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EJC announces 15 development reporting grant winners

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, 12 November 2015

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is proud to announce the winners of the sixth round of the Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) Grant Programme. A combined total of €270.409 will be awarded to fifteen journalistic projects that advance development reporting and bring the public innovative storytelling on global development.

The final winners were selected during a meeting of the IDR Grant Programme Advisory Council, consisting of senior international journalists. The projects that are eligible for funding will be greenlighted upon signature of a legal contract.

The awarded projects have received endorsement from significant media outlets located in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and many other countries. The winning projects touch upon multiple development issues, such as deforestation and reforestation; energy inefficiency and sustainable alternatives in Ghana; the impact of large corporations on farmers and seed producers; water scarcity along the Nile; and the recovery journeys of five Ebola-affected districts in Sierra Leone.

The winners were chosen because of their solid story ideas and innovative multi-platform approaches, operating on the crossroads between investigative, data-driven and visual journalism. In addition, the advisory council applauded the multi-platform approach of many applicants, as this magnifies the visibility and impact of their stories.

“We were astounded by the high quality of this round’s applications, as many projects are really innovative both in terms of packaging strategy and topic. Our community of journalists is now comprised by over 166 people, making us one of the largest networks of development journalists in the world. With two more grant rounds to go, we are confident our current and future grantees can give the topic of development a new and exciting spin,” says EJC Director Wilfried Ruetten.

The winners of this round will join a two-day boot camp training on 10 and 11 December, where they will meet fellow grantees and learn from top-level media practitioners. They will work on the development of their stories, cross-disciplinary collaborations with designers and coders, and publication strategies aimed at achieving the best possible public impact.

The sixth call for applications ran from 26 February to 9 September 2015. In total, 144 applications were received.

These are the winning projects:

Project name: Beyond the Paradise
Team: Angelo Attanasio (project lead), Edu Ponces, Eva Domínguez, Arnau Gifreu, David Fernández
Description: Beyond the Paradise is a newsgame that explains the effects of mass tourism in three tropical paradises.
Project locations: Dominican Republic, Thailand, Tanzania
Media outlets: El Periódico de Catalunya (ES), La Stampa (IT)
Budget: €19.500

Project name: Poisoned lives
Team: Desirée García (project lead), Javier Marín
Description: This project explores the unknown lead poisoning caused by car battery recycling plants in African communities.
Project locations: Kenya. Data will also be gathered from other Sub-Saharan African countries
Media outlets: Televisión Española (ES), El Confidencial (ES), Agencia EFE (ES), The Ecologist (UK)
Budget: €17.585

Project name: Agritools – Crowdsourcing Stories on ICT for Agriculture in Africa
Team: Elisabetta Demartis (project lead), Winnie Kamau, Djibi Dem
Description: The project will crowdsource and map African ICT for agriculture initiatives.
Project locations: Senegal, Kenya
Media outlets: L'Espresso (IT), Altermondes (FR), La Directa (ES), Le Quotidien (Senegal), TalkAfrica (Kenya)
Budget: €19.150

Project name: The African Energy Project
Team: Caterina Clerici (project lead), Marisa Schwartz Taylor, Kevin Taylor
Description: The African Energy Project explores issues of energy inefficiency in West Africa and homegrown innovations in alternative energy that could set an example for the rest of the planet.
Project locations: Ghana
Media outlets: La Stampa (IT), Libération (FR)
Budget: €19.775

Project name: SEEDcontrol
Team: Elisabetta Tola (project lead), Giordano Cossu, Marco Boscolo, Fiona McLeod
Description: This project will collect data on the corporations that control the global seed market and the impact that they have on farmers and seed producers.
Project locations: South Africa, Italy, Spain, France
Media outlets: RFI (FR), RAI Radio3 Scienza (IT), L'Espresso (IT), NacióDigital (ES); SciDevNet (UK); Euroscientist (FR); Oxpeckers (SA)
Budget: €18.000

Project name: Smart Slums
Team: Lasse Wamsler (project lead), Sven Johannesen, Sune Gudmundsson
Description: Smart Slums shows how people from slums are crowdsourcing data about their neighbourhoods to improve the quality of life.
Project locations: India
Media outlets: Al Jazeera (UK), Dagbladet Information (DK), Dagsavisen (NO), MO* (BE)
Budget: €17.274

