Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fund for Environmental Journalism. July 2020

SEJ's Fund for Environmental Journalism Awards $76,760 in Story Project Grants in First Round of Rapid Response Grants 2020

The Society of Environmental Journalists' Fund for Environmental Journalism has awarded $76,760 for 22 new story projects selected through the first round of Rapid Response story project grants on a wide range of environmental issues and regions. Through these grants, SEJ will:

·    Fund Journalists: 33 professional journalists, photographers, and editors will receive stipends of up to $2,000 each.

·    Increase Representation: More than 60% of the funds were awarded to story projects focused on under-represented communities or diverse perspectives on environmental issues.

·    Support Local Stories: More than 80% of the story projects focus on a local or regional issue, ranging from Haiti's coastal fisheries to environmental health in Alaska's Arctic north.

"As tens of thousands of journalists are laid off or furloughed, new funding for local environmental journalism on under-represented communities and undercovered issues is critical," says Meaghan Parker, SEJ's executive director. "Environmental challenges most severely affect our most vulnerable communities. But as the COVID-19 crisis exacerbates the media's ongoing financial crisis, those stories are even less likely to be told. Through our Rapid Response grants, we are seeking to help fill the gaps in coverage by directly supporting independent environmental journalism."

For the last 10 years, SEJ's Fund for Environmental Journalism has helped foundation partners and individual donors support journalism projects that are editorially independent and independently juried. Support for the Rapid Response grants comes from The Hewlett FoundationThe Bullitt FoundationWalton Family Foundation and other foundation and individual donors to the Fund for Environmental Journalism.

"SEJ is extremely grateful to our generous foundation funders and to the individual donors who make the Fund for Environmental Journalism possible," said Parker. "Thanks to their investment, environmental journalists are able to keep doing what they do best: find and tell the world's stories."

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, SEJ's Rapid Response grants are designed to support journalists' health and livelihoods by focusing on stipends rather than travel funds. A new simpler judging process maintains SEJ's independent jury process but with a faster turnaround from submission to award. "Many thanks to our volunteer judges for thoughtfully reviewing the high number of quality applications that we received," said Parker.

SEJ is accepting applications for Round 2 of Rapid Response grants on a rolling basis. Topics eligible for consideration include: Climate or conservation in North America; oceans and coasts globally; water security in the United States; and the Mississippi River basin. Apply today.

The recipients of the Fund for Environmental Journalism Rapid Response grants (Round 1):

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