Grant Opportunities

Story Grants to Support Indigenous or Ethnic Minority Journalists

Story Grants to Support Indigenous or Ethnic Minority Journalists

Deadline: 19-Jun-23

The Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering reporting grants to journalists from Indigenous and ethnic minority groups to support the production of in-depth stories that will call attention to climate justice, biodiversity and other issues related to the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples and communities.

The Asia-Pacific region is home to a large number of Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, who may self-identify as tribal peoples, hill tribes, forest peoples, scheduled tribes, orang asli and adivasis, among others.

To address this issue, EJN’s Asia-Pacific project, with support from Sida, is pleased to offer approximately 20-25 story grants to selected journalists who identify as Indigenous or belonging to an ethnic minority from the Asia-Pacific region with a story grant to support the production of in-depth stories on key environmental and climate issues impacting Indigenous or minority communities, while highlighting the role of traditional knowledge systems and land-use practices that address these threats and build resilience. In addition to funding, selected journalists will receive support from experienced mentors through the story production process.

Journalists may also propose story ideas that focus on sustainable resource use, agroecological practices and traditional land management customs, insomuch as they address the role of Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities as guardians of the environment.

They aim to support the production of stories that raise awareness about key Indigenous issues and drive conversation among communities and policymakers at the local, national, and regional level. They are particularly interested in cross-border collaborations and stories. Proposals that focus on topics or stories that have not been widely covered are preferred. Issues that have already received a lot of media coverage or don’t provide unique angles to environmental or climate challenges are less likely to be selected.

Story Themes

  • They welcome any environmental story ideas including, but not limited to:
    • how environmental and climate change issues impact the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples and/or ethnic minorities.
    • How conservation efforts and climate action impact the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples and/or ethnic minorities.
    • how traditional knowledge is being harnessed as a solution to intersecting crises of health, biodiversity and climate at the community level or in international multilateral spaces.
Funding Information
  • They plan to issue 20-25 grants of up to $2000 each by mid-July 2023 with the expectation that all stories will be published by November 30, 2023 at the latest. Applicants should consider this timeline when drafting their work plan.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Applicants must self-identify as Indigenous and/or belonging to an ethnic minority and will be asked to provide details in the application. They will accept applications from journalists residing in low- and middle-income countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific Islands. They will not accept applications from AustraliaNew Zealand, Central Asia or Middle East.
  • Journalists who are not Indigenous and/or belonging to an ethnic minority group are not eligible for this opportunity; however, they will accept applications from groups consisting of a mix of Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists. In these cases, the Indigenous journalist must be the 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, they will accept applications in any major language but those they receive that are not in English will be subject to machine translation. 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 and a history of covering Indigenous and/or environmental issues. They encourage applications from freelance reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
  • For this call, EJN invites applicants to pitch their story ideas in the form of a written proposal or a short video. If you are submitting a video application, please include English subtitles.
  • EJN reserves the right to disqualify applicants from consideration if they have been found to have engaged in unethical or improper professional conduct.
  • Please note: Advocacy-focused stories, opinion editorials and/or strategic communications pieces will not be considered for support.
Judging Criteria
  • Applicants should consider the following judging criteria 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?
    • Objectivity: Is the proposed story likely to be a balanced and objective journalistic report? Journalists should take care that proposed sources represent (or at the very least, invite comment from) a diversity of stakeholders and perspectives: affected communities, scientists and researchers, policy experts and government officials and industry spokespersons. Advocacy-focused or communications pieces will not be considered.
    • Angle: If the story has been covered, does your proposal bring new insights to 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.
    • Geographical diversity: Geographical distribution will be considered for the selection of grantees.
    • Outlet: Stories that will be published or broadcast by media outlets that target Indigenous and ethnic minority audiences will be prioritized.
    • 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 or broadcast their stories by November 30, 2023.

For more information, visit EJN.

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