The Pulitzer Center, a nonprofit organization that supports independent global journalism, is now accepting reporting fellowship applications for itsÂ Rainforest Investigations Network (RIN).Â
The network is a major new initiative that seeks to harness investigative reporting and cross-border collaboration to tackle stories at the intersection of climate change, corruption, and governance in the worldâ€™s three main tropical rainforest regions: Amazon, Congo Basin, and Southeast Asia.
Few stories are more urgentâ€”and globalâ€”than the destruction of the planetâ€™s tropical rainforests. The Pulitzer Centerâ€™s RIN seeks to create an ecosystem of collaboration among journalists to follow the money and the many illegal practices and legal loopholes that enable industrial-scale deforestation.
The investigative fellows will work on individual and collaborative reporting projects to systematically probe the drivers of deforestation across the three regions, from money flows to land-grabbing activities and human rights violations.
The full-time, year-long fellowships will cover the reporterâ€™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). The Rainforest Investigations
Fellows are expected to devote the majority of their time to their rainforest investigations and to publish regularly. They will receive data, communication, and coordination support from the Pulitzer Center and will work closely with their co-fellows around the world, benefiting from one anotherâ€™s skills and diverse perspectives.
The network will employ a data and technology coordinator, who will work together with the fellows to apply innovative investigation techniques, such as the exploration of large amounts of documents and geospatial analysis, among others.
The initiative will also work in collaboration with the Pulitzer Centerâ€™s education team. Fellows will have the support of local education coordinators, who will identify outreach opportunities to share investigation findings at schools and universities.
The Rainforest Investigations Network is a sister initiative of the Pulitzer Centerâ€™sÂ Rainforest Journalism Fund. It is funded with the support of the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI). The NICFI grant includes an explicit guarantee as to full editorial independence for the Pulitzer Center as well as for the fellows and news organizations taking part.
- Experienced investigative journalistsÂ with a proven track record based in the Amazon (threeÂ fellowships), Congo Basin (three fellowships), and Southeast Asia (three fellowships) regions. An additional fellowship will go to a journalist working at a global media outlet.
- Reporters based in countries neighboring the three main tropical rainforest regionsâ€”Amazon, Congo Basin and Southeast Asiaâ€”may also apply but will need to focus their reporting during the fellowship on deforestation/supply chain stories related to these regions.
- Staff or freelance journalistsÂ working on a wide range of platforms including print, radio, video, and multimedia.Â Freelance reporters will need to have the support of a local newsroom that agrees to host them and publish the work they produce during the fellowship.
- Team playersÂ with the experience and/or ability to work collaboratively across newsrooms and borders.
- Reporters with a deep understanding of the scientific, environmental, social, legal, political, and commercial forces at playÂ in deforestation and forest degradation around the worldâ€”and why this issue matters to our global well-being.
- Reporters willing to participate in outreach activitiesÂ related to their investigations, such as events at schools and universities.
Benefits for RIN fellows
- The opportunity to work on impactful investigations that are time-consuming and costly.
- A global network of top-notch investigative reporters who will aid your investigations and complement your skills.
- Access to data and documents as well as the opportunity to sharpen your data skills with support from the Pulitzer Centerâ€™s tech team.
- The opportunity to work on stories that transcend your country and region and can achieve true global impact.
- A community of like-minded colleagues that will continue beyond your fellowship.
- The possibility of renewing your fellowship for an additional one or two years based on performance.
- Salaries commensurate with experience.
Method of Application
To apply, you will be asked to provide:
- A statement of purpose: How this fellowship fits in your career path and why you are best positioned to be a Rainforest Investigations Network fellow. You may also include how collaboration with journalists from other regions can benefit your investigations or how you might be able to assist them. (500 words)
- An investigative project proposalÂ describing the most ambitious rainforest reporting you seek to pursue during your fellowship. (500 words)
- Three examples (links) of your most impactful investigationsÂ published in the past three years.
- A letter of supportÂ from your media employer or a newsroom that has agreed to host you as a Rainforest Investigations Network fellow and publish your work.
- Three professional references: These can be either contact information or letters of recommendation.
- A copy of your resumeÂ or curriculum vitae.
Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Early applications are encouraged and should be made usingÂ this online form.Â The last day to apply is Dec. 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.
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