The Bertha Foundation is thrilled to announce the start of the fifth Bertha Challenge, which will provide activists and investigative journalists the chance to work for a year on a critical social justice issue and then present their findings in a body of work.Successful candidates will be given project budgets and non-residential paid fellowships to work both individually and collaboratively to:
Investigate – the causes of and solutions to the annual Bertha Challenge question
Amplify – their findings to a wider targeted audience
Connect – with diverse stakeholders for information, support and sustainable impact.
The 2024 Bertha Challenge invites investigative journalists and activists working towards effectively exposing and counteracting the combined effect of disinformation and corruption on the climate crisis to apply for this unique Fellowship.
This Fellowship seeks to expose and explore who is responsible for the spread of unquantifiable amounts of climate disinformation and to expose how that disinformation is used in the interests of corporations and politicians with an agenda tied to corporate profit.
The fifth Bertha Challenge will begin 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 the 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 prioritizes profit over people and 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.
Bertha Foundation Challenge Fellowships Benefits
- 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.
Pairing Activists and Investigative Journalists
Joint applications between activists and investigative journalists will be prioritized. Joint applicants must fill in individual application forms, but make reference to their partner applicant, including where and how their work will overlap and how they will support one another’s projects. Joint applicants have the option to pool each of their USD $10,000 Project Funds to work together on one larger project.
Individual activist and investigative journalist applications will also be considered.
Bertha Foundation Challenge Fellowships Deliverables
This is a full-time Fellowship. Bertha Fellows will spend their time working in their home countries and be required to:
- Attend an in-person global convening that will take place towards the beginning of the Fellowship
- Develop and deliver a culminating product that responds to the Bertha Challenge question
- Participate in two virtual meetings per month, and occasionally facilitate these meetings
- Develop local and global network relationships.
Bertha Foundation Challenge Fellowships Application Requirements
All applicants must submit:
- A completed online application form
- A brief resume/CV in English of no more than three pages
- A list of 2-4 referees including name, relationship to applicant and contact details
- A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from your prospective host organization – including commensurate salary and any benefits provided.
- Examples of previous work.
Application Deadline: 4 July 2023.
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