The Y. Eva Tan Conservation Reporting Fellowship

Building the capacity of young and aspiring environmental journalists to cover biodiversity hotspots

With the effects of environmental degradation becoming more apparent, high-quality environmental journalism is more important than ever. But like the journalism sector as a whole, environmental reporting has been affected by shifting business models that have reduced the availability of resources for reporting, shrinking press freedoms in many countries and a lack of early-stage career opportunities. These issues are especially acute in places that bear the brunt of climate change, biodiversity loss, the destruction of nature and threats against Indigenous peoples and local communities.

In response to this situation, Mongabay has established the Y. Eva Tan Conservation Reporting Fellowship Program. The program will provide opportunities for journalists from biodiversity hotspots in tropical countries to report on critical environmental issues, gaining valuable training, experience, and credibility that will help them advance their careers in journalism and communications. Ultimately, we aim for fellows to join our growing global network as regular Mongabay contributors. [See fellow stories: English | Español]

Journalist interviewing an Indigenous elder in Borneo.

Journalist interviewing an Indigenous elder in Borneo.

The program

The Y. Eva Tan Conservation Reporting Fellowship Program builds on Mongabay’s long-running internship program, which has helped bolster the capacity of environmental journalists in a field where such experience can be hard to acquire. Since 2008, the program has provided training and first-hand reporting experience for dozens of budding journalists in more than a dozen countries. Mongabay interns have gone on to establish careers as professional journalists, communications professionals at scientific institutions and conservation NGOs, and at Mongabay itself.

The Y. Eva Tan Conservation Reporting Fellowship Program will support up to 18 fellows per year — six at our global English bureau, six at our Spanish-language bureau, Mongabay-Latam, and six at our French-language bureau, Mongabay-Africa. Each cohort will consist of three fellows per bureau.

Fellows will gain valuable experience working with a range of editors at our international news outlet, develop their environmental reporting skills, and create a portfolio of original publications that should help them advance their careers in journalism.

About Y. Eva Tan

Eva is passionate about equality for all human beings, and conservation of natural habitats, not only fauna but also flora. She is particularly sensitive to creating opportunities for all, irrespective of national origin, ethnicity and ability.

A Malagasy journalist conducting an interview in Madagascar.

A Malagasy journalist conducting an interview in Madagascar.

Logistics

The fellowship will run twice a year: April 1 through Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 through March 31.

The application window for the April-September cohort will run Dec. 15-Feb. 10. The application window for the October-March cohort will run June 15-Aug. 10.

Each fellow will receive $500 USD a month for the duration of the six-month fellowship, or $3,000 USD in total. During that time, fellows will work directly with the fellowship editor to produce six stories. Fellows will have opportunities to collaborate with multiple Mongabay editors, including those who specialize in different areas.

Each fellow is expected to commit to engaging 10 hours a week. Each fellow is expected to produce an average of one story per month over the course of the fellowship to be published on Mongabay’s website.

Work is remote — Mongabay does not have an office and cannot support work visas.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be from a low- to upper-middle income tropical country, as classified by the World Bank. “High-income” tropical countries, such as Singapore and Australia, are excluded from the fellowship. A list of eligible countries can be found here.
  • Applicants must be aspiring, early-career environmental journalists.
  • Applicants must be able to work remotely and commit to 10 hours per week.
  • There is no education requirement to apply for the program. The fellowship is not linked to any university.
  • All application materials must be submitted in the appropriate language (English for the English-language program and Spanish for the Spanish-language program).
  • All materials must adhere to the guidelines below and on the application form; applications that do not follow the guidelines will be disqualified.

We are currently only accepting fellows for our global English- and Spanish-language bureaus. Our ambition is to eventually expand this program into other Mongabay bureaus, including Indonesia, India, Brazil and French-speaking tropical countries, but we don’t currently have a timeline for this expansion.

Desired Experience & Qualifications / Judging Criteria

  • Basic understanding of and interest in reporting and writing news stories;
  • Demonstrated interest in conservation issues;
  • Demonstrated interest in environmental journalism as a career;
  • Proven communication skills;
  • Capacity to fulfill all of the fellowship requirements and reporting plans.

Application Requirements

Apply online here for the English-language program.

Apply online here for the Spanish-language program.

Apply online here for the French-language program.

On the application form, you will be asked to fill out basic contact information, answer a few questions about your interest, and upload the following documents:

  • Resume (1-2 pages maximum)
  • Cover letter (1 page maximum) introducing yourself and answering:
    • What are your career goals, and how does environmental journalism fit in?
    • Why should Mongabay select you for this fellowship?
  • One writing sample in a journalistic style (published or unpublished) related to conservation or other environmental issues.

Selection Process

Selections will be made by an internal Mongabay team, and applicants will receive a notification regarding the status of their application at least three weeks prior to the start of the cohort. Applications will be reviewed as they come in, so please submit your entry as early as possible.

For inquiries about the fellowship program at the Mongabay global English bureau, please contact Karen Coates at [email protected]. For the Mongabay Latam Spanish bureau, please contact Dora Montero at [email protected]. For Mongabay Africa, please contact Juliette Chapalain at [email protected].