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Story grants on renewable energy in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu

Call for Proposals

Published on
03 Feb 2020
15 December 2020, 11:59 PM, (UTC -11) info.ejn [at] internews.org
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EJN is offering grants to boost reporting on renewable energy in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, with a focus on prospects, problems and roadmaps.

The grants will support the production of in-depth stories on the subject, with the aim of improving access to quality information and raising awareness among policymakers, project developers, investors and observers.

Overview

Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are among the leading states for the development of solar and wind energy in India. The economic slowdown – significantly worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic – has impacted the rollout of renewable energy (RE) projects in both states. Problems over project financing, payment and evacuation infrastructure have added to the worries of RE developers. Still, the long-term prospects remain bright.

We're looking for in-depth stories focused on policy, financing, payment and infrastructure hurdles as they relate to renewable energy and how to overcome them.

Story approach & formats

EJN expects to award grants averaging Rs 90,000 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.

We encourage the use of multimedia, such as graphics, data visualizations and video. Applicants for long-form and multimedia narratives should include plans and budget for accompanying multimedia elements and distribution channels in their pitch.

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. We shall give preference to journalists who regularly cover economy, business and energy beats. We shall also give preference to journalists who are based in Maharashtra or Tamil Nadu. In an effort to ensure equal opportunities and a 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. Freelance reporters should demonstrate a plan for publication or broadcast and are encouraged to provide a letter of interest from an editor.  

Online Media Workshops on November 27 and December 4

Connected to this opportunity are a couple of online media workshops that India Climate Dialogue and the Earth Journalism Network will be hosting on renewable energy issues and how to cover them in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Although attendance is not required to apply for these story grants, we do encourage it, if only to help applicants learn about the various aspects and challenges facing renewable energy development and how they can make them into 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 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. 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.

 

Application deadline: December 15, 2020, at midnight.

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

Banner image: Solar farm / Credit: Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash

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