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How climate change and Covid-19 are impacting the Bay of Bengal

Call for Proposals
Published on
10 Nov 2020
Sunrise over the Bay of Bengal
14 December 2020, 05:59 PM, Pacific/Tahiti (UTC -10) info.ejn [at]

Internews' Earth Journalism Network is offering small grants to journalists based in eastern India and coastal Bangladesh to report on how the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are impacting efforts to address climate change and build resilience. The grants will support the production of in-depth stories relating to 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.


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.

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 dual health and climate crises. They’ll also explore the limitations of certain responses and how the world is preparing to handle the threat of compound disasters in the future.

If selected, journalists will receive an average of US$500 to cover costs associated with this type of in-depth reporting. Please note that we do not expect selected journalists to travel at this time.

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:

  • What impact is a warming world having on human health or wildlife populations?
  • How have government priorities changed during the Covid-19 pandemic? Are efforts to combat climate and environmental change backsliding?
  • What effect is the pandemic having on climate-driven migration?
  • Is a “green recovery,” one that would work to rebuild local and national economies through environmentally friendly initiatives, possible?
  • How prepared are places to deal with compound disasters?


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.

The Bay of Bengal project will be holding a webinar on Nov. 20 to explore the health effects of saline water on coastal populations. You are invited to join the webinar, which may provide some relevant story ideas.


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. If you plan on including multiple formats in your reporting, such as audio, text and/or visualizations, please provide a detailed outline and budget for accompanying multimedia elements.

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

  1. Click on the Apply Now button at the top of the page. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this linkWe 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Monday, November 30, 2020 at midnight.

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

Banner image: Sunrise over the Bay of Bengal / Credit: Johan Bichel Lindegaard via Flickr


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