Journalists: 33 professional
journalists, photographers, and editors will receive stipends of up to
Representation: More than 60% of
the funds were awarded to story projects focused on under-represented
communities or diverse perspectives on environmental issues.
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 Foundation, The
Bullitt Foundation, Walton
Family Foundation and other foundation and individual donors to the Fund
for Environmental Journalism.
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
The recipients of the Fund for Environmental Journalism Rapid
Response grants (Round 1):