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Reporting on Climate Change Adaptation in the Bay of Bengal

Call for Proposals

Published on
21 Jan 2020
21 February 2020, 11:30 AM, IST info.ejn [at] internews.org

How is climate change altering the way people around the Bay of Bengal work and live? How is it transforming economies, migration, health and security? More importantly, how are people in this region responding?

Internews' Earth Journalism Network is offering grants to at least 10 journalists based in eastern India and coastal Bangladesh to report on critical issues related to climate change that are driving notable responses. The grants will support the production of in-depth stories tied to resilience and climate change adaptation, particularly among people or groups most at risk from global warming. The focus should be on improving access to quality information and raising awareness among policymakers and impacted communities.

Overview

The Bay of Bengal is widely recognized as one of the most vulnerable regions to the immediate- and long-term effects of a changing climate. This vulnerability stems from both the wide variety of climate risks as well as the density and diversity of the roughly 400 million people who call this region home.

In a warming world, communities in the low-lying coastal plains and river deltas increasingly find their lands eroded away by rising seas and their freshwater contaminated by saltwater intrusion. Further inland, droughts, floods and deadly heat waves threaten the health of vulnerable groups in addition to affecting the crops communities depend on for their livelihoods. 

These grants will support the production of rigorously reported, innovative stories aimed at better informing these at-risk communities of the tools that can help them build resilience in the face of the climate crisis, as well as the limitations of certain responses and their ability to set examples for other parts of the world.

If selected, journalists will receive an average of US$1,300 in funding to cover travel and field reporting costs, with some flexibility for in-depth stories using innovative and investigative approaches that may be more costly to produce.

The story grants are provided as part of EJN’s Bay of Bengal project, implemented by Internews with generous funding from the Climate Justice Resilience Fund.

Story Themes

Ideas should focus on how people in the Bay of Bengal region are responding to climate change by asking questions such as:

  • How are early-warning systems and disaster mitigation being adapted to account for climate change and increasingly severe weather?
  • How are planting techniques and seed varieties being made more resilient to things like drought?
  • How are people with disabilities affected by and responding to climate change?
  • What impact is a warming world having on human health or wildlife populations?
  • How are people who have migrated to avoid climate change’s effects – particularly fishing communities – adjusting? What do their lives look like now?
  • Who are the female champions promoting conservation or adaptation?
     

We encourage applicants to collect data and use it in their reporting and to highlight examples of responses that could be scaled up or used as models for other places facing similar challenges. Stories that report on solutions and coping strategies rather than problems are of particular interest.

Eligibility

Grants are open to early- or mid-career journalists:

  • Working in the coastal regions of four Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal), and coastal areas of Bangladesh.
  • Producing stories for digital, print, audio or broadcast. Stories can be done in English or local languages, or both. If applicants intend to write or produce stories in local languages, the English translation of the product should be provided.
  • With a track record of reporting on the environment or climate change.
  • From all types of media outlets – both large and small, freelancers or staff reporters.
  • From international, national, local and community-based media -- though preference will be given to applicants whose media outlets have a significant portion of their audience in the coastal regions.
     

We encourage reporters to view this not just as an environmental story and to think outside their beat, considering ways their reporting could address broader angles. We also encourage the use of multimedia; applicants for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for accompanying multimedia elements (i.e. video, photos) and distribution channels in their pitch.

Please note that EJN, its partners and the Climate Justice Resilience Fund have the right to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute these stories freely, once they have been published/broadcast in the original media outlet. Freelance reporters should demonstrate a plan for publication and provide a letter of interest from an editor.  

Application Process

  • Click on the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link. 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 procuring new supplies. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.
  • You must submit three samples of stories or links to relevant work. You’ll be asked to upload these once you start the application process so please get them ready beforehand.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
     

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 21, 2020 at 5:30pm BST / 5:00pm IST

If you encounter any difficulties submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected].

Banner image: Three fishermen in a boat near Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh / Credit: Ashraful Haque Akash on Unsplash

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