Grants for Investigative Reporting on Environmental Crime in East Africa 2020

The Earth Journalism Network is inviting applications for Grants for Investigative Reporting on Environmental Crime in East Africa in 2020.

Wildlife crime and trade, rampant in East Africa, not only threatens biodiversity, but also has a bearing on climate change, security, economic stability and human health. Indeed, wildlife trafficking is suspected to have played a role in the spread of the disease driving the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wildlife trafficking is global, lucrative and in high demand, according to the latest World Wildlife Crime Report by the  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It has also gained an increasingly prominent place on the political agenda in recent years, the report notes.

Media coverage of the illegal wildlife trade helps expose these crimes and inform the public about the risk they pose to our world. Such attention can also lead to improved legal action and the adoption of stricter laws that seek to curb wildlife trafficking.

But news stories have traditionally focused on government seizures of contraband rather than investigating why the trade thrives, supply and demand drivers or the syndicates helping make it happen.

Successful applicants are expected to put these grants toward travel for field reporting, research and production. They also expect all applicants to attend a series of virtual Investigative Media Roundtables that will begin in October. The roundtables will be open for all journalists to attend, and each will focus on investigative reporting in one of the four countries listed above.

This opportunity is part of EJN’s East Africa Wildlife Journalism project, which aims to boost coverage of conservation and wildlife issues in the region and is supported by funding from the US Department of the Interior and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

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Worth of Award

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network is offering journalists from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda reporting grants of up to $2,000 to produce investigative stories that dig deep into the illegal wildlife trade and environmental crime in East Africa and beyond.


  • Grants are open to professional journalists and media organizations from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.
  • Stories can be produced in any of the following mediums: print, television, radio or online.

Some of the criteria that EJN will consider in judging the applications include:

  • Experience in  investigative reporting, particularly on wildlife or environmental issues;
  • Commitment to attend at least one of the virtual Investigative Media Roundtables;
  • Audience size, and whether the applicant will produce stories for international, national, local, or community-based media;
  • Attendance at our Investigative Media Roundtables;
  • Stories can be produced in English, Kiswahili, or local languages. Applicants who intend to write or produce stories in a language other than English will be asked to include a translation of the headline and a short summary in English for publication by EJN.

Freelancers with a demonstrable plan for publication and a letter of interest from an editor are encouraged to apply. Similarly, photojournalists and multimedia practitioners with published visual work are also eligible.

Please note that the stories should be produced under a Creative Commons license, giving EJN and its partners and donors the right to edit, publish, broadcast, and distribute copies of these stories freely after they have been published/broadcast in the original media outlet. Full credit and a link will be provided to media organization that originally published/aired the stories.

How to Apply

  • Click on the Apply Now button at the top of the page.
  • If you have an existing account, you’ll need to log in. If not, you must register for an account by clicking “Join the Network” on the top right of the page.
  • If you start the application and want to come back and complete it later, you can click “Save Draft.” To return to the draft, you’ll need to go back to the opportunity and click “Apply Now” again to finalize the application.
  • Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested.
  • You must submit three samples of stories or links to relevant work. You’ll be asked to upload these once you start the application process so please get them ready beforehand.
  • Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
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Deadline: Application closes on October 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm EAT. If you encounter any difficulties submitting your application or have questions about the grants, please email [email protected]


Click here for more details and to apply