MRC has successfully conducted ten media fellowship programmes for journalists – on water, desertification, forests, sustainable development and livelihoods in India’s North-east, mining and environment, National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, Rivers, coasts and indian cities under JNNURM. Last year also saw the first South Asian media fellowship on climate change, followed by the second South Asian Media fellowship on coastal concerns. These fellowships have primarily aimed at encouraging journalists to write on issues of development and environment.
The unit through its network of media contacts and through advertisements launches the media fellowships. Ads are also placed in Down To Earth (in English) and posters (in English and Hindi) are distributed. Applications accompanied by the following documents is accepted:
A letter of support from the editor
Three samples of published work on development issues
Proof of leave taken to pursue the fellowships
A write-up discussing story ideas, travel plans and a list of people to be interviewed
The preliminary selection of candidates is done by the experts within the organisation. After that an external jury comprising of experts in the particular field select the final fellows. Selected candidates are expected to generate and publish articles totaling 5,000 words or more. A stipend of Rs 40,000 is earmarked for each selected candidate to support research, travel and writing for the fellowships. For South Asian fellowship the fellowship grant is increased to Rs 50,000.
In the nine programmes, CSE has awarded fellowship grants to more than 70 journalists from across India and South Asia. The unit makes an effort to keep in touch with the fellows on a regular basis, and to encourage them to write more on issues of concern. The impacts of the fellowships have been far reaching. The details can be viewed on the different fellowship section pages.
Fellowship output has also assisted CSE in adding to its campaigns. The industry and environment team started the campaign on sustainable mining using stories done by the mining fellows.
The recent South Asian fellowship lead to a media briefing workshop on climate change that had tremendous response and participation.
In 2010, the Indian government had declared 43 industrial clusters across the country as ‘critically polluted’. This list was based on a Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Index (CEPI) created by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In 2013, the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) imposed a moratorium banning new industries in eight industrial clusters, after a survey showed very high pollution levels in these areas.