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Mekong Data Journalism Fellowship 2021

Status: Open

Deadline: Ongoing

The Fellowship will provide selected Fellows the opportunity to gain an increased understanding of issues related to water security along the Mekong River Basin, which covers Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Over the course of four months, Fellows will learn how to find open-source data and use it to produce revelatory, relevant media stories that will raise awareness of water security challenges, such as hydropower plant development, and potential solutions in the Mekong region.

Selected Fellows will join a series of virtual seminars with experts in fields such as water management, attend an intensive, 80-hour data journalism training and receive one-on-one mentorship support to produce a data-driven media story they will pitch based on topics aligned with the theme of this Fellowship. Exact dates and times of the trainings and seminars will be set later according to participating journalists’ schedules.


  • Applicants must be a national from one of the following countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand or Vietnam.
  • As the Fellowship will be conducted in English, applicants must be proficient in the English language. We will only be accepting applications in English.
  • We are seeking journalists (online, print, television, radio) and other expert media practitioners with 2-3 years of journalism experience, preferably including reporting on environmental issues in the Mekong region and with an interest in and basic understanding of how to use data in reporting.
  • We encourage applications from freelancers and staff from all types of media organizations – international, national, local and community-based. Freelance journalists will need to guarantee publication and should identify the media outlet(s) through which they plan to distribute their stories.

What you will get in return 

  • US$3000 to compensate for your time, story production and any costs related to the training or reporting. Fellows will receive the grant in instalments and will need to manage spending themselves.
  • Virtual, interactive seminars with global and regional experts on water security issues and river management and their impact on the environment and local communities.
  • Free, 80-hour data journalism training. Each class will proceed from the one before so selected Fellows will need to commit to join each one.
  • One-on-one mentorship from a senior journalist throughout the story production process.
  • Ability to network with regional journalists and experts and build up source lists.

Selection criteria 

A team of judges consisting of staff from the Earth Journalism Network and the East-West Center will review the applications and select the Fellows based on the quality of the application, eligibility and demonstration of interest and commitment to the Fellowship.

When applying, keep in mind that we are looking for applicants who are:

  • Passionate storytellers
  • Curious about data
  • Can examine an issue from multiple angles
  • Committed to telling public interest stories
  • Have a clear idea of an environmental issue they want to cover with data
  • Open to working together with a diverse team of data experts, designers and editors to tell stories

How editors and media outlets will benefit 

  • Through a reporter with long-term, in-house data journalism skills, knowledge of Mekong river sustainability and access to credible sources.
  • With at least one in-depth data-driven story on Mekong river sustainability, including interactive graphics and visualizations.
  • By becoming part of a region-wide, transboundary, collaborative special reporting project with the potential for content sharing.
  • With support for distribution and story promotion through the partnering organizations.

Please, apply here.


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