Call for Applications: Media Sponsorship to cover UNCCD Events

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The UNCCD welcomes requests from seasoned journalists for sponsorship to cover and report on two global events. A high-level global observance event on 17 June 2019, to mark World Day to Combat Desertification and a celebration of 25 years since establishment of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The event will take place in Ankara, Turkey, and will be held in conjunction with the International Soil Congress. The second event is the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties will take place on 2-13 September 2019, in New Delhi, India.

This is a long capacity-building initiative, therefore journalists with an interest in drought, land use and management issues that are available to cover these events are especially encouraged to apply, and indicate their availability.

Sponsored journalists are expected to publish independent articles as long as they pertain to these events and their issues of focus. However, they will be required to participate in all the media activities taking place at the venues, which are designed to enhance their reporting, for example, workshops, briefings, press conferences and field trips. Detailed information about COP14 will be issued later. These capacity-building activities will be developed with experienced independent media trainers.

Journalists from Turkey are also encouraged to apply. A number of seats at the workshop and the field trip are reserved for successful applicants based in Ankara.

Selection Criteria

A: Journalists meeting the criteria below stand a high chance of selection.

  1. A demonstrable history of publishing media stories about desertification, land degradation and/or drought, and related issues, subjects and topics
  2. Ability to publish for global media
  3. Proficiency in English (the main language of the WDCD and Soil Congress). Ability to publish in a second UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian) will be a clear advantage.
  4. Evidence of publishing articles after conferences
  5. Availability to cover the UNCCD Conference of the Parties in New Delhi, 2-13 September 2019 is an advantage

B: Each applicant must submit a complete application:

  1. A self-introductory letter with a request for financial support, specifying which events s/he will cover
  2. A copy of a press card or other equivalent official documentation confirming professional status
  3. Copies of the picture and signature pages of a passport that is valid up to 15 March 2020
  4. Employer’s authorization to participate and cover the meetings, for full-time employees

C: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit independent proof of the competencies above, for example:

  1. Links of published articles - more is better
  2. A letter of support from a sub/editor of a global outlet with whom the applicant has published before
  3. A letter from an editor committing to publish articles submitted by the journalist on these events
  4. Reference letters from UN colleagues whose events they have reported about

While preference will be given to developing country journalists, consideration will be given to applicants from all Parties to the UNCCD, and a balanced representation of the Convention’s regional groupings, namely, (i) Africa, (ii) Asia, (iii) Latin America and the Caribbean, (iv) Northern Mediterranean, (v) Central and Eastern Europe, and (vi) Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG).

Journalists who qualify for WDCD sponsorship will be considered for COP14 sponsorship. However, their sponsorship to cover COP14 will depend both on the availability of resources and performance in covering the World Day events. For journalists in formal employment, a support document showing pre-authorization to cover COP14 will be an important consideration.

The complete request for sponsorship should be sent to press@unccd.int by 11:59 pm Central European Time (CET) on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

Profiled picture: Scaled up rehabilitation of degraded land in Turkey. Picture courtesy of Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, Turkey