As part of its 10th anniversary year, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) has created a new Council of Partners to help guide future development of the network, particularly its regional activities. The Council was announced last month at Berkeley, where EJN gathered more than a dozen leaders of environmental journalists around the world at a training-of-trainers conference.
The Council of Partners will seek opportunities for joint projects and will deepen and broaden the activities of the network, which now has more than 5,000 members registered online. EJN’s members collaborate through listservs and social media but would like more opportunities for training, reporting trips and fellowships.
The initial members of the Council of Partners are: James Fahn and Willie Shubert in the US, EJN’s new Network Manager Gustavo Faleiros in Brazil, Imelda Abano in the Philippines, Joydeep Gupta in India, Clara Rondunuwu in Indonesia, Michael Simire in Nigeria, Fermin Koop and Damian Profeta in Argentina, and Mona Samari in Tunisia. These members represent independent networks and organizations dedicated to producing better environmental coverage on a local, national or regional basis.
“There are many more partners we could and would like to include,” said Fahn, EJN’s Executive Director. “Hopefully, there will be room for this council to grow or perhaps more practically for EJN partners to collaborate within and between regions. But first we have to build the channels to improve that collaboration and show some results.”
Ultimately, EJN aims to have a lot of the collaborative work and discussion take place online through its website, which is being updated to provide workspaces and forums where members can not only access resource materials, view stories and apply for training opportunities but also find partners and work together on projects.
These efforts are part of EJN’s strategy to prepare for its next decade, which includes seeking out new business models to support its work. Although EJN will continue to rely on grant funding, and leaders agreed that many of the group’s individual members would not be able to afford paying meaningful dues, the network will explore new business models that could involve seeking more fees for its services, pursuing more crowdfunding, and perhaps in the future seeking dues from member organizations.