Project name: Reserved!
Team: Riccardo Pravettoni (project lead), Marine Gauthier
Description: Reserved! explores the interactions between nature conservation and indigenous peoples, shedding a new light on the impacts conservation projects have on local communities.
Project locations: Malaysia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil
Media outlets: Internazionale (IT), Le Nouvel Obs (FR), Il Post (IT), Carto (FR)
Budget: €22.310

Project name: Lungs of the Earth
Team: Jacopo Ottaviani (project lead), Isacco Chiaf
Description: Lungs of the Earth is a data-driven, immersive and constructive story on forests, deforestation and reforestation around the world.
Media outlets: Al Jazeera International (QA), Internazionale (IT), (NL), El País (ES)
Budget: €19.820

Project name: The Nile: Water Scarcity and Development in North Africa
Team: Emir Nader
Description: Journeying the Nile, this project will investigate the dramatically escalating pressures on water in the water scarcest region of the world.
Project locations: Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia
Media outlets: The Daily and Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Budget: €13.220

Project name: Refugee Economics
Team: Flavie Halais
Description: This project will shed light on refugees living in protracted situations and the positive contribution they bring to local host communities in Uganda and Kenya.
Project locations: Uganda, Kenya
Media outlets: This is Africa – Financial Times (UK)
Budget: €15.000

Project name: Made in Africa
Team: Hans Gerard Moleman
Description: Made in Africa will investigate the socio-economic opportunities in African countries linked to the Chinese model for development, focused on industry. Why do new African factories succeed or fail?
Project locations: Ethiopia, Zambia
Media outlet: VPRO Public Broadcasting (NL)
Budget: €16.000

Project name: Rapid Diagnostic Tests: Measuring a Breakthrough
Team: Antonio Villarreal (project lead), Eduardo Suárez
Description: This project is about the numbers and stories behind rapid diagnostic tests: how much money, time and lives do they save?
Media outlets: El Español (ES), Krautreporter (DE), Efecto Cocuyo (Venezuela), El Ambulante (Colombia/US)
Budget: €9.500

Project name: Medicamentalia II - Vaccines
Team: Eva Belmonte (project lead), David Cabo, Miguel Ángel Gavilanes
Description: Medicamentalia II focuses on the analysis of development, marketing and delivery of vaccines to explain differences in access to health.
Project locations: India, Haiti
Media outlets: Euronews (FR), El Mundo (ES), La Sexta TV (ES), Correct!v (DE) WIRED (IT), The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK), Verdensmagasinet X (NO)
Budget: €19.925

Project name: Beyond Ebola
Team: Hazel Healy (project lead), Paul Myles, Libby Powell, Tobias Quinn
Description: Beyond Ebola will bring to life the recovery journeys of five affected districts in Sierra Leone, exploring ongoing impacts and community-led coping strategies.
Project locations: Sierra Leone
Media outlets: New Internationalist (UK), Sky News (UK), On Our Radar (UK)
Budget: €19.900

Project name: Wells of Tears – The Bangladesh Arsenic Project
Team: Sam Loewenberg (project lead), Mark Simon
Description: Wells of Tears will tell the story of the mass arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh and explore solutions to this problem.
Project locations: Bangladesh
Media outlets: El Mundo (ES), The Lancet (UK)
Budget: €23.450

Journalists and media organisations interested in breaking away from development journalism stereotypes are encouraged to pitch us their creative ideas in the seventh round of applications. The deadline to apply is 2 March 2016 (22:00 CET). The online application form can be found here. For questions, check the FAQ guide or send an email to [email protected]

Note for editors:

The Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme was launched in January 2013 by the EJC with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to reward quality journalism and advance a new and distinctive agenda for development coverage through awarding funding to a selection of state-of-the-art reporting projects of great impact and high visibility. Since 2013, the programme has granted funding to 82 projects.

The IDR Grant Programme has received $1,785,000 for the period of 2015 and 2016 that will be awarded to innovative journalistic projects centred on global development topics. In 2016, the programme will run two rounds of applications and organise two boot camp style trainings tailor-made for the winners of each round.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media. This mission has two main aspects: on the one hand, it is about safeguarding, enhancing, and future-proofing quality journalism in Europe and on the other hand, it is about supporting initiatives towards press freedom in emerging and developing countries. This often includes creating the framework conditions for independent and self-determined journalism in the first place. To these ends, the EJC provides thematic training, professional capacity development, and a wide range of support activities for journalists.

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