Generally Mekong Matters supports journalists to report on the regional social and environmental costs and benefits of development projects such as dams, mines, industrial development, land use and forestry concessions, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) or other related issues. MPE will provide up to US$3,000 to cover costs for story development and may co-publish the story on its own outlets, with editorial control and attribution to the journalist and their media organisation.
WHAT IS MEKONG PARTNERSHIP FOR THE ENVIRONMENT (MPE)?
The MPE project is led by Pact, along with partners including Internews and its Earth Journalism Network. We support practices that facilitate socially and environmentally responsible development decision-making in the Mekong region. We also support and facilitate the Mekong Matters Journalism Network and work with partners in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
WHAT EXPENSES MAY BE COVERED?
MPE can cover expenses incurred in developing the story such as: regional or domestic travel, interpreter fees, database access, and translations of the story to/from English or other relevant languages. Fixed costs such as office costs or equipment are not covered.
WHO MAY APPLY?
Applicants must be working as a journalist or studying in a journalism program. Applicants should be based in a Mekong country and/or demonstrate that the impact of the story on their audience will positively influence development in the Mekong region. Applicants must be citizens of Mekong countries, except under exceptional circumstances, such as mentoring local journalists. Mekong Matters Journalism Network members are encouraged to apply (contact [email protected] to join or for info).
WHAT KIND OF STORIES CAN MPE SUPPORT?
Stories must be one or a series of pieces relating to MPE project objectives (see: www.pactworld.org/mpe ) and must focus on development in the Lower Mekong Sub-region. Stories with a focus on regional, cross-border angles and elements will be given strong preference.
For this call, we have up to three grants for stories/series exploring energy choices: Renewable energy vs. fossil fuels and hydro in the Mekong region. Your story might look at:
- Environmental and social costs and benefits of different choices
- How policies, politics, NGOs, the AEC and other issues are affecting choices
- What is the outlook and solutions for renewables?
- A comparison among two or more countries’ strategies and challenges
This might involve travel to Mekong cities or project sites, interviews with policy-makers, companies, NGOs and communities.
APPLICATIONS AND APPROVAL
Applications will be accepted at any time through August 1, 2016. MPE will make a decision within 30 days. An agreement with MPE will require the journalists’ media outlet to commit to publish the story, if it meets their journalistic standards. MPE may also publish the story on their outlets. The agreement will be fixed price with payments made based on milestones. If requested, Internews may provide story mentoring. Applications and queries can be sent with subject line “MPE Story Fund-applicant name” to [email protected],