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Pulitzer Center Update August 14, 2023

A Transformative New Network for Ocean Reporting



Pulitzer Center Unveils Inaugural Cohort of Ocean Reporting Fellows

A healthy ocean is vital to addressing the triple planetary crisis of global warming, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Public awareness of the threats to marine species and ecosystems is growing, but dedicated reporting and engagement are required to bring these issues to broader attention and drive real change.

The eight Fellows chosen for the inaugural cohort of the Pulitzer Center’s Ocean Reporting Network (ORN) represent a diverse mix of regions, backgrounds, formats, and experience—and will spend a whole year delving deep into key ocean topics, including fisheries, pollution, and aquaculture.

The ORN, launched in May 2023, provides the unique opportunity for freelance or staff journalists to pursue an in-depth, investigative ocean story over 12 months. Similar to the successful model of the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network, the ORN Fellows receive funding, training, and the support of dedicated editors from the Pulitzer Center’s Environmental Investigations Unit. Further support from the Center’s Engagement team will help the Fellows amplify their stories, engage with their audience, and measure impact.

Ocean reporting is underfunded, and the topics are comparatively unreported. This is where the ORN can play a transformative role, supporting a collaborative ecosystem of journalists around the world who will systematically probe the drivers of the degradation of our marine environment across a range of topics, stories, and formats.

The 2023 ORN Fellows are (in alphabetical order):

Magali Estrada Astiquipan (fisheries, Americas)

Aryn Baker (pollution, Europe/International)

Philip Jacobson (fisheries, Asia)

Eman Mounir (pollution, MENA)

Regin Winther Poulsen (fisheries, Europe)

Abdus Somad (fisheries, Asia)

Gideon Sarpong (fisheries, Sub-Saharan Africa)

Alexandra Talty (aquaculture, Americas)

Click here to meet the 2023 ORN Fellows!

With ORN, we are strengthening our model of supporting journalists worldwide in their pursuit of ambitious and consequential reporting. In a moment of increasing concern with the environmental crisis, we are fully committed to funding reporting not only with coverage of the ocean, but also rainforests and other climate change-related issues.

We look forward to working with our Fellows in an exciting year of ocean reporting projects!




After Rainforest Journalism Fund grantee Tatiana Merlino’s Pulitzer Center-supported project The Aftermath of Bolsonaro revealed that three cases of alleged sexual violence against Indigenous children from the Jamamadi people in Brazil were ignored by then-President Bolsonaro’s government between 2019 and 2021, the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office of Amazonas state in Brazil announced it would launch an investigation. Merlino’s reporting was for O Joio e O Trigo and Repórter Brasil.

This message first appeared in the August 11, 2023, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.

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