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Media fellowship honoring veteran journalist Nonoy Espina launched

A six-month media fellowship seeking to support the production of energy transition stories was launched yesterday in honor of Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina, a veteran reporter, fierce press freedom campaigner, and outspoken advocate of media workers’ welfare.

This is the first story grant organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), an international non-government organization advocating fair climate policy and low carbon, climate-resilient development, the Jaime Espina Klima Correspondents Fellowship aims to amplify energy transition stories in the Philippines and will run from June to November 2022.

“This Fellowship seeks to honor Nonoy’s unparalleled life and legacy by providing space for the most compelling local energy transition stories, particularly narratives that focus on transformational challenges, and those which go beyond vulnerability and dwell on agency and hope,” said ICSC executive director Renato Redentor Constantino.

“The Jaime Espina Klima Fellowship is a reflection of Nonoy’s devotion to our profession and our people. We in the family hope the Fellowship empowers local journalists the way Nonoy empowered communities and campaigners in our home province of Negros Occidental and beyond with his fearless journalism,” said Inday Espina-Varona, his sister and fellow veteran journalist.

Among Espina’s notable reportage include the sustained attempt in 1998 by a determined multinational consortium to ram through in Negros Occidental a 50-megawatt coal-fired power plant project. He reported on the efforts by coal plant proponents to circumvent spirited and growing local opposition, amplified the voices of women-led community resistance, and provided a platform for those backing the coal project to respond to the demands of the public.

Because of Nonoy’s coverage of these topics, Negros Occidental enjoys the status of being coal-free up until this day. His writings have likewise become a blueprint for various organizations and individuals to continue pushing for the same advocacies in their respective localities.

The Fellowship is open to full-time journalists, correspondents, and freelancers in the Philippines, with preference to those working in and from the provinces. Applications and story proposals will be screened by an esteemed panel of veteran journalists, editors, and communication experts.

Applicants must form a team with a maximum of three members, including a writer and/or a photojournalist, teamed up with an editor of their choice. Selected teams will receive a grant of up to P70,000. This covers transportation allowance for fieldwork and other reporting expenses, communication allowance, stipend, and COVID-related costs to ensure the safety of both applicants and communities they will visit for their respective stories.

Check out the Call for Applications for more information on how to apply for the Fellowship. Interested journalists and editors can also follow updates on the Fellowship through its Facebook page or send queries directly to the organizers at klimafellowship@icsc.ngo.*PR

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