It’s late in the evening and I return with my friend in her car, driving through the night streets of Delhi. The congestion of the daytime, or even the evening not so long ago, are gone, and the action consolidates around stoplights. At a red light we stop, and a man wipes a rag over our windshield as my friend waves him away. He steps in front of the car, arms up, as another vender selling colorful whirligigs atop sticks passes behind him, bonks him playfully on the head with one of the whirligigs and continues on. To our left, I see a shadow of a woman from the corner of my eye, holding a baby in her arms, just on the other side of my rolled up window. I’ll always wrestle with these moments of naked asking, of naked refusal. [Read more…]
Three’s a charm. I’d applied for reporting funds from the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism before, to no avail. But take note, you other scrappy journalists out there, you must persevere! I did, and now I am thrilled and thankful to learn that my application this summer, which will help support my new book project, Elemental India: Dispatches from the Global Environmental Front, was funded. The indispensable support will help me begin reporting in North India this fall. Thank you. Shukriya!
Here’s the announcement of all the grant recipients…
Fund for Environmental Journalism Announces Summer 2012 Grantees.
Thanks to generous funding from the Cornelius King Foundation and the Heinz Endowments, plus numerous small gifts from members and friends of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), we are pleased to announce that the organization is awarding a total of $12,105 to five journalism projects selected in SEJ’s Fund for Environmental Journalism (FEJ) Summer 2012 grant cycle. In addition to the grant, SEJ will also provide mentoring support to any grantees requesting it.The Society of Environmental Journalists launched the Fund for Environmental Journalism in 2010, to support reporting projects and entrepreneurial journalism ventures related to the environment. For the first time in its history SEJ began awarding small grants to both staff and freelance journalists, to cover costs of travel, lab testing, graphics development, website costs, and other budget items without which journalists might have been unable to produce and distribute specific timely stories about important environmental issues.
Congratulations to the winners in the Summer 2012 round:
Jane Braxton Little and Winifred Bird
Greenville, CA, USA and Nagano, Japan
$3,500 for travel to the Ukraine and Fukushima to produce an article on approaches to managing forest contamination in the aftermath of nuclear disaster
San Francisco, CA
$730 for travel expenses to support a feature story and photographic essay showing the impact on rural communities of fresh water diversion to Las Vegas
$1,325 for travel and media-production expenses for articles examining the impact on environmental pollution and public health of industrial laundries in New England
$3,500 for air-testing expenses to support reporting for a radio series about industrial pollution in Louisville, Kentucky
West Barnstable, MA
$3,050 for travel expenses to produce articles, and chapters for a book, about sustainable growth and development in India
To learn more about the FEJ awards program, including applicant eligibility and submission guidelines, or to see information and links about past awards, please go to the Fund for Environmental Journalism web page. We are currently fundraising for the next FEJ round of grants. Please consider making your own donation today, to help SEJ build the Fund for Environmental Journalism and support new work! Many in this field are adapting to disruptions in their employment and new methods in media; yet they remain steadfast in their goal of providing our communities every day with vitally important information on environment-related issues. If you would like to help experienced environmental journalists to continue producing rich, rigorously investigated and unbiased content, please make a gift on SEJ’s secure website.
Huzzah! Thanks goes out to the Society of Environmental Journalists for featuring me on their member spotlight.
Thrilled that the SEJ 11th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment selected “India’s Vanishing Vultures” for First Place for Outstanding Feature Story.
The judges said “this story by Meera Subramanian was extremely well researched, compellingly written and showed how the impact of the decline of these uncharismatic birds is dramatically affecting the health and the environment of this South Asian nation.”
I, in turn, select the Society of Environmental Journalists as an outstanding journalists’ association. They’ve been instrumental in helping me tackle this challenging trade, especially as a freelancer.
Six Months after the Tsunami on the Shores of South India
Fifty kilometers south of the large city of Chennai, in south India, a group of five fishermen are building a boat alongside the coastal highway when we pull up. They are using axes to carve thirty-foot logs, five of which will be lashed together lengthwise to make akattumaram, the Tamil word for boat that has found its way into the English language nearly intact as catamaran. A simple thatch roof suspended on poles located under the arching arms of an old tree offers a double layer of shade from a relentless midday sun. An untold number of these catamarans were swept out to sea six months ago in the tsunami, along with houses, personal possessions and people here along the shore of the Bay of Bengal.