As part of the InfoCongo initiative we set a fund that will last for the next 3 years to help journalists to better tell the story of the region.

InfoCongo.org is the GeoJournalism platform of Internews´ Earth Journalism Network in Central Africa. Launched in August 2015, the initiative aims to identify local and international reporters dedicated to covering environmental issues in the region. Our main focus is to show the impacts of environmental change on human lives and ecoysstems. That is the reason why we prioritize stories about forests, water, climate change, wildlife, extractive industries, conflicts and crimes. As a GeoJournalism project, InfoCongo uses the techniques of geo-referenced information, mapping and data visualization to tell stories.

What is the InfoCongo Feature Stories Fund?

Excédé par le trafic d’ivoire sur ses terres ayant causé la disparition de 20 000 éléphants en 10 ans, le Gabon s’active dans la protection de ses aires protégées.

Potential stories may include a focus on illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest resources in the Congo Basin.

As part of the InfoCongo initiative, we have established a fund that will last for the next three years to help journalists to better tell the story of the region. Over the next three years, two calls for stories will be opened per year to receive proposals from reporters of the countries of the Congo Basin and also professionals from other nationalities interested or already working in the region. Currently, our primary donor is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), but we are open to receiving support from other sources to increase the amount of funds available.

What Expenses May be Covered?

InfoCongo will consider funds for a stipend for the journalist and also for web developers, photographers and videomakers. Expenses such as travel, fact-checking and/or database access, and translations of the story between English and any relevant local languages can also be covered. Fixed costs such as office costs or equipment are not covered.

What Should be the Maximum Amount?

This call will provide a total of roughly US$3,500 in support of the stories to be approved. Ideally, we expect to be funding proposals ranging from US$500 to U$1500.

Who May Apply?

Applicants must be working as a journalist or studying in a journalism program, and her/his responsibilities must not include public relations work on issues related to their story. We welcome proposals from independent journalists and also from established (small and big) media outlets. We are happy to see the stories produced in other outlets, and they can be aired or published elsewhere first, but we will also publish the stories on the InfoCongo website as well.

Ideally, applicants should be based in a Congo Basin country and/or demonstrate that the impact of the story on their audience will positively influence development in the Congo region.

What Kind of Stories Can We Support?

Stories must relate to InfoCongo topics and countries (see: http://infocongo.org/ ). Stories with a focus on regional, cross-border angles and impacts will be given preference. Potential stories may include a focus on:

  • Illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest resources in the Congo Basin
  • The cost of human conflicts on forest and conservation in general
  • Climate change and forest related stories
  • The social and environmental costs and benefits of specific national and regional development projects such as dams, mines, industrial zones, ports, oil and gas projects, roadways and economic land and forestry concessions
  • Environmental Impact Assessments and responsible investment policy and practice, and other social and environmental safeguards
  • Positive stories highlighting best practices for regional development projects, policies or practice

Application and Approval

Applications will be accepted between January 8 – February 8 2016. InfoCongo will make a decision on the applications within 30 days of the final deadline. An agreement with Internews´ Earth Journalism Network will require the journalists’ media outlet to commit to publish or broadcast the story, assuming it meets their journalistic standards. InfoCongo may also publish the story on their outlets. The type of agreement anticipated to be issued will be firm fixed price, and payments will only be made to applicants once they meet agreed upon deliverables. If requested, we may provide story mentoring.

Budget Form

As part of the application you will need to provide an itemized budget that estimates expenses being requested from InfoCongo, and how the funds will be used. Budget will be reviewed for allowability and reasonableness. (Example below)

Expense US$ Description / calculation
EXAMPLE Flight: Bangui – Kinshasa – Bangui 600 To visit sites and interview sources
EXAMPLE Hotel in Kinshasa 450 6N X $75
EXAMPLE Hire webdeveloper 300 6DX $50, to do interactive mapping
EXAMPLE Translation of final article to English 200 8 pages X $25
TOTAL US$ 1550

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