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2020 Bertha Foundation Challenge Fellowships for Activists & Investigative Journalists

Application Deadline: February 10th 2020

The Bertha Challenge recognizes that investigative journalists and activists have distinct roles. This Challenge will offer the opportunity to engage with the complexity of the ecological and climate crises while strengthening relationships through shared work on the issue. In their fellowship year, Bertha Fellows will be expected to explore new ways of working collaboratively and outside their traditional silos while maintaining their integrity and autonomy.

Fellowships offer:

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Income for each Bertha Fellow for one year, not exceeding USD $60,000 and commensurate with the applicant’s current or equivalent salary at the host organization – ideally a media outlet for an investigative journalist and an NGO, community organization or social movement for an activist.

Project funding of up to USD $10,000 for each Bertha Fellow to produce a culminating product that responds to the question posed by the Bertha Challenge. Directed toward a specified target audience, this could be a series of articles, videos, podcasts, games or drama productions, for example. Bertha Fellows working together will have the option to pool their project funding to produce on a larger scale.

A connect fund specifically designed to encourage collaboration between fellows.

Training through regular webinars, with topics on a range of issues from current debates around the climate crisis and ecological collapse to methods of investigation, methods of communicating findings through news media, storytelling, popular education and more.

Peer and mentor support in the form of regular virtual check-ins with Bertha staff and a cohort of Bertha Fellows. Like many fellowships, the Bertha Challenge aims to provide space for personal development. However, we also believe that work is most impactful when it is done in collaboration with peers conducting similar work on a sustained basis.

Network development through the global cohort of Bertha Fellows and exposure to relevant partners within and beyond the Bertha network, including our legal partners in the Bertha Justice Network, many of whom are at the forefront of creating legal strategies to address the climate crisis. Bertha can also support in strengthening local networks.

Global convenings of Bertha Fellows and selected guests at the start (July 2020) and end (June 2021) of the Bertha Challenge.

Activist Criteria

  • At least five years’ experience working with activists, social movements, grassroots and community organizations, social justice organizations or campaigns.
  • Strong connections to a diverse range of groups working in support of climate and ecological justice in the fellow’s city, country or region including with social movements, community organizations, NGOs, academics, journalists, progressive government officials etc.
  • Experience in developing organizing tools or popular educational products and materials including training courses, publications, pamphlets, films, podcasts, arts, theater productions, etc.
  • Experience in using research, media and the law in advocacy.
  • Affiliation to an appropriate host organization to amplify work produced during the Bertha Challenge.

Investigative Journalist Criteria

  • Mid-career journalists with at least five years’ experience and a track record and passion for doing investigative journalism.
  • Strong connections to a diverse range of people or groups working in the field of ecological breakdown and climate crisis including social movements, community organizations, NGO’s, academics, scientists etc.
  • Research ability, comprehensive understanding of the political landscape concerning the subject matter, understanding of the law(s) and political structures determining policy direction and power and the ability to work independently.
  • Affiliation to an appropriate host media organization that could publish/broadcast work produced during the Bertha Challenge.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the 2020 Bertha Challenge Fellowships

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