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New West Africa fisheries journalism project aims to turn tide
May, 16th, 2017 (Internews). Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) has launched a fisheries journalism capacity-building project in West Africa. With the goal of improving journalists’ ability to expertly tackle the often overlapping issues of overfishing, food security and ocean governance, EJN's fisheries project also aims to further explore the economic and social consequences of overfishing on coastal communities in West Africa, through stories and investigations. The region of West Africa was selected because it is widely recognized as having some of the highest instances of overfishing and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU, as it is commonly referred to) fishing. With the support of the Adessium Foundation and working with local and regional partners, EJN aims to empower West African environmental journalists to expertly address overfishing by giving them the necessary tools – through story grants, training materials, workshops and mentorship – to cover these issues through various prisms, including through its socio-economic impact on coastal communities. Because the region, and the issues are so vast, much of the training work at this stage will focus primarily but not exclusively in Ghana and Senegal. EJN will be holding two media workshops, one in each country, run by and for journalists, catering to both francophone and anglophone journalists over the course of the project. Overfishing – a global problem “As ever increasing portions of the ocean must now be fished in order to simply maintain catch levels, there is a real need to make the public more aware of the impacts and drivers of overfishing, and its economic and social consequences. Developing the expertise of the media to tackle this issue in the region can play a positive role in reinforcing local, national and regional efforts in the region,” said Mona Samari, Project Manager for EJN. Close to one billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein and, collectively, the nations of the world catch around 90 million metric tons of wild fish and shellfish from the oceans annually. Most of the world’s fish stocks are being harvested unsustainably and it is widely recognized that there are simply too many boats, nets, and hooks in the water and not enough monitoring on the high seas. According to the World Bank’s “Sunken Billions” report, the world’s fishing fleet is more than twice as large as it needs to be to catch at levels that can be sustainably harvested. EJN’s Covering the Seas Reporting Toolkit – available in Chinese, Japanese, English and Indonesian -- highlights how the ocean is one of the most dynamic and yet most under-reported food systems on the planet. As part of its long-running Ocean Media Initiative, EJN has carried out numerous projects working with journalists and media organizations on sustainable fisheries issues in Asia (particularly Indonesia and China), Europe (focused on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy) and Latin America. It has also developed a series of stories called Future Oceans on the prospects for marine management in an era marked by technological disruption.
Journalism grant scheme to report on ‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureates launched
Sweden, May, 11th, 2017 (Right Livelihood Award). The Right Livelihood Award Foundation is launching a small grant scheme to promote reporting on ‘under-reported stories’ linked to the work of the 166 Laureates of the Swedish award known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’. Open to journalists worldwide, Reporting Right Livelihood grants will cover reasonable travel, accommodation and communication costs related to the selected story, as well as a modest honorarium. A total of five small grants will be disbursed in 2017. Applications close on 15 June. “With shrinking media budgets around the world, many newsworthy stories on real solutions to global challenges are missing out on being reported. More than 160 ‘Alternative Nobel’ Laureates provide fertile ground for such stories. Through this new grant scheme, we wish to support impartial, high-quality journalism on the issues that matter,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Ole von Uexkull. Successful applicants will be selected by Right Livelihood Award Laureates, as well as senior journalism and media capacity building experts from Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The five grantees for 2017 will be announced on 1 July. Özgür Mumcu, a columnist with the leading independent Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, recognised with the 2016 Right Livelihood Award for its fearless investigative reporting and whose 11 journalists and staff remain in prison, said: “Press freedom is a pillar of democracy and a guarantee of people's empowerment. In countries where crackdowns on media happen on a regular basis, it is also a question of survival: either the journalists who are in prison will join the rest of us in a free democratic society or we will join them in prisons.” Also joining this year’s selection committee, Martin Schibbye (Sweden), Editor-in-Chief of the Blank Spot Project and recipient of the Press Freedom Prize, said: “Working as a journalist is one the most dangerous things one can do these days. It is journalists who get jailed, shot and kidnapped. At the same time, they play a crucial role in a democracy. I look forward to supporting quality journalism, empowering colleagues, sharing knowledge and creating networks.” About the Right Livelihood Award The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to “honour and support courageous people and organisations offering visionary and exemplary solutions to the root causes of global problems". It has become widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' and there are now 166 Laureates from 68 countries. In addition to presenting the annual award in Stockholm, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation supports its Laureates, particularly those who may be in danger due to the nature of their work. Deadline: June, 15th, 2017. Additional information and application form are available from: http://www.rightlivelihoodaward.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Reporting-Right-Livelihood-application-form.pdf