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Pulitzer Center Update February 29, 2024

The Rainforest Reporting Grants: Tradition and Transition


In 2018, the Rainforest Journalism Fund (RJF) was established with the aim of supporting 200 projects from three key rainforest regions: the Amazon, the Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia. With support from the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), RJF achieved everything it had set out to and more. 

By 2023, it had supported more than 300 projects involving 600 journalists, producing over 1,700 stories in five languages: English, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and bahasa Indonesia.

During this time, RJF evolved into a robust, supportive network comprising journalists representing diverse regions. Now, as we celebrate its five years of success, the Rainforest Journalism Fund is evolving into Rainforest Reporting Grants to continue supporting quality journalism.

Over the years, the projects championed by RJF unearthed a range of essential stories about Indigenous rights, illegal deforestation, sustainable solutions, culture, and more.

“We must applaud the unwavering dedication of journalists in pushing for hard, complex, and, often, provoking issues to the mainstream media. These stories ensure overlooked injustices, violations, fights for rights, and other wrongdoings are accounted for, and continued to be part of conversation,” says Detty Saluling, senior manager of the Rainforest Reporting Grants.  

Extraordinary stories have been published in national and international outlets and have played a crucial role in creating impact at the grassroots level. 

In the Amazon, the Indigenous communities living in Roraima, Brazil, used our grantee’s reporting to prove invasions in their territory before the Indigenous Council of Roraima. 

One of our ambitious projects in the Congo Basin encouraged public action against an exploitative corporate giant, which eventually prompted institutional action resulting in the cancellation of the company's registration.

And in Southeast Asia, we initiated a discourse on the Indigenous people’s customary rights. The reports were acknowledged by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) for shedding light on the issues that the mainstream media wouldn’t.

We have always taken pride in catalyzing social change, amplifying the voices of people who are sidelined, and bringing about action. 

“The RJF was a unique initiative in the history of environmental journalism, as it enabled consistent growth in the quantity and quality of coverage of the most important tropical forests. The result of these last five years is a real change in journalists' careers and in the countries in which they work,” says Gustavo Faleiros, director of the Environmental Investigations Unit at the Pulitzer Center.  

For the Rainforest Reporting Grants, we seek ambitious projects in their reporting scope, distribution plan, and audience engagement strategy. We seek innovative, collaborative, and cross-border proposals. Pitches can address the systemic factors that contribute to rainforest degradation and destruction, the local communities invested in the protection of rainforests and the solutions they bring, and the transparency and governance mechanisms involved in rainforest dynamics.

We continue to build capacity for rainforest reporting. Our toolkits, methodologies, and events will provide journalists with practical guidance and resources to develop their skills. Through this training, journalists can stay updated with the latest tools, trends, and digital platforms relevant to their work. This enables them to identify and build new opportunities for storytelling and audience engagement.

If you are inspired to pitch an environmental story for the Rainforest Reporting Grant, please register for our upcoming webinar Ask Me Anything: Pulitzer Center Environmental Unit. Pulitzer Center editors will provide clear guidelines for the organization's goals, audience, and editorial standards. Editors will explain the structure and transformation of the Environmental Investigations Unit and be available for a Q&A session.


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Rainforest Reporting

Rainforest Reporting


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