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WGSI Supports Innovative Journalism Fellowship for Reporting on Energy Poverty

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Discourse Media launches global journalism fellowship for reporting on energy poverty

Collaborative multimedia series will examine systemic issues driving energy poverty around the world, and potential paths forward.

On November 10, 2015, Discourse Media launched the Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship (AEJF) — a project aimed at enabling critical, deep reporting on energy poverty globally. 

By supporting up to eight journalists from different countries around the world to report on the issue in their region, the project aims to deepen energy poverty reporting at the local level. By then bringing those reports together on a global platform in the form of a multimedia series, it will also paint a global picture of the energy poverty landscape, and examine what potential solutions exist. 

“Despite the fact that there is so much reporting on energy and climate change in the world today, the issue of energy access remains deeply underreported,” said Christine McLaren, co-founder and director of Discourse Media. “With the demand for energy growing globally and the dangers of climate change looming, there’s never been a more critical time for the media to take a nuanced, solutions-oriented look at the energy access crisis. And we believe that doing so collaboratively, with journalists working with other journalists from around the world, we can do so in a way that is more than the sum of its parts.” 

The project builds on Discourse Media’s background of large-scale multimedia journalism projects that take a critical, yet solutions-oriented approach to reporting, and that leverage collaborations amongst journalists, media outlets and institutions. 

The AEJF is supported by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI), a non-profit partnership between the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo. WGSI’s current initiatives are centred around the question: “How can we use the latest science and technology to decrease our reliance on non-renewable energy sources and improve the well-being of the energy isolated?” To respond to a gap in media discourse around the issue of energy access globally, Discourse Media created the AEJF project concurrent with the leadup to WGSI’s OpenAccess Energy Summit, which takes place in April, 2016. 

“Today, the energy access conversation is not framed in a way that promotes problem solving,” said Julie Wright, General Manager of WGSI. “By facilitating deep reporting that cuts across disciplines and beats, we believe Discourse Media’s Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship will bring much needed nuance to the global dialogue around this complex issue.”

The AEJF is administered and produced by Discourse Media, with financial support from WGSI. WGSI’s support of the project does not imply endorsement of or influence over the content produced. Discourse Media adheres to the highest standard of journalistic ethics, as outlined in the Canadian Association of Journalists guidelines.

The fellowships are open to both staff reporters and to freelancers who have a written agreement from an editor at a publication who has agreed to publish the content they produce and take part in the project.

Application deadline is midnight, Pacific Standard Time, November 29, 2015. Fellows will be selected and contacted by the end of December, 2015.

Full project and application details can be found here.

About Discourse Media

Discourse Media is an independent production company that produces and enables in-depth journalism projects about complex challenges facing society. Our mission is to stimulate constructive public dialogue with forward-looking journalism driven by inclusive community engagement. We aim to contribute to a world in which everyone has the empathy, access to sophisticated information, and imagination to engage in dialogue about complex challenges and take action.


Discourse Media
Christine McLaren
+1 778 231 8081
Waterloo Global Science Initiative
Julie Wright
+1 519 569 7600 ext 5170