The Pulitzer Center invites journalists who are working on projects related to tropical rainforests to submit a proposal to the Rainforest Journalism Fund. There are two types of grants available:
- Grants for journalists reporting for major American and European news outlets on tropical rainforests in any part of the world. Applications must be in English.
- Grants for journalists based in and reporting for local and regional outlets in the Congo Basin region. See below for more information.
The supported journalism projects will focus on the following themes:
- 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.
- Deforestation drivers (in broad terms)
- Solutions to halt deforestation (in broad terms)
The Pulitzer Center will fund costs associated with reporting projects on tropical rainforests, with an emphasis on issues that have gone unreported or under-reported in the local and regional media. The amount of individual travel grants will depend on the specific project and detailed budget planning. Most awards fall in the range of $2,500 to $7,500 but depending on project specifics may be higher.
For approved projects, half of the grant amount is generally paid just before travel and the remainder on submission of the principal material for publication or broadcast. Specific grant terms are negotiated during the application process.
Distribution: Proposed projects must include a credible plan for broad dissemination of the resulting work in influential local and/or regional news media (can be print, online and/or broadcast, or a combination). Applicants should be able to demonstrate commitment/interest from editors and/or producers working in the news media outlets they propose. The credibility of a distribution plan is generally most evident in an applicant's track-record working with the listed outlets. Please do not have editors send letters simply stating they would consider the work. Letters from editors and/or producers who have worked with you in the past and are interested in working with you again, or editors who are committed to this particular project, are encouraged.
Safety: If your project proposal involves reporting in a hostile or dangerous environment, we require that you and your potential outlets adhere strictly to the ACOS Alliance principles outlined here. Freelancers who plan to report from conflict zones or hostile environments must have a firm assignment from a news organization that will assume full responsibility for his/her well-being. The Pulitzer Center is committed to support for Hostile Environment Training where appropriate.
Eligibility: Grants are open to all journalists, writers, photographers, radio producers or filmmakers; staff journalists as well as freelancers of any nationality are eligible to apply.
Applications include the following:
- Proposed project title, issue or topic overview (100 words or less), and project overview and methodology (350 words or less). This is the most important part of the application.
- Intended audience and proposed deliverables and plan for distribution, including commitment letters for publication or broadcast
- A preliminary budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs. Our typical grants cover hard costs associated with the reporting. Local reporting partner/translator/driver fees are acceptable and stipends can be considered depending on the circumstances
- Information about the lead journalist, including three samples of published work, a CV, and professional references
- Information about additional journalists contributing significantly to the project
- Applications may also include a more detailed description of the project but this will be considered as optional supplement only ("additional materials")
Within a week of your submission, you should receive a confirmation of receipt. Typically, applications that are received in a given month receive a response by the end of the following month, with an emphasis on making Pulitzer Center projects as timely and newsworthy as possible. If your proposal requires immediate attention, please note why in your project overview. Please note that some proposals may take longer than a month to accept or decline depending on how complete the original application is and whether or not extensive negotiations are required.
Where to apply
Click here to apply for a Congo Basin regional or local reporting grant.
Email [email protected].
COVID-19 ADVISORY: We advise that your project field work must be completed without risking your safety and the safety of others. We encourage all journalists to follow the COVID-19 health protocols of their areas of coverage. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]