Special Call for Proposals: Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund and COVID19

Amazon - COVID19 Call for Proposals

Proposals are due June 23, 2020.

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UPDATE: The deadline has been extended to June 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (DC / ET).

In response to worrying trends regarding the impact of COVID19 on the Amazon region, the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund (RJF) and the Pulitzer Center are opening a new call for grant applications. Journalists, editors and independent media organizations are invited to submit a proposal for a digital, collaborative news-project that will shed light on the intersection of COVID19, deforestation, and other critical issues in the region. The project should highlight local voices and have a strong distribution plan, reaching diverse audiences and leveraging digital media, social networks, and media partnerships. There should be a coordinating entity responsible for managing and editing information, and for facilitating efficient, collaborative journalism with minimal travel and based on trustworthy sources. Criteria are detailed in sections below. Click here to access the application form.

Proposals for this special call must be received by June 23. A limited number of projects will be chosen -- half focused on Spanish-language and half for Portuguese-language audiences.

Eligibility

Independent and staff journalists, newsrooms, and independent news organizations working with any media (print, multimedia, radio, TV broadcast, etc.) are welcome to apply. Applicants can be of any nationality but should be based in the Amazon region. If a team or newsroom is applying, the team lead should be the main applicant.

The review committee will prioritize teams/applicants with demonstrated experience in successful collaborative, transboundary projects in the region, and with a clear interest in urgent and under-reported issues in the Amazon. Teams should involve local or Indigenous, quilombola, or ribeirinho communicators and journalists who may be isolated in their communities.

Applications can be received in Spanish, Portuguese, or English. Reporting and publication may be done in any language(s). The review committee will select a limited number of projects meeting the proposal criteria, with priority given to one project for Portuguese-language audiences and another for Spanish-language audiences. 

Topic

Proposals should address the intersection of COVID19, deforestation, land-grabbing, and other critical issues in the Amazon. There should be a linkage at least one of the key topics covered by the RJF: 

  1. The tropical forests' role in the overall climate equation and weather patterns globally, regionally and locally, and the resulting consequences for human life and living conditions (in broad terms) caused by deforestation
  2. Deforestation drivers (in broad terms)
  3. Solutions to halt deforestation (in broad terms)

Criteria

Proposed projects should:

  • Be innovative and leverage digital media;
  • Involve collaboration, including local and/or Indigenous, quilombola, or ribeirinho journalists;
  • Have strong and wide distribution, including media partnerships and a social media strategy to reach a diverse audience;
  • Demonstrate attention to editing, reporting, and safety standards (for example, avoiding travel and implementing preventative health measures for journalists and communities);
  • Include a plan for aggregating information for easy access and/or embedding by media partners and broader public (e.g., live blog, scrolling page, etc.).

Projects may involve: data journalism (in-depth analysis and visualization); digital, multimedia storytelling (auido slide shows, photo essays, video stories, infographics, etc.); AMP stories; long-form scrolly-telling; 360-degree visuals, AR or VR; crowd reporting; or live blogs. 

Instructions

Applications should be submitted via the form at the link below. The form will require the following information:

  • A description of the proposed project (400 words max.), including the following information: topic/focus and its timeliness; methodology (details about coordination, reporting, editing, and information management -- particularly in relation to local journalists).
  • Deliverables and distribution plan (200 words max.), including 1) publication plan and media partnerships and 2) digital strategy (newsletters, social networks, partnerships, multimedia, web archive or database). 
  • Preliminary budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs; 
  • For the lead journalist: contact information, CV, three work samples, and three professional references.
  • For the rest of the team: description of roles, professional qualifications, and CVs where possible.
  • Letters of commitment from interested partner media or editors. 
  • Applications may also include a more detailed description of the project but this will be considered as an optional supplement only. 
  • Deadline: June 23

Budget: There is no minimum or maximum award amount for these grants. Budgets will depend on the specific project and should be justified with necessary details and planning. Budgets should include, for example:

  • Compensation for local journalists
  • Social media or digital communication strategy costs
  • Cost of project coordination/management

For approved projects, half of the grant amount is generally paid just before the reporting and the remainder is delivered upon submission of the principal material for publication or broadcast. Specific grant terms are negotiated during the application process.

Application Timeline: Within a week of your submission, you should receive a confirmation of receipt. Applications will be due on June 20 and successful applicants will be notified by June 30.

Apply Here