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Training for East African Journalists on How to Use Financial Tools to Investigate Environmental Crimes

Call for Applications
Published on
04 Sep 2023
a leopard skin atop crates and other packages, seized from airport cargo.
25 September 2023, 11:59 PM, Africa/Addis_Ababa EAT info.ejn [at]

EJN will train selected journalists in East Africa on techniques to investigate money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption, trace assets, underground money movements and illicit payment methods.

Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process.


The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that the illegal wildlife trade is worth about 23 billion dollars per year globally, making it the fourth largest illegal trade after trafficking in drugs, humans and weapons. Wildlife crime and trade—rampant in East Africa as both a source and transit point—not only threatens the survival of flora and fauna but also has a bearing on climate change, security, economic stability, and human health.

The nature of these crimes involves a complex transcontinental chain, from source countries—many in Africa—to destination countries such as China, Vietnam and Thailand, linking poachers to transporters to exporters to processors to wholesalers to retailers to end users, according to the Financial Action Task Force Report on Illegal Wildlife Trade, 2020.

Indeed, Interpol says that the routes used to smuggle wildlife and wildlife body parts and/or derivatives across countries and continents are the same used to traffic other products, and as such, are led by transnational organized criminal networks also involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

To equip journalists to investigate and expose these crimes, EJN’s East Africa Wildlife Journalism project is running a nine-month-long training program, Following the Money to Combat Environmental Crime. As such, we are looking to train investigative journalists on how to use financial tools to investigate money laundering, fraud, bribery and corruption, trace assets, underground money movements and illicit payment methods.

Journalists may also investigate other environmental crimes including illegal logging, overfishing of protected species, and dumping of hazardous waste.

EJN will select 12 journalists who will take part in a series of online training sessions and a final in-person workshop in April 2024. They will also receive story grants, and will be closely mentored by experts on the topic as they research and investigate their stories.


Applicants can be from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda or South Sudan.

For the purposes of this grant opportunity, we will only be accepting applications in English. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to consider applications in other languages at this time. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff.

Applications are open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio). Freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations— international, national, local and community-based—are welcome to apply.

We welcome applications from experienced reporters with a track record of producing depth and/ or investigative work on the environment, wildlife and conservation. Candidates with a demonstrable plan to collaborate with Asian journalist(s) to explore environmental crime markets stand a high chance of being selected.

EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.


We plan to select journalists in October 2023 with the expectation that selected journalists will participate in the program from October 2023 to June 2024, and publish their investigative reports on environmental crime within that timeline.

Language of publication: Stories, produced as a result of this training can be produced in any language. However, applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language need to also include an English translation.

Acknowledgement of EJN support:  Published stories and/or broadcasts must disclose EJN support by including this tagline: “This story was produced with support from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network.”

Republication rights: Those who are awarded grants are free to publish or broadcast their stories first in their affiliated media as long as Internews’ EJN, its partners and the grant funder are also given rights to edit, publish, broadcast and distribute them freely.

Judging criteria

We are looking for applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated experience investigating environmental, wildlife and conservation issues and/or producing cross-border, collaborative investigations.
  • A relationship with an established media house and a signed letter of support from an editor agreeing to their participation in the training program and/or to publishing/broadcasting work produced as a result of this training program.
  • Interest and enthusiasm to participate fully in the training program and to work closely with their assigned mentor.

EJN also considers the need to assemble a diverse cohort of journalists from different types of media houses, mediums and geographies. 

Application process

  • Click the 'Apply now' button at the top of the page.
  • If you have an existing account, you'll need to log in. Since we recently updated our website, you might have to reset your password by clicking the “Forgot password?” link in the log in page. If you don’t have an account, you must register by clicking “Log in” on the top right of the page and click the “Sign up” link at the bottom of the page that opens. Click here  for detailed instructions on how to create an account, and here  for detailed instructions on how to reset your password.
  • 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.
  • All applicants employed by a media outlet are required to provide a signed letter of support from their editor, acknowledging that they have permission to take part in the program and fulfil its requirements. All applicants, whether staffers or freelancers, must provide a letter of support from a media outlet committing to publish or broadcast stories produced as a result of this training.
  • Applicants will also need to submit two samples of stories or links to relevant work.

Note: You'll be asked to upload these supporting documents 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: Leopard skin seized from commercial air cargo shipment as part of Operation Thunderbird, a global anti-wildlife trafficking initiative / Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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