Call for Pitches: Reporting the Caribbean and the Environment

NACLA is seeking pitches for investigative reporting projects in the Caribbean region focusing on environmental issues, supported by a grant from the Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation.

NACLA invita propuestas de reportajes investigativos sobre el Caribe enfocadas en temas relacionados al medio ambiente, que serán financiadas por una beca de la Fundación de Sostenibilidad e Innovación.

Le Congrès nord-américain pour l'Amérique Latine (NACLA) lance un appel à projets d'investigation journalistique touchant les enjeux environnementaux dans la Caraïbe.  Cet appel est financé par une subvention de la Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation.

About:

NACLA has long set itself apart as the premier U.S.-based progressive news source on Latin America, through the strength of our credible, deeply-contextualized reporting, allowing us to delve into topics barely analyzed by mainstream media. Following hurricanes Irma and Maria we witnessed both an environmental and manmade catastrophe, and mobilized our resources to respond through on-the ground reporting and analysis . Nearly two years later, conversations about the environment and recovery efforts have largely fallen from the headlines.

Therefore, NACLA seeks to identify researchers and investigative reporters working in the Caribbean to continue the shed light on independent, autonomous, sustainable, people-led development in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean as a whole. We welcome written reporting as well as audio or video projects.

We are able to offer three awards.  Each grantee will receive mini-grants between $500 and $2,000, and will have their work published either on NACLA’s website or as a featured essay in the spring 2020 issue of the NACLA Report on the Americas. Applications for pitches are due June 30, with deadlines for selected projects to be determined in the months thereafter.

Details:

We are primarily seeking investigative journalism or photojournalism projects, submitted in English, Spanish, or French. We also welcome projects that include multimedia components. Successful pitches will outline a project involving on-the-ground reporting, with preference given to those who live in or have spent significant time in the region. If you are proposing an article, we are looking for medium- to long-form articles between 2,500 and 5,000 words, so the scope of your topic should be narrow enough to be covered effectively within this word range.

While NACLA is open to many analyses—especially those not often found in mainstream media—the accepted articles should be contextualized within a broader political and historical context. NACLA tells its stories “from below,” that is, we seek to give voice and agency to groups that are often left out of the narratives of history and political thought. Our work underscores the importance of grassroots activism and community organizing against dominant power structures. In the Caribbean, we believe that maintaining such a perspective is all the more important. Projects should clearly come from such a perspective, but should also not be uncritical of grassroots movements and activism as pertinent.

Our definition of the Caribbean for the purposes of this project is broad, including U.S. Caribbean territories, the Anglophone, Indigenous, and Francophone Caribbean, and the Caribbean Coast region in Central America and South America. We also will consider projects with a component on diasporic relations with other countries, such as the United States, Canada, or otherwise, but articles should primarily take place in the region itself. 

We are open to many perspectives on the environmental angle. Articles could be related to sustainable development efforts, resistance against disaster capitalism, grassroots organizing against polluting industries, land rights, deforestation, mining, migration, specific climate events, Indigenous organizing, ecosocialism, green political movements, feminist environmental organizing, grassroots organizing related to the environment, environmental racism, diaspora relations, and more.

Requirements:

  1. Pitch

The most important part of your application is the pitch, which should be around 500 words. The pitch should introduce the topic you will be covering, outline ideas for sources, specify an angle, and include what kind of media you will be using. It should also convey a sense of urgency: why is it important we cover this story now, and why are you the person to do it?

(If you are pitching a multimedia project, please include how long it will be, i.e. how many photos, how long an audio recording, how long of a mini-documentary? These projects will also need to include written introductions.)

Please also include the length of time you will need to report the piece, and a proposed deadline (either fall or winter 2019 or early 2020).

  1. Bio

We don’t need a full resume, but please provide a short (less than 250 words) blurb outlining your relevant experience.

  1. Writing Sample

Please provide a published writing sample of a journalistic article.

  1. Budget/Timeline

Please outline a proposed budget for your project, including airfare, food, lodging, and incidentals you may need for your project.

Your application should be in one document and sent to info@nacla.org by June 30. We will review pitches and make our decisions by August 1.

If you have questions, please email us at info@nacla.org

Thank you!