Pulitzer Center Update

Pitching for Peace: A Competition for Journalists

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Abdul Kabir kisses his son, Noor Ahmad, 8, who is unconscious with a severe brain injury from an improvised explosive device (shell injury) from Mazar-E-Sharif Kabul on March 12, 2016. His father was also injured but recovered. Image by Paula Bronstein. Afghanistan, 2016.

Abdul Kabir kisses his son, Noor Ahmad, 8, who is unconscious with a severe brain injury from an improvised explosive device (shell injury) from Mazar-E-Sharif Kabul on March 12, 2016. His father was also injured but recovered. Image by Paula Bronstein. Afghanistan, 2016.

War Stories, Peace Stories and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Partner to Offer Journalism Grants for “Peace” Reporting in International Conflict Areas

War Stories, Peace Stories (WSPS), in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, invites journalists working from any platform to pitch a project focused on an underreported nonviolent response or peace effort in an international conflict area.

Three projects will be selected for Pulitzer Center funding. The level of support will vary between $5,000 and $20,000, based on travel and related costs associated with each project. All three winners will present their pitches live to a panel of judges at the War Stories, Peace Stories Symposium on April 11, 2018, at the Times Center in New York City. One of the journalists will be selected for an additional $5,000 award.

“A peace-builder can be as heroic as a soldier, yet we do not often see stories about nonviolent response to conflict,” said Jamil Simon, executive director of War Stories, Peace Stories. “With this pitch competition, we’re hoping to inspire journalists to seek out stories that focus on peacebuilding efforts and nonviolent resistance in conflict areas.”

“We’re excited for journalists to pitch their ideas in this forum, and we believe it will inspire others to approach conflict reporting in different ways,” said Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center. “Our partnership with the War Stories Peace Stories team furthers our own commitment to promoting great journalism via innovative collaborations.”

WSPS seeks pitches that illuminate peace efforts, nonviolent resistance, and reconciliation in areas of international conflict or extremism. “We’re interested in stories that capture the drama of peace negotiations, nonviolent protest and resistance, or community efforts to prevent violence and preserve peace,” added Simon. “We’re looking for stories that help us understand nonviolent solutions to conflict, of ordinary people and communities working for peace in high-conflict areas, of emerging leaders attempting to realize their vision for peace. We’re also looking for stories that will capture the imagination of editors at leading news outlets—and of the audiences they serve.”

Applications are due March 1, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Established and emerging journalists working in any medium are welcome to apply. Three winners will be announced on March 20. Winners must be available to travel to NYC for the event on April 11, 2018.

About WSPS

Founded in 2017, War Stories Peace Stories is a special project of Spectrum Media in partnership with Peace Direct. WSPS seeks to encourage greater reporting on peace efforts and nonviolent resistance around the world and to inspire a wider range of approaches to conflict reporting. Visit warstoriespeacestories.org for more information or follow @warstoriespeace on Twitter.

About the Pulitzer Center

The Pulitzer Center is an award-winning nonprofit journalism organization dedicated to promoting in-depth engagement with global affairs through support of quality international journalism across all media platforms and an innovative program of outreach and education. The Center supports over 150 international reporting projects a year, partnering with leading news outlets, schools, and universities to help raise awareness of the most underreported global issues of our time. Follow them on Twitter: @pulitzercenter.

Guidelines

We encourage journalists to go beyond traditional conflict reporting and to consider telling the stories of conflict in ways that speak to peace. We want to be surprised. We want to understand options other than war. We want stories that help policymakers think about responses to conflict in new ways. What are the hidden costs of conflict? Whose voice or perspective is missing from the way the conflict is framed? What will it take for peace to be achieved or sustained?

Projects may include print, photography, audio, video, or a combination of media. We encourage applicants to apply as teams.

Eligibility

Pitching for Peace is open to journalists of any nationality. Writers, photographers, radio and podcast producers and filmmakers; staff journalists as well as freelancers are eligible to apply. All application documents must be written in English. Members of the WSPS advisory board and production team are not eligible to apply

Deadlines

Applications are due March 1, 2018 at 11:59pm EST and must be submitted online here. Three finalists will be announced on March 20. Awards will be announced live at the April 11, 2018 WSPS Symposium.

Safety

If your project proposal involves reporting in a hostile or dangerous environment, we require that you and your potential outlets adhere strictly to the ACOS Alliance principles outlined here. Freelancers who plan to report from conflict zones or hostile environments must have a firm assignment in advance of travel from a news organization that will assume full responsibility for their well-being.

Distribution

Your pitch must include a credible plan for broad dissemination of the resulting work in U.S. and/or European news media (print and/or broadcast). Applicants should be able to demonstrate interest from editors and/or producers working in wide-reaching U.S. and/or European news media outlets. The credibility of a distribution plan is generally most evident in an applicant's track record working with the listed outlets. Letters from editors and/or producers who have worked with you in the past, and are interested in working with you again, are encouraged.

Review Process

All submissions will be reviewed first by the editorial team at the Pulitzer Center. This team will select 10-15 proposals for further consideration by judges selected by War Stories, Peace Stories and the Pulitzer Center. Three winners will then be selected to pitch their projects live to the judges during a featured panel at the April 11 Symposium in NYC. The judges will also announce the winner of the additional $5,000 award at the conclusion of the symposium.

Live Pitch Event

Winners are expected to participate in the live pitch that is part of the WSPS Symposium and will be provided a stipend for travel expenses for the April 11, 2018 event.

Award

Each winner will receive a grant of $5,000-20,000 to fund the development of their story (with amount dependent on budget for travel and related costs submitted to the Pulitzer Center). The Award will be given in two payments: the first half will be awarded by April 30, 2018, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. The second half of the grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion. An additional award of $5,000, designated for one of the three winners, will be announced at the Symposium.

Questions

For questions, please contact Emma Rose at emma@warstoriespeacestories.org. or Kem Sawyer at ksawyer@pulitzercenter.org.

Click here to apply.