.
- Efforts by youth and marginalized communities to expose greenwashing and protect against projects promoted as solutions to combat climate change but which end up harming local biodiversity or displacing local communities, such as bio-energy plantations, renewable energy farms, carbon credit farms, etc.
- Creative and innovative initiatives led by youth to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss or other environmental issues.
We aim to support the production of stories that raise awareness about environmental injustice and amplify the voices of those most impacted.
We encourage stories that report on potential solutions and highlight how vulnerable communities are responding to environmental challenges. We are interested in supporting stories that are told in creative and innovative ways or use data to illustrate the issue and make it easier to understand.
Issues that have already received a lot of media coverage or don't provide fresh angles are less likely to be selected.
We plan to issue grants in October with the expectation that all stories will be published by December 15, 2022 at the latest. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan.
Safety: We encourage 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 any language. We encourage stories that are produced in local languages for local audiences. However, applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language 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 below. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting, such as travel, accommodation, translation and data visualization.
We will consider larger grant amounts for stories using innovative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming.
We expect 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 purchasing new equipment.
We will consider a stipend for the reporters’ salary (not to exceed more than 30% of the total budget), particularly if the applicant is a freelancer.
Acknowledgement of EJN support: Published stories and/or broadcasts must disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced with support from Internews’ 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 Internews’ EJN, its partners and the grant funders are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely.
Youth journalists (aged between 15 to 30) from low- and middle-income countries within the Asia-Pacific region are welcome to apply. We especially invite applications from youth who also identify as:
- Ethnic/Cultural/religious minorities
- Indigenous peoples
- Persons with physical challenges and/or cognitive impairments
For the purposes of this grant call, we are accepting applications from South Asia (applicants from Pakistan should note that we will not be able to transfer funds into Pakistan), Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific region but not Australia, New Zealand and territories of the United States of America and other Western countries in the Pacific islands. We will prioritize applicants from lower and middle-income countries.
Groups of journalists, including from different countries, who wish to submit a joint application 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 purposes of this grant opportunity, we will accept applications in English. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff.
Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio, multimedia). We encourage applications from journalism students, freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
All applicants are encouraged to provide a signed letter of support from an editor, stating that the media outlet will publish the stories produced as a result of this grant by December 15, 2022. We welcome previously published writing samples but journalists who have not been published are still eligible to apply without a letter of support. EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
Please note: For this call, EJN invites applicants to pitch their story ideas in the form of a short video.
Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals.
- Relevance: Does the proposal draw attention to the experiences of youth and marginalized groups? Does it highlight environmental injustice issues?
- 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 that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and spur action?
- Innovative storytelling: We are especially interested in supporting journalists eager to explore more innovative ways of storytelling. Creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus.
- Plan for timely publication: We encourage reporters, whether freelance or employed at a media outlet, to include a letter of support from an editor in their application.
Examples of environmental justice reporting
- Environmental Justice: The Island Where It Rained Oil
- This Is Environmental Racism
- The Racist Legacy Many Birds Carry
- Black People Are About To Be Swept Aside for a South Carolina Freeway — Again
- To Stop a Scrapyard, Some Protesters in a Latino Community Risked Everything
- Spotlight on Climate and Environmental Justice | Earth Journalism Network (webinar)
- Spotlight on Climate and Environmental Justice | Earth Journalism Network (tipsheet)
- The Trajectories of Women and Environmental Justice Along Brazil's Coast | Earth Journalism Network
- Indigenous communities in Zimbabwe struggle to hold Chinese-owned mining companies accountable | Earth Journalism Network
- Manganese Mining Brings Development and Destruction to Guyana | Earth Journalism Network
- Worked to Death: How a Chinese Tuna Juggernaut Crushed Its Indonesian Workforce | Oceans Inc.
- Evicted for a showpiece project, this PNG community fights for justice (mongabay.com)
- Power play (frontiermyanmar.net)
- Danger and desperation in Myanmar’s jade mines (chinadialogue.net)
- Click the 'Apply now' button at the top of the page.
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- 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. Applications should provide a detailed budget in an Excel spreadsheet with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.
If you encounter difficulties with submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]. Do not contact any other Internews email regarding this opportunity, as we will not receive it.
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
Banner image: Climate strike on Earth Day 2022 at Pittsburgh (for representation only) / Credit: Mark Dixon via Flickr.