Call for Applications
Internews’ Earth Journalism Network is pleased to announce a virtual fellowship program that will support selected African journalists to cover the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in May 2022.
The UNCCD COP15 will be a key gathering to review progress made to control and reverse further loss of productive land from desertification, land degradation and drought. The theme for this year’s event — ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity' — is a call to action to ensure land, the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.
A mix of representatives from national, regional, and local governments, science and research communities, the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations and all forms of media are expected to address these issues during the two-week event, which is scheduled to take place from 9-20 May 2022.
Ten African journalists will be awarded virtual fellowships and receive training, mentorship, and other support to facilitate remote reporting on this important event. We are particularly keen to hear from journalists with a background in reporting on land use, or any of the other key issues relevant to the conference.
Selected fellows will have the opportunity to engage with their fellowship cohort and share knowledge and ideas for effective reporting on the issues. They will benefit from a series of specially designed activities, including an orientation workshop, daily briefings, mentoring, and interviews and sessions with high level officials. Veteran regional journalists will provide valuable insight into the proceedings from on the ground in Abidjan, as well as tools, resources, editing and guidance as needed to support fellows story production.
All fellows will also receive a communications stipend, to ensure that they have consistent access to the virtual activities of the fellowship.
Applications for the 2022 UNCCD COP15 Reporting Fellowship will be accepted until 25 March. Decisions will be communicated before the end of April. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. Please consider submitting at least one day in advance of the deadline to avoid any issues. This Fellowship program is being carried out with the generous support of Robert Bosch Stiftung.
To be eligible for the Fellowship, applicants must:
- Be a professional journalist from or representing an established media house and reporting from a low- or middle-income country in Africa;
- Be of African citizenship;
- Have a good command of the English language;
- Have previous experience reporting on desertification and degradation issues, and can clearly indicate the kinds of stories they might pursue during the conference;
- Be available between 7-20 May 2022;
- Commit to participate in all Fellowship activities;
- Provide a letter of support from an editor, producer or supervisor who can confirm that your news reports will be published or broadcast in an established media outlet. Freelancers are welcome to apply, but must provide a letter of support from a media outlet for which they intend to report.
Criteria for evaluating applicants will include the prospective fellows demonstrated experience covering desertification, climate change and other environmental topics, their interest in continued coverage of these issues and their audience and outlet’s reach.
Applicants will be asked to submit samples of their work, which can be uploaded as documents or web links. Stories can be in any language as long as they are accompanied by a short English synopsis. However, please note that a good command of English is a prerequisite for participation in Fellowship activities.
We fully respect the editorial independence of all fellows, and throughout the conference Fellows are free to report as they see fit. We do ask, however, that in addition to the requirements above, fellows include a strapline in their stories acknowledging the support of EJN and agree to allow EJN to cross-post all stories produced as part of the fellowship on the Earth Journalism Network's website and its local and regional partner sites (the Fellow’s home media outlet can first publish the story).
Banner image: Credit: Mike Goldwater / Alamy.