This ambitious initiative, Our Work/Environment, seeks to explore the global climate risks playing out in fields and on factory floors and being discussed in company boardrooms. As the world heats up, what jobs and employment sectors, what factory practices, what sorts of manufacturing–from computer chips to batteries to food production to fast-fashion–are threatened or must change?
What factors will affect work? Heat, yes. Competition for water, for sure. They want you to reveal the real-world problems of working as temperatures rise, and then tell them much more. Stories that document the impact on labor rights and the livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable workers—including women who are often heads of household—as well as those that document companies that are working on solutions, and which are aiming for sustainability at scale, are of interest.
They encourage freelance and staff journalists with ambitious enterprise and strong in-depth reporting ideas to apply for Pulitzer Center support to cover the intersection of labor and climate in their communities. They are particularly interested in reporting from regions in Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. All types of formats are welcome: print, digital, broadcast TV, radio, and film projects, as well as data and computer-assisted journalism. They encourage vivid, innovative storytelling that can be shared across platforms and in multiple languages.
- They aim to support teams that reflect the communities they report on. They hope this grant can help their partner organizations advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and commitments.
- This opportunity is open to U.S. residents and journalists around the world.
- They are open to proposals from freelance data journalists, staff journalists, or groups of newsrooms working in collaboration with a data project idea.
- They want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are empowered to produce data journalism.
- They strongly encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms who represent a broad array of social, racial, ethnic, underrepresented groups, and economic backgrounds.
- Make it your own
- Potential applicants often ask them what topics they’re interested in seeing and they always turn the question back to them. They want the ideas to be generated by the journalists because they are passionate about them—not because there might be funding available to report on them.
- Go deep
- The only broad parameter they have is that projects address global systemic crises. And by crises they do not mean simply headline-breaking conflicts.
- A crisis can be a conflict. They support reporting that digs beneath the surface to address the root causes of such crises, as well as possible responses to them.
- Surprise them
- They’re not just looking for appropriate topics, they’re looking for story ideas that are surprising—that reveal something new, or will help readers see an issue in a different light. Ebola is an appropriate reporting topic; a profile of a prominent doctor working in the midst of an Ebola outbreak is a story idea; a story about one or more Ebola doctors who have surprising insights on how best to battle the epidemic is a better idea.
- Think beyond one story
- They encourage applicants to work across multiple platforms. Sometimes this means creating partnerships with others—writers working together with photographers or videographers or newsrooms joining forces to tackle a complex story, for instance—to maximize impact.
What they don’t fund?
- To save their grantees and staff time, they thought it would be helpful to outline editorial products and project expenses they don’t fund:
- Books (they can support a story that might become part of a book, as long as the story is published independently in a media outlet)
- Feature-length films (they do support short documentaries with ambitious distribution plans)
- Staff salaries
- Equipment purchases (equipment rentals are considered on a case-by-case basis)
- An outlet’s general expenses (for example rent, utilities, insurance)
- Seed money for start-ups
- Routine breaking news and coverage
- Advocacy/marketing campaigns
- Data projects aimed solely at academic research. Data should be developed to enhance/support journalism.
For more information, visit Pulitzer Center.