From the emergence of H5N1, the Covid-19 pandemic, Mpox and other zoonotic diseases, to an increase in antimicrobial resistance, from exposure to mercury and lead in water to dioxins in food, there are multiple warnings around us that environmental degradation has grave impacts on human health. Stressors such as deforestation, industrialization, agricultural expansion, biodiversity loss and bushmeat consumption continue to exacerbate these impacts, multiplied further by climate change.
The One Health framework recognizes that human health is deeply interconnected with the health of animals and plants, and with the health of the environment and natural ecosystems. The need for a One Health or integrated approach to address these threats has grown more urgent. Earlier this year, the Quadripartite Alliance, made up of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO) and World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) issued an unprecedented call for enhanced global action.
In the last few weeks, the World Health Organization published text that will form the basis of negotiations toward an international Pandemic Treaty, the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime published suggested changes to it, focused on preventing the spillover of pathogens from animals to people, and more than 200 medical journals urged the World Health Organization to declare two overlapping environmental crises — climate change and biodiversity loss — as a global health emergency, calling it a “dangerous mistake” to consider the health and nature crises in separate silos.
For global action to keep pace with the urgency of this crisis, public awareness and collaboration among researchers, health professionals, epidemiologists, toxicologists, veterinarians and conservationists must improve.
To help meet this need, EJN’s Asia-Pacific project aims to increase the quality and quantity of coverage of a wide range of One Health issues. Better informed audiences will be equipped to urge policymakers to bridge silos and adopt One Health measures to curb the growing health, climate and environmental crises.
With support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), EJN is pleased to offer up to 12 story grants to selected journalists. In addition to funding, selected journalists will receive support from experienced mentors through the story production process.
Journalists may explore the human, animal and environmental health impacts of:
- Climate change / biodiversity loss
- Zoonotic and vector-borne diseases
- Heavy metal contamination
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Foodborne diseases
- Air pollution
- Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
- Microplastics and persistent organic pollutants, from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) used as pesticides
We aim to support the production of stories that raise awareness of the interlinkages between human, animal and ecosystem health. We are looking to support explainer journalism that unpacks the science behind One Health issues in a compelling way for their audiences; solutions stories that examine One Health-informed efforts to safeguard human health and environmental resilience; and in-depth reports that dig into the challenges in implementing these approaches at a local, national and regional level. Stories that highlight the transboundary nature of environmental impacts on health are also welcome.
Proposals that focus on topics or stories that have not been widely covered and are likely to drive conversation among communities and policymakers are preferred. Issues that have already received a lot of media coverage or broad-based ideas that don’t provide unique insights are less likely to be selected.
We will accept applications from journalists residing in countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. We will not accept applications from Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia or the Middle East. Journalists from low- and middle-income countries in the region will be prioritized.
Groups of journalists are eligible. Cross-border collaborations are welcome, 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.
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) and other expert media practitioners with professional reporting experience. We welcome applications from early-career journalists and experienced reporters with a track record of covering health, climate and environmental issues. We encourage applications from freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations — international, national, local and community-based.
EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
We expect to award up to 12 grants with an average budget of $2000 each. Each selected journalist will be paired with an editorial mentor and receive guidance from a One Health thematic expert.
Grantees will receive access to a new health journalism course, delivered via Whatsapp, produced by Internews’ Health Journalism Network and EJN. They will also be invited to join EJN’s soon-to-launch One Health-focused reporters’ community for peer learning and exchange.
We plan to issue grants in January with the expectation that all stories will be published by May 2024 at the latest. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting public health regulations and best practices for local disease outbreaks when out in the field their workplan.
Safety: We encourage reporters to follow public health regulations and best practices for local disease outbreaks 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.
Language of publication: Stories can be produced in any language. However, applicants who intend to write or produce stories in their local language need to also submit an English translation of the final story, or incorporate English subtitles in their broadcast. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.
Story budget: All applicants are required to provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using the template provided below. We ask that the budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting, such as travel and accommodation. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story.
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 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 equipment.
We will consider a stipend for the reporters’ salary, particularly if the applicant is a freelancer. Please estimate the time you’ll need to complete this story and propose compensation you believe reflects a fair market rate. We ask, however, that this comprises no more than 30% of the total budget.
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.” Exceptions will be considered for security reasons on a case-by-case basis.
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, republish, broadcast and distribute them freely.
Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals.
- Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the 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, does your proposal bring new insights to the topic or offer a fresh angle?
- Reach: Does the proposed media outlet have a wide reach? Journalists publishing their work at outlets that typically restrict content behind paywalls are encouraged to secure commitments to publish from additional outlets, or request an exception to ensure their EJN-supported story remains accessible to audiences.
- Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and spur action?
- Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, photographs, audio and video elements and data visualization will be considered a plus.
- Plan for timely publication: Reporters, whether freelance or employed at a media outlet, will need to include a letter of support from an editor in their application, committing to publish the stories by May 2024.
Examples of robust One Health reporting
- How our environmental practices make pandemics like coronavirus more likely - Vox
- Antibiotics can (and will) stop working. Is modern medicine ready? (usatoday.com)
- Around China's metal mines, villages struggle with a toxic legacy - The Washington Post
- Biosurveillance of markets and legal wildlife trade needed to curb pandemic risk: Experts (mongabay.com)
- Worms Thriving in Brains, Tea Garden Workers in Assam, India Lose Lives, Livelihoods | Earth Journalism Network
- One Health in Fiji: What It Means and Why It Is Vital | Earth Journalism Network
- Chinese-Owned Pig Farms Threaten Indigenous Communities in Argentina | Earth Journalism Network
- The Red Tides Of Death: A Deadly Tale Of Harmful Algal Blooms - Asian Scientist Magazine
- How a looming El Niño could fuel the spread of infectious disease | Grist
- Microplastics are in our bodies. How much do they harm us? (nationalgeographic.com)
- PNADK025.pdf (usaid.gov)
- 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 in an Excel spreadsheet with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link.
- All applicants are required to provide a signed letter of support from their editor, explicitly stating that the media outlet will publish the stories produced as a result of this grant.
- 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.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in EJN’s new research study evaluating the state of climate and environmental journalism globally. The survey is available in 11 languages for journalists and editors covering climate and environment and will close on December 8. You can take the survey here and read more about the goals of the project here.
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: Six out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. Pictured is a One Health approach taken in Thailand to help combat zoonotic diseases at their source / Credit: CDC via Flickr.