Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Ocean Story Grants 2021 (Up to $2,000)

Earth Journalism Network (EJN) Ocean Story Grants 2021 (Up to $2,000)

Deadline: February 25, 2021

Applications are open for the Earth Journalism Network Ocean Story Grants 2021. Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is offering reporting grants to support the production of investigative stories that will call attention to critical ocean issues.

The world relies on the oceans to support the needs of our growing population, whether those needs be sustenance, economic growth, climate regulation or even the air we breathe. Yet this incredibly important but fragile resource is suffering unsustainable depletion, environmental deterioration and acidification, affecting the communities that rely on it and bringing us closer to climate catastrophe.

The targets outlined in UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water, aim to restore ocean resources to sustainable use, place vulnerable habitats under protection, and return the ocean’s full efficiency as a valuable carbon sink. But are we reaching these targets quickly enough to allow us to use marine resources sustainably for years to come? And how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected our progress towards these goals?

Through this reporting grant, EJN will commission stories that seek to investigate emerging and long-standing issues facing ocean conservation and sustainable use to capture the importance and urgency of the threats facing our world’s waters.


  • They expect to award 4-6 grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, depending on the proposal and needs outlined in the budget submission. They will consider larger grant amounts for stories using innovative or investigative approaches that may be more costly and time-consuming.


  • Open to journalists working in any medium (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with experience in investigative reporting and covering environmental issues. They encourage applications from freelancer reporters and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based.
  • They are seeking to support both early-career and senior journalists with many years of reporting experience. They’ll accept both individual and group applications, but for the latter they ask that the application is made in the name of one lead applicant who will receive the grant on the group’s behalf, if awarded.
  • Applications written in a language other than these will not be considered. Applicants must either have a working understanding of English or Portuguese, or have a translator available to assist with communication with Internews staff. Writing samples can be in any language, but will be subject to machine translation for judging.

Judging Criteria

Applicants should consider the following points when devising their story proposals.

  • Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?
  • Angle: If the story has been covered, does your proposal bring new insights to the topic or offer a fresh angle?
  • Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate and urge action?
  • Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualisation will be considered a plus.


  • Applications should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested. Download the budget template now by clicking on this link. They expect that proposals will largely reflect what equipment the applicant already had access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on procuring new supplies. They will consider some costs for the reporters’ salary, particularly if the applicant is a freelancer, but this should be a small portion of the total budget. Please include the cost for translation, if necessary. Please also note on your budget form if you are receiving funding from any other donors for the story.
  • You must submit two 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.

For more information, visit Earth Journalism Network.