Translate page with Google

Pulitzer Center Update March 22, 2024

Introducing Our 2024 Rainforest Fellows

RIN announcement graphic


Journalism that keeps an eye on the rainforests

In the last three years, we've seen something incredible: the fate of the world's primary tropical forests at the center of the electoral debate in major democracies in the Global South. It was a focal point in Brazil in 2022, when deforestation in the Amazon influenced the contest between Lula and Jair Bolsonaro. It was also a central issue in Indonesia at the beginning of 2024, when the country's environmental, agricultural, and mineral policies played a significant role in Prabowo Subianto's election.  

The centrality of the climate emergency in geopolitics has brought the Amazon and the forests of Southeast Asia into the political arena. As an organization dedicated to supporting investigations on underreported issues, we also see that journalism has done an enormous service in positioning the challenge of protecting tropical forests high on the agenda of decision-makers.

Since 2021, the Pulitzer Center has awarded 54 yearlong fellowships to journalists around the world interested in investigating the causes of the ongoing loss of biodiversity and carbon in the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia. Through the Rainforest Investigations Network (RIN), we are creating a community of journalists and media outlets committed to investigating and exposing what lies behind one of today’s most crucial environmental problems.

These grants have allowed some of the most talented reporters working for local and global media to investigate supply chains of gigantic scale and impact. We're talking about the beef, timber, gold, and nickel markets that are influencing land disputes and fueling cycles of violence against Indigenous people and their territories.

The RIN Fellowships pay the journalists' salaries and travel costs to the field for a year. The program also includes the support of a diverse and knowledgeable data and research team from the Pulitzer Center.

We're very proud to announce the fourth group of RIN Fellows. Nine journalists from the three regions will dedicate 12 months to investigating supply chains and environmental crime. Here are their names, and we wish them a year of good reporting! 

  • Alexander Abdelilah (France/Disclose) 
  • Bruna Bronoski (Brazil/O Joio e o Trigo) 
  • Bukola Adebayo (Nigeria/Thomson Reuters Foundation/Context Newsroom) 
  • Catarina Barbosa (Brazil/Sumaúma) 
  • Elodie Nicole Toto (Kenya/Mongabay) 
  • Fabian Alexander Federl (Brazil/Westdeutscher Rundfunk) 
  • Karen Gil (Bolivia/Revista La Brava/Mongabay) 
  • Linda Ngari (Kenya/Africa Uncensored) 
  • Margareth Suhartin Aritonang (Indonesia/The Gecko Project)
Gustavo Faleiros signature


Pulitzer Center grantee Jason McLure’s project Smoking for the State has won an investigative prize from the SABEW/Best in Business Journalism Awards. Judges wrote that the project “brought on-the-ground detail, data, and depth to a series of stories that revealed how China’s government-controlled tobacco monopoly undercut a landmark WHO anti-smoking treaty and stymied efforts by China’s own health officials to curb domestic addiction to cigarettes.” Judges also commended the project for powerful photography and data visualization.

McLure shared that help from the Pulitzer Center was invaluable to the project. 

Photo of the Week

Marine biologist Gabriel Renato Castro, on the land where he built his laboratory of tank photobioreactors. The project, which aims to enhance temperature resistance and strengthen root growth in plants, could help Chile’s lucrative avocado farms reduce their high water consumption and environmental burden. From the story “Behind the Avocado, a Parched Landscape.” Image by Karl Mancini. Chile, 2023.

“Investigating environmental neocolonialism in Latin America, the project sheds light on how the demand for 'superfood' crops like avocado, acai, and quinoa perpetuates exploitation, jeopardizing ecosystems and local communities ... It is an extraordinary opportunity for me to work on this project.”

—Karl Mancini

This message first appeared in the March 22, 2024, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

Click here to read the full newsletter.


logo for the Rainforest Investigations Network


Rainforest Investigations Network

Rainforest Investigations Network


a yellow halftone illustration of a truck holding logs



yellow halftone illustration of an elephant


Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change