Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) has selected the five latest winners of its annual small grants program. The five recipients – which this year hail from Paraguay, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Mongolia, and Pakistan – comprise partners both old and new, and will contribute to existing EJN projects while expanding the network’s global presence through the development of regional networks of their own.
The five selected programs are as follows:
- A leading pioneer of the burgeoning GeoJournalism movement, EJN partner O Eco will build off the success of its InfoAmazonia and Ekuatorial platforms by building InfoChaco, the first multimedia journalistic and data hub of information about the Chaco, a four-country region in South America that has seen a great surge of deforestation caused by agricultural activities and cattle ranching. Based in Paraguay and led by Gustavo Faleiros, InfoChaco will visualize data on a wide range of environmental topics across Paraguay, Argentina, Bolívia and Brazil.
- The BlueLink Watchdogs project aims to strengthen the quality of investigative environmental journalism across Bulgaria. To do so, BlueLink staff will work with the journalism faculty at Sofia University to build a cadre of investigative journalists by holding two hands-on workshops for 30 young reporters, forming a working group to coordinate skills exchange and story production, providing story grants, and organizing a conference to promote independent environmental journalism.
- In Nigeria, the Development Communications Network (DevComs) will use digital tools to devise new strategies for covering issues pertaining to the country’s natural resources, oil in particular. DevComs will hold a data journalism workshop for 15 young reporters, facilitate story production, provide story grants, and experiment with digital publishing and collaboration platforms.
- According to the World Health Organization, Ulaanbaatar is the world’s second most polluted city; yet, in-depth coverage of the public health threat this pollution poses is lacking. To equip Mongolian journalists with the tools they need to provide objective and thorough coverage of the city’s air pollution, the Mongolian Press Institute will be training professional and aspiring journalists to use sensors to gather data for stories first-hand. In doing so, the Press Institute will also contribute to EJN’s sensor journalism project, funded by Internews’ Center for Innovation and Learning.
- Having collaborated with Internews Europe on its Media for Early Recovery Pakistan Floods project several years ago, Pakistan’s National Council of Environmental Journalists (NCEJ) will once again be working to improve the coverage of the country’s myriad environmental issues – particularly those related to water resources and threats – issues that go largely unreported in a country focused on security and a fragile political system. NCEJ will travel the country to hold both classroom and field training workshops for young journalists, and will bolster its web presence with the ultimate aim of serving as the go-to hub for environmental reporting in Pakistan.
Now in its third year, EJN’s small grants program has proven central to the network’s mission. Not only have past grant recipients demonstrated the local impact of EJN’s global work by discovering innovative solutions to covering some of the most important environmental issues of the day, they have become lasting partners, crucial to the strategic development of environmental media around the world. These recipients have gone on to surpass the high expectations they have set for themselves; this year’s group is well poised to follow in their footsteps.