Green Echoes #1

Key investigative stories, data sources, funding/training opportunities and our projects from across Asia.

Dear friends and supporters,

Welcome to the first issue of Green Echoes, a new newsletter from the Environmental Reporting Collective that highlights key investigative stories, data sources, funding/training opportunities and our projects from across Asia.

We chose the name Green Echoes in memory of our colleague Anu Paul Nkeze in Cameroon, who passed away in December at the age of 43. Paul had been passionate about environmental protection as a volunteer, advocate, freelance journalist, and public radio program producer. In 2016, Paul founded the print publication Green Echoes. Just last summer, he traveled around the country, talking to traders and poachers of pangolins to report this story on the trade

Let’s dive right in. We’ll be telling you here about events in Asia, freelance opportunities, new data you can use for reporting and some stories worth highlighting that could be emulated elsewhere. 

Opportunities has an open call for longform, data driven pieces. See details here, and send pitches to Data Editor, Tara Kelly, at (Rolling deadline).

For those of you in Malaysia, Projek Dialog, with the support of Internews, is giving out 10 small grants of USD$1,200 each to anyone pursuing stories that highlight diverse voices in Malaysia. Apply here (Deadline May 1).

The Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting applications for rapid response grants for Journalism Projects Covering Climate, Conservation and Environmental Health in North America. Details here (Rolling deadline).

Data and other resources

The biggest story, of course, is COVID-19, which has numerous investigative angles and environmental intersections. There is even evidence that pangolins, the focus of our first collaborative project, may have played a role as a vector.

Find your story or angle. The Center for Cooperative Media has written a summary of how global media collaborations are covering Covid-19 and sharing both resources and knowledge across borders. The Global Investigative Journalism Network has asked some experts what investigative journalists should be focusing on around the pandemic. 

If you’re looking for data on animal trafficking or poaching, Knoema has released several data sets on poaching in Asia and Africa. 

Also check out our resources page, which we’ll be regularly updating with data, imagery, and legal sources. If you have any suggestions or would like to highlight an additional data set, please let me know by responding to this email. 

Stories worth sharing

In 2018, Ramesh Bhushal, a Nepali journalist, joined a team of scientists on a 45 days hiking and rafting expedition from the source of the Karnali river in Tibet to India, which he turned into a multi-part series for The Third Pole and the Nepali Times. Read about how he undertook this massive project in this piece published in The Open Notebook.

Last week, several outlets, including The New York Times, reported on how dams built along the Mekong in China held back water, resulting in droughts downstream. The data for that piece came from this report by PACT, The Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership, and the Lower Mekong Initiative, and used a mix of satellite monitoring, software analysis, and other observational data to create a nearly three decade long data set on river flows. 

  • If you want to learn more about this, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand is hosting a livestream press conference with several of the researchers behind this project TODAY, April 23rd.

Events Around Asia

Webinar: Using Data to Investigate Pangolin Trafficking: A reminder that next week, on April 28, some of our members are participating in a webinar hosted by Internews/Earth Journalism Network. We will share best practices in using data to investigate wildlife crimes in China and Vietnam. More details here.

Webinar: Investigating the link between zoonotic diseases and the wildlife trade. This one is taking place on April 29, and is being organized by Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University and the Internews Earth Journalism Network. More details here

The Pulitzer Center's Rainforest Journalism Fund is holding a free webinar on May 1, with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng entitled Introduction to Digital Mapping. It's aimed at beginners, and will explain the concepts of digital mapping and show to make your own simple, quick, and free online interactive map.

Nithin Coca

PS. If you haven't yet filled out our short survey, please do! It will help us understand your needs and interests as we build our community. If you want to get in touch personally, just respond to this email. 

The Environmental Reporting Collective is a group of reporters and editors across Asia and elsewhere, working together to rethink how environmental journalism is done. We support collaborative journalism projects that start new conversations on how our societies impact our planet. Such stories are complex and expensive. That’s why they require new approaches to research, reporting, editing and distribution.

To learn more about our work, check out our website, Investigative.Earth, and follow up on Twitter and Facebook. You can also let us know what you would like to see in this newsletter by responding to this email.