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Story Grants on Renewable Energy in India

Call for Proposals

Published on
24 Feb 2021
30 April 2021, 11:59 PM, IST (Extended Deadline) info.ejn [at] internews.org
EJN is offering grants to boost reporting on renewable energy in India. Although we have a particular focus on Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, applications will be welcome from journalists all over India, about renewable energy in all states and union territories. 

The grants will support the production of in-depth stories on the prospects, problems and pathways forward for renewable energy, with the aim of improving information on the subject and raising awareness among policymakers, project developers, investors and observers. 

Overview 

Renewable Energy (RE) projects across India have been impacted by the economic downturn and lockdowns on activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Problems over project financing, payment and evacuation infrastructure have added to the worries of RE developers at a time when wind and solar power development, in particular, are showing promise. Still, the long-term prospects remain bright, and the government has maintained its focus on increasing the percentage of RE use nationwide. 

For this grant round, we are looking for in-depth stories that explore policy, financing, payment and infrastructure hurdles and how to overcome them. 

Although we shall give preference to proposals that deal with the RE situation in the three states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, proposals from all over India are eligible, and we do expect to award grants to journalists working in other states 

Story approach & format 

EJN expects to award grants averaging Rs90,000 each, depending on the proposal and method of coverage, with some flexibility for in-depth and data-driven stories using innovative and investigative approaches that may be more costly to produce. Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. We expect that proposals will largely reflect what equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, lighting, tripods etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new equipment. Freelancers should clearly indicate their fee component in the budget. 

We encourage the use of multimedia. Applicants for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for accompanying multimedia elements such as data visualizations, video clips and photos. 

Stories can be done in English or local languages, or both. We encourage applications from journalists working in local languages and reporting for local media outlets. However, for wider dissemination, an English translation should be provided. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary. 

Eligibility 

Applications are open to India-based journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with a demonstrated interest in reporting on the RE sector, or other topics related to energy and the environment. We shall give preference to journalists who regularly cover economy, business and energy beats. To ensure equal opportunities and diversity of voices, we especially encourage applications from women, young journalists and journalists from indigenous communities. 

We are seeking applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media outlets – international, national, local and community-based. Those who are awarded grants should publish or broadcast their stories in their affiliated media as long as EJN and its partner outlets are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute the grantees’ stories freely afterward. Freelancers should demonstrate a plan for publication or broadcast and are encouraged to provide a letter of interest from an editor.   

Online Media Workshops

India Climate Dialogue and the Earth Journalism Network hosted a workshop on renewable energy issues in Karnataka and how to cover them on Feb. 26. You can watch a recording by clicking on this link if you'd like to learn about the various aspects and challenges facing renewable energy development and how they can make interesting stories. 

Judging criteria 

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals: 

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of this call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined? 
  • Angle: If the story has been covered by mainstream media, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle?  
  • Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and urge action?  
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus. 

 

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.). We will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from other donors for the story. 
  • 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. 

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

Banner image by Master Wen on Unsplash

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