Nineteen Asia-Pacific Youth Journalists Awarded Story Grants

a boat on a lake with mountains in the background
Nineteen Asia-Pacific Youth Journalists Awarded Story Grants

With its latest story grant opportunity, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network’s Asia-Pacific project sought to support youth journalists from low- and middle-income countries within the Asia-Pacific region.  

Recognizing that traditional media often overlooks issues that are of central concern to youth and marginalized communities and that opportunities for journalism students and early-career journalists are limited, EJN put out a targeted call to support stories on environmental and climate injustice, reported by Asia-Pacific journalists aged between 15-30.   

After a competitive selection process, 17 grants were awarded to: 

  • Indah Suci Safitri, Indonesia 
  • Bidhya Rai, Nepal  
  • Akanksha Mishra, India  
  • Gresi Plasmanto & Suwandi, Indonesia 
  • Daniel Asido, Philippines 
  • Aparna Ganesan, India 
  • Sabah Virani, India 
  • Lam Nguyen & Danielle Keeton-Olsen, Cambodia 
  • Pamodi Kisalka Hewawaravita, Sri Lanka 
  • Vaishnavi Suresh, India 
  • Bashudev Neupane, Nepal  
  • Priyanka Shankar, India 
  • Niladry Sarkar, India 
  • Subhrajit Sen, India 
  • Tiare Jade Tuuhia, French Polynesia 
  • Hunain, Pakistan 
  • Aisha Farrukh, Pakistan  

With the support of EJN mentors, grantees will explore under-reported environmental injustice issues while amplifying the voices of youth and vulnerable groups. 

Their stories will highlight the destruction of Indigenous territories for tin mining in Sumatera, Indonesia; the plight of a tribal fishing cooperative society without fishing rights in Madhya Pradesh, India; the challenges faced by food producers in the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges of the Philippines; the struggle of displaced communities in Attabad, Pakistan, who have been waiting for government compensation since a landslide in 2010; and much more. 

“Young people are witnessing the environmental crisis unfolding in front of their own eyes. They are anxious about the environment and their future. Through this story grant program, we want to support youth to report on the stories that matter to them, stories that will draw attention to the solutions to address the environmental challenges,” says Amy Sim, Earth Journalism Network’s Senior Asia Program Manager. 

Next month, the cohort will convene for a virtual networking session, where they will meet with and learn from their peers, and have the opportunity to engage with media experts Biena Magbitang (Climate Tracker, Philippines) and Nic Newman (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, United Kingdom) who will share their research and insights on how journalists can make their stories more compelling to youth audiences.  

These story grants are made possible with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).  

Look out for grantees’ stories, which will be republished in upcoming months. To learn more about EJN’s Asia-Pacific project, visit the EJN website.

Banner image: Attabad Lake, now a tourist attraction, was formed as a result of a massive landslide / Credit: Abdulhanan93 via Wikimedia Commons.  

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