Over a billion people in the world lack access to modern energy services such as electricity to power their communities’ x-ray machines or clean-burning cookstoves to prepare their families’ meals. An estimated two times that number lack reliable access. While looking differently throughout the world, energy poverty has significant impacts on health, access to basic services and economic opportunity everywhere.
What systemic issues are driving energy poverty? How are people on the ground impacted? And, perhaps most importantly, what potential solutions exist that also take climate change and other social and environmental issues into account?These are the questions the Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship (AEJF) seeks to probe. By supporting journalists around the world to report on energy access in their regions, the AEJF aims to shed light on related problems and investigate potential solutions. We want stories that are deeply rooted in people’s lived experience. We want to shed light on how different countries around the world are grappling with the issue of energy poverty and what that might mean for the future of your country/region in a time of climate change and other major challenges.
The fellowship:The goals of the AEJF are twofold. First, it seeks to support journalism on energy access that will have an impact on public discourse locally, in the country/region of the reporter. Second, it aims to bring stories on energy access from many different parts of the world together, on one platform, to paint a broader picture of the landscape of energy access issues globally. Because energy poverty looks so different from one place to the next, this collaborative approach will add much-needed depth and nuance to the broader conversation. The project will be presented at the 2016 OpenAccess Energy Summit in Waterloo, Ontario, hosted by the Waterloo Global Science Initiative.
Discourse Media will award fellowships to up to eight journalists from around the world to produce one long-form written feature article on the issue of energy access in their country/region.
The resulting content will be published in three potential places:
- Individual features will be published by each fellow’s media outlet.
- Content from all fellows will be published on a dedicated project website that will act as a marquee hub for energy access journalism.
- All features produced as part of the project will be available to the other media outlets taking part in the fellowship to publish, if they wish, through a content sharing agreement.