The products that most people use and consume every day (food, clothing, shelter, transportation, communication) leave an ecological trail across global supply chains. There is a critical need for greater transparency and accountability, particularly within transnational natural resource industries such as agribusiness and extractives, as a lack of access to accurate and timely information hinders action to address increasing levels of environmental stress and drivers of social injustice.

In response to this urgent need, Mongabay is seeking pitches for investigative reporting projects that go beyond the daily news headlines to uncover wrongdoing at the intersection of global trade and environmental crisis.

The Cross-Border Commodities Special Reporting Project seeks to convey the importance of local environmental trends by providing a deeper understanding of their connection to global and transboundary forces. Examining the origins of commodities and products is a rich field for investigative inquiry. Probes of supply chains have revealed major cases of environmental crime, human rights abuses and corruption. Yet, exposing the networks of, and connections between, illicit actors poses significant challenges, both in terms of journalistic practice and security.

We welcome proposals from experienced journalists and small cross-border teams of journalists and researchers with story-specific expertise for reported articles, or for investigative series, focusing on a particular region, commodity, company, or theme within the remit of the reporting project. Strong pitches involving creative uses of multimedia, open-source intelligence, video and/or data analysis and visualization will be given priority. We will also consider proposals for fully edited and produced videos of up to 10 minutes in length. Opinion pieces and conventional news reporting will not be considered.

Completed stories will be published in English on under an open Creative Commons license that allows for sharing and re-posting. They could potentially be translated into another language and published by Mongabay.

Mongabay will negotiate all fees and contracts on a per-project basis.

How to Apply?

Applicants must submit a pitch that includes a specific topic within the thematic area, several potential stories, published writing samples, and ideas on third-party media outlets that might accept stories that would result from the project. Please submit your pitch here along with your resume, three clips, and an itemized budget estimate of any travel expenses needed to complete the project. Pitches should be detailed, thoughtful, and about 500 words in length. Your pitch should clearly explain the specific subject you would like to write about, your approach to covering it, and describe a few potential sources. Applications must be submitted in English.

Pitches will be considered on a rolling basis until September 30, 2019, or until the budget is disbursed.