Bertha Challenge 2024 Opens Entries for Fellowships for Activists, Investigative Journalists

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Laura Horwitz
Chief Executive Officer of Bertha Foundation

Successful applicants will receive non-residential paid Fellowships and project budgets to work independently and together to investigate the causes and solutions to the annual Bertha Challenge question; amplify their findings to a wider targeted audience; and connect with diverse stakeholders for information, support and sustainable impact.

The fifth Bertha Challenge begins in January 2024 with a focus on disinformation and the climate crisis, specifically supporting Bertha Fellows to answer the following question: How is disinformation manipulating and distorting the impact of human-caused climate crisis? How do disinformation campaigns help to protect corporate interests, the political status quo and allow for further industrial corruption, all of which prioritises profit over people and the planet?

The Bertha Challenge 2024 is a call to those journalists and activists working against misinformation and its effects on the climate crisis; to those dedicated professionals holding the line on science and rigorous analysis.

An interested activist must have at least five years’ experience working with activists, social movements, grassroots and community organizations, social justice organizations or campaigns; have strong connections to a diverse range of relevant groups in the Fellow’s city, country or region, including with social movements, community organizations, NGOs, academics, journalists, progressive government officials etc; have experience developing organizing tools or popular educational products and materials, for example training courses, publications, pamphlets, films, podcasts, arts, theater productions, etc.

He/she must have experience using research, media and the law in advocacy and be affiliated to an appropriate host organization to amplify work produced during the Bertha Challenge.

For journalist, he/she must be a mid-career journalist with at least five years’ experience, a track record and passion for carrying out investigative journalism; have a strong interest and experience in producing work on the Bertha Challenge question and a proven ability to work with affected communities, social movements, community organizations, NGO’s, academics, scientists etc; be an investigative journalist, have research ability and have a comprehensive understanding of the political landscape concerning the subject matter. He/she must have an understanding of the law(s) and political structures that determine policy direction and power.

He/she must have the ability to work independently and is affiliated to an appropriate host media organization that will publish/broadcast work produced during the Bertha Challenge.

The Fellowships offers:

  • Income for each Bertha Fellow for one year, not exceeding USD $64,900 and commensurate with the applicant’s current or equivalent salary at the host organization – ideally a media outlet for an investigative journalist and an NGO, community organization or social movement for an activist
  • A Project Fund of up to USD $10,000 for each Bertha Fellow to produce a culminating product that responds to the question posed by the Bertha Challenge, and that is directed towards a specific audience. This could be a series of articles, videos, podcasts, games or drama productions, for example. Joint activist and journalist applicants will have the option to pool their project funding to produce projects on a larger scale
  • Access to a Connect Fund of up to USD $5,000 specifically designed to encourage collaboration between Fellows
  • Regular online discussions with topics on a range of issues from current debates around the Bertha Challenge question to methods of investigation, methods of communicating findings through news media, storytelling, popular education and more
  • Peer and mentor support in the form of regular virtual check-ins with Bertha staff and a cohort of Bertha Fellows
  • Network development through the global cohort of Bertha Fellows and exposure to relevant partners within and beyond the Bertha network
  • A global convening of Bertha Fellows at the start of the Bertha Challenge.

Submission of applications closes on July 4, 2023

For further details and to apply, please visit https://berthafoundation.org/story/bertha-challenge-2024/.