EJN is offering reporting grants to journalists in East Africa to support the production of in-depth stories on conservation and wildlife issues.
Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process.
East Africa is home to diverse ecosystems that serve as habitats for a wide range of species. But most East African countries are grappling with conservation issues – from poaching to land degradation to human-wildlife conflict to heatwaves, drought and other weather extremes.
The species and habitats in this region face myriad threats, exacerbated by population pressure, climate change and habitat loss.
East African news media urgently needs to highlight the impacts of these inter-related issues, to inform the general public and policymakers of the consequences of environmental biodiversity loss, its impacts on human livelihoods and security, and initiatives to combat and/or mitigate it.
To help improve the media coverage of these issues, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network is offering grants to 10 journalists in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania or Rwanda to report on wildlife trafficking, conservation and protection efforts.
Selected journalists will receive an average of US$800 in funding to cover travel and field reporting costs. Stories that use particularly innovative or investigative approaches that are more costly to produce may be eligible for additional funding.
The story grants are provided as part of EJN's East Africa Wildlife Journalism project implemented by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and funded by a joint grant from the US Department of Interior and the US Agency for International Development.
We’re looking for incisive, in-depth, solutions-focused stories on conservation and wildlife that put human experiences at the center of the storytelling. While the stories should be backed by scientific evidence and incorporate data in a simple and compelling way, they should focus on proven adaptations and responses to ongoing challenges.
Ideas should explore but not be limited to questions such as:
- How are communities working to conserve their immediate environments and ecosystems?
- What new approaches are being developed or utilized to combat wildlife crime and poaching?
- How do courts and the judiciary treat these crimes? Are changes needed to ensure more prosecutions?
- How does law enforcement, especially rangers, deal with wildlife crime? Are they well enough equipped to deal with poachers who have sophisticated weapons and technology?
- What role do policies play in environmental protection? What are some examples of successful regulation that could serve as models for other places in the region?
- Who are the women experts championing and promoting conservation or adaptation?
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. For example, stories could explore the economics and financing driving the illegal trade in wildlife, or reporters could produce detailed “live action” profiles of rangers by shadowing them in the field.
Grants are open to journalists as well as other expert media practitioners with a track record of covering conservation and wildlife stories. Photojournalists and multimedia practitioners with published visual work are also eligible.
Groups of journalists are eligible, particularly from different countries within the region if seeking to produce a cross-border project. 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.
- Applicants may be from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
- Applicants may be freelance or working for international, national, local or community-based media.
- Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio).
- Stories may be produced in English, Kiswahili or local languages. Applicants who intend to write or produce stories in Kiswahili or local languages should also include a translated version of the story, or at least a headline and short summary in English for publication by EJN. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.
EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
Story approach & format
We expect to award 10 grants in total, with an average budget of US$800 each. Generally speaking, applications with smaller budgets will be more competitive, but we will consider larger grant amounts for stories using innovative, collaborative or investigative approaches that may be more resource-intensive and time-consuming.
We plan to issue grants in February with the expectation that all stories will be published by the end of May. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their workplan.
All applicants must provide a letter of support from their editor, explicitly stating that the media outlet will publish the stories produced as a result of this grant.
All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided. We are asking you to consider what you'll need to do this type of reporting. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting, such as travel and accommodation. Applicants for long-form and multimedia narratives should include in their budget estimates for accompanying multimedia elements.
We expect that stories will be produced with equipment applicants already have access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and prefer budgets that do not include a large amount of equipment.
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.
Please note that EJN and our partners and donors have the right to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute these stories freely, once they have been published/broadcast in the original media outlet.
Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals:
- Timing: We expect the proposed story or stories to be published no later than May 31, 2022.
- 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 and data visualization will be considered a plus.
- Feasibility: Can the story be realistically completed within the target time frame? Is the budget realistic?
- Diversity: We will take gender and geographical distribution into account when selecting the grantees in addition to the criteria above.
- 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 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. We will consider some costs for the reporters’ salary, particularly if the applicant is a freelancer, but this should be a small portion of the total budget. Please include the cost for translation, if necessary. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story.
- You must submit two samples of stories or links to relevant work. You'll be asked to upload these once you start the application process, so please have them handy.
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: Zebras at a watering hole in the Serengeti, Tanzania / Credit: Diana Robinson via Flickr.