New grants provide $100,000 for reporting on environmental justice

The National Press Foundation and the National Press Club Journalism Institute announced today that they will jointly sponsor a program that will award up to $100,000 in grants to journalists who plan to cover environmental justice.

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 will be awarded to support journalism in any medium that centers environmental justice and environmental racism in the United States.  This could include coverage of the disproportionate harms to disadvantaged communities from pollution, the effects of climate change, or other relevant topics. 

Applications are open now and will be accepted until June 15.  Details and contest rules are found below. The application form is here. Work supported by these grants should be published or broadcast in a U.S. news outlet by Dec. 31, 2021.

“As the climate crisis worsens, journalists have a special duty to tell the stories of the people who will be most affected – and we now know the human suffering will not be equally shared,” said Sonni Efron, President and CEO of the National Press Foundation.  

“These grants are intended to increase coverage of environmental justice and afford access to a wider range of journalists who want to address the disproportionate effects of environmental challenges on communities of color and other vulnerable populations,” said Julie Moos, Executive Director of the National Press Club Journalism Institute.

The Kozik Grants are funded by a 1991 gift from the late Dr. Robert Kozik in honor of his deceased son. 

The grant applications will be judged by distinguished journalists or former journalists who have produced notable work in exposing environmental racism and its consequences, including Antonia Juhasz, Yanick Rice Lamb and Harriet Washington.  NPF and NPCJI thank them for their guidance and support for this project.

About The National Press Foundation

The National Press Foundation is a nonprofit whose mission is to “make good journalists better.” We educate journalists on the complex issues of the day and train them to use the latest reporting tools and techniques. The foundation recognizes and encourages excellence in journalism through its awards and fellowships.

About the National Press Club Journalism Institute

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement. The Institute is the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club.

Kozik Challenge Grant Rules

  1. Journalists must submit a one to two-page proposal by June 15, 2021, explaining the project they wish to cover, a budget to explain the amount requested, and where the finished work would likely appear. We are looking to support people, their passion, and their purpose, so please reflect that in your proposal. The application is here.
  2. Submit three samples of your work that you’re most proud of having produced. The submitted work doesn’t have to cover environmental justice; in your application, help the judges connect the work you’ve done and the work you’re hoping to do with these funds. 
  3. Newsroom journalists must submit a note of support from their supervisor.  Freelance journalists should submit a note from an assignment editor expressing interest in their work. 
  4. Judges will be professional journalists or former journalists knowledgeable about environmental justice.  Successful applicants will be informed on or about July 15, 2021. 
  5. Depending on the number of grant applicants and the sums requested, organizers may opt to distribute the grants on a rolling basis until all of the funds are distributed.
  6. Half of each grant shall be paid when the grant is awarded. One-quarter will be paid halfway through the grant period. The final quarter will be paid when the finished work is complete.
  7. The grant is intended to cover reporting, writing and travel expenses for the project. For freelance journalists, a portion of the grant may also be used to support living expenses.
  8. If you are receiving support for this project from another grant or foundation, please include that information in your application.
  9. The grantees will receive mentorship support coordinated by NPCJI, to be determined once they are selected, and will also have the opportunity to support each other as a cohort.
  10. Work must be published or broadcast, or an extension requested, by Dec. 31, 2021, in a U.S.-based media outlet.
  11. In the published or broadcast work, credit must be given to the “Kozik Challenge Grants funded by the National Press Foundation and the National Press Club Journalism Institute.” NPF and NPCJI shall have the right to display the published works on their respective websites. However, the creator and publisher of the work will retain the copyright.

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