Eyes on the environment
Supporting and connecting journalists who report on development and the environmento tell the region and the world about the region’s interconnected environmental crises, journalists from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam formed the Mekong Matters Journalism Network in September, 2014. We help them connect across borders, find sources, travel to regional sites and communities, and share info. We help them build skills through training and mentoring. And we help ensure the region’s crucial environmental stories are told by offering story grants, reporting opportunities, and disseminating stories on The Mekong Eye website.
The rapid pace of development in the Mekong region is creating opportunities for journalists to find innovative and important stories connecting environmental, business, investment, health, and/or cultural issues of regional importance. Governments, businesses and the public need strong media coverage to keep them well informed and help them choose more sustainable ways of harnessing energy and ramping up economic development in this era of rapid growth and climate change. And they need to tell the world their stories.
Our members include nearly 400 environment, health, community, business, political and other journalists who report on environment and development issues.
Mekong Matters has grown into the “go-to” resource for environmental journalism in the Mekong region, and has supported hundreds of journalists, events and stories, through:
- Growing membership: The network has grown to more than 400 members: editors, reporters, bloggers, citizen journalists and filmmakers from big media, independent media, and freelancers
- Journalists trained: We’ve trained more than 200 journalists with dozens of resulting stories on issues such as dams, energy, industrial zones and policy through workshops and field visits
- Stories produced: Through workshops and investigative grants, we’ve supported journalists to produce over 180 investigative stories on dam impacts, energy, industrial zones, environmental policy and related issues
- Local partnerships: We support local groups such as Thai Society of Environmental Journalists to run workshops and civil society dialogs. We helped our alumni create the Myanmar Environmental Journalism Network and the Cambodian Environmental Journalist Network and support them with grants and training. And we connect these local groups at the regional level
- Information shared: We share partners’ news through to our 5000 key News Digest subscribers, and sponsored several members for external training and funding opportunities
- Journalism resources shared: We provide contacts, resources, research, case studies, and curricula to support regional journalists, outlets, NGOs and networks
- News disseminated via GeoJournalism website: Launched in February 2016, The Mekong Eye is the only website covering the Mekong region’s environmental news, investigations, analysis, opinions and maps. Current focus is on curated and original pieces uncovering the impacts of dams, mines, economic zones, oil and gas, transportation and other development projects. As a GeoJournalism site, our stories will be linked to maps and datasets collected from around the region and the world, in partnership with Open Development Mekong
- Media partnerships: The Mekong Eye has content sharing, investigative research and training agreements with over 30 prominent media outlets in the region.
Supported primarily by Mekong Partnership for the Environment, Mekong Matters is facilitated by Internews and its Earth Journalism Network, with support from Pact and the United States International Development Agency (USAID).
Through Mekong Matters, journalists have access to events and resources, such as:
- Workshops, training and events: MPE holds regional and local events and members will have opportunities to apply and/or attend. MPE will also notify members of relevant external events
- Networking: members link with journalists and experts from across the region to help them find stories, sources and information
- Story funds: members can apply for funds to cover stories related to development project impacts and policies. Download information and the application here
- Small grants: we have limited small grant opportunities for networks, workshops, innovative media projects, seminars and other projects
- Information: We share members’ news through our News Digest and newsletters, and provide members with news and information on Mekong development issues and journalism opportunities
- News website: The Mekong Eye covers Mekong development news, linked to maps. We are always looking for journalists and media partners who want to share content and broaden their audiences and news sources
- Data: our partner site Open Development Mekong launches soon with data and maps from across the region (see: www.opendevelopmentmekong.net)
- Reporting resources: we provide contacts, resources, research, case studies and curriculum useful for your reporting or training
- EJN: members can access resources and opportunities of the Earth Journalism Network, through the account you use to register
- Multiple languages: as much as possible, we will try to make our news, events and resources available in local Mekong-region languages, and will support some translation projects to/from English
Journalists: join our Mekong Matters facebook group
Our companion website, The Mekong Eye showcases news from Mekong Matters journalists and from media across the region and the world. We help readers track and analyze development and its interaction with the environment, communities and policy. The Mekong Eye is a news and information resource for citizens, journalists, environmentalists, government officials, business people, development workers, and others concerned about the future of the Mekong region and the global environment. We aim to help citizens of Mekong countries (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam) – and the world – get the information they need to find solutions to the environmental and social challenges linked to development in the region.
The network is open to print, broadcast or social media journalists working in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, including: editors, environment/business/health or other reporters, video journalists, citizen reporters, social media journalists, bloggers etc. who regularly report on Mekong environment and development issues.
To join the network, to subscribe to our Mekong News Digest or for more information, please contact: Adam Hunt, MPE Media & Communications Director: [email protected]
Visit The Mekong Eye regional environmental news website
Journalists: join our Mekong Matters facebook group
For more information on MPE, visit: www.pactworld.org/mpe
Mekong Matters' primary supporter is Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) which supports constructive engagement among civil society, governments and business to promote responsible development in the Mekong region. We aim to increase access to information about the costs and benefits of development projects. We are led by Pact, with partners including Internews, Stockholm Environment Institute, East West Management Institute and Wildlife Conservation Society. Our primary donor is the United States Agency for International Development.