The Pulitzer Center launched the Ocean Reporting Network (ORN) in May 2023, offering the unique opportunity for freelance and staff journalists to pursue an in-depth or investigative ocean story over 12 months.



Similar to the model of the Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network, the Fellows receive funding, training, and the support of dedicated editors from the Pulitzer Center’s Environmental Investigations Unit. Further support from our Engagement team helps the Fellows amplify their stories, engage with their audience, and measure impact.

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. 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.


When we open the call for applications, we encourage experienced journalists—freelancers or on-staff—with a proven track record of environmental investigations and a solid understanding of ocean issues to apply. The full-time, year-long Fellowships will cover a reporter’s salary and provide additional support for the media outlet that employs the journalist (if on staff), or that agrees to host the Fellow (if a freelancer). Fellows are expected to devote a full year to their ocean investigation and to publish regularly. They will receive training and data, communication, research, and coordination support from the Pulitzer Center. They will work closely with their co-Fellows worldwide, benefiting from one another’s skills and diverse perspectives.

The deadline to apply for the 2023 cohort has closed, but we expect to reopen applications in the first half of 2024. Find out more about the 2023 application here, and meet the 2023 ORN Fellows here.

For the second cohort, the Pulitzer Center would like to see more story proposals on lesser reported topics, including:

  • Climate change impacts (other than sea-level rise)
  • Deep-sea mining
  • Marine energy generation
  • The blue economy
  • Marine genetic resources and the sharing of benefits
  • Marine Protected Areas (creation, implementation and management)
  • Species and habitat loss, restoration and protection 
  • Ocean science
  • Blue carbon and ecosystem value 
  • Marine geoengineering
  • Shipping
  • Polar issues
  • Fishmeal production
  • Aquaculture and blue foods

We particularly welcome applications from the Global South, and seek more reporting from these regions: Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, east and southern Africa, the Middle East and north Africa. Alongside the year-long reporting Fellowships, the Pulitzer Center also supports individual stories through its Deep Dives grant opportunities. We seek to support enterprising freelance and staff journalists who come with ambitious reporting projects that will yield high-quality, in-depth journalism.

The ORN is supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).


Do you want to report on the ocean but don’t know where to start? From climate impacts, to fisheries, deep-sea mining and pollution, there are many sources of stories and data. As we launch the new Ocean Reporting Network fellowship, we have prepared an Ocean Reporting Toolkit that you may find useful to support your work. The information is sorted by themes of interest.



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Rainforest Reporting

Rainforest Reporting
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Rainforest Investigations Network

Rainforest Investigations Network