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The European Journalism Centre announces the first winners of the Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, 23 November 2016

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is proud to announce the winners of the first round of the Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany.

A combined total of more than €73,000 will be awarded to six journalistic projects that advance reporting on health and health related-topics and bring innovative storytelling on global health issues to a wider public.

The projects that are eligible for funding will be greenlighted upon signature of a legal contract. The awarded projects have received endorsement from significant media outlets in Germany such as Süddeutsche Zeitung, Spiegel Online, Stern, ZDF.

The winning projects touch upon a variety of health-issues in developing countries, such as the effects of violence in the overall health of populations in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Colombia and Mexico; the connection between health and violence in times of prolonged war in Sudan; emergency medicine in Haiti; the harmful consequences of a Mongolian health care system that is inequitable, highly bureaucratic and prone to corruption; the struggle to end sexual violence against women in Africa with investigations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia; the successful eradication of measles in Brazil and Tanzania and the lessons this success holds for Europe where measles are on the rise.

The winners were chosen because of their solid story ideas and their ability to connect the questions raised to German policies and the country's approaches to problem solving. We rewarded stories that enable readers to understand an issue from a variety of angles. To convey complex health stories in engaging ways, the winning projects will make use of multi-layered web presentations, image galleries, high-definition video and more. In addition, the jury honoured the winners' strategies to increase the visibility and impact of their stories.

“We hope that our programme can better combine the important issues of global health and quality journalism. The topic deserve innovative and fresh approaches and needs a breakaway from global health reporting stereotypes.”, says EJC Director Wilfried Ruetten.

The winners of this round will join a boot camp training on 11-13 December 2016 in Amsterdam, where they will meet fellow grantees and learn from top-level media practitioners. They will work on the development of their stories, learn about leveraging multimedia storytelling techniques and develop publication strategies aimed at achieving the best possible public impact.

The first call for applications ran between 14 September 2016 and 12 October 2016. These are the winning projects:

Project name: "Health In Times Of War"
Team: Laura Wagenknecht (project lead), Nuba Reports
Description: “Health in times of war” is a multimedia reporting project that sheds light on the three decades long civil war that spread to the Nuba People in Sudan. The project explores this conflict through the lens of a medical outpost run by the German Emergency Doctors. The story will explain the challenges those doctors face and the impact of war on the health of a people.
Project location: Sudan
Media outlet: ZDF
Budget: € 14,973

Project name: "In The Wake Of Violence"
Team: Hanno Charisius (project lead), Astrid Viciano, Christian Weber
Description: This article series explores violence - traditionally regarded as a domain of criminal justice - as a global health issue and takes a close look at the effects of violence in four different countries. The project tells the story of Sierra Leone's only psychiatrist for a population of 7 million people, Colombia's struggle with violence in the wake of a long guerrilla war and how in Ghana a long history of violence can genetically affect subsequent generations. In Mexico the reporters will investigate the economic impact of the consequences domestic violence has on women's health. This project highlights the work of Non-governmental organisations, such as "Ärzte der Welt Deutschland", (Doctors of the World, German section), which have tackled violence and its impact on societies worldwide and therefore focused most of their work on these very issues.
Project locations: Sierra Leone, Ghana, Colombia, Mexico
Media outlet: Süddeutsche Zeitung
Budget: € 10,000

Project name: "Emergency Medicine In Haiti"
Team: Alexis Ward (project lead)
Description: After Hurricane "Matthew", the enormous challenges faced by Haiti's emergency medical system have become evident. Current efforts to improve the situation are less widely known. This reporting series for TV and online outlets explores how news coverage tends to ignore the underlying reasons for critical health problems and shows how Haitians are confronting them. Germany's government currently chairs the "Platform on Disaster Displacement". This reporting project examines how the current developments in emergency medicine in Haiti resonate in the larger global context, in which Germany occupies a leading role.
Project location: Haiti
Media outlets: Spiegel Online, WeltN24
Budget: € 15,950

Project name: "Mongolia - A Tooth For A Tooth"
Team: Malte Werner (Project lead)
Description: Health care is an universal right in Mongolia but the health care system is - despite progress in the past decades - inequitable, highly bureaucratic and prone to corruption. Insanitary dental procedures are one reason for a high rate of hepatitis infections. This story follows a group of German dentists who provide free treatment in the most remote areas of Mongolia and lays out the challenges especially their youngest patients face as a result of malnutrition.
Project location: Mongolia
Media outlet: Stern magazine
Budget: € 12.452 Euros

Project name: "Fistula: A life In Shame"
Team: Andrea Jeska (project lead)
Description: Millions of women in Africa are suffering from vesicovaginal or rectovaginal fistula mostly because they have no access to appropriate health care or are victims of rape as a weapon of war. Fistula is a disease that confines women to a life in shame and isolation. This series of multimedia pieces sets out to investigate the major causes and consequences of not having access to maternal health care and analyses the reasons for the hidden epidemic of fistula in two countries: Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Victims, local doctors, and midwives tell their stories. Various reports investigate the efforts of the German government to strengthen self-determined family planning and maternal health as part of a global UN-programme and takes a close look at how German doctors and NGOs fight early pregnancies, sexual violence and try to alleviate the devastating consequences of fistula.
Project locations: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia
Media outlet: Stern magazine
Budget: € 10,530

Project name: "Measles Eradication – What Europe Has To Learn From Other Continents"
Team: Josephin Mosch (project lead)
Description: Mass immunisation campaigns have been successful in eradicating measles entirely. South American countries like Brazil and even African countries like Tanzania reach a high percentage of the population with the first vaccination shot. European countries are much less successful in their immunisation campaigns against measles. The project also looks at several historical and political factors that contribute to the current situation in Germany where measles vaccination is not mandatory at the moment.
Project locations: Brazil, Tanzania, Germany
Media outlet: Bayerischer Rundfunk
Budget: € 10,000

Journalists interested in conducting extensive research and reporting on global health issues and their relations to German health policies are encouraged to pitch us their creative ideas in the upcoming second round of applications.

The deadline to apply is 29 March 2017 (22:00 CET). The online application form can be found here.

For questions, check the FAQs or send an email to [email protected].


Note to editors:

The Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme was launched in January 2013 by the EJC with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to reward quality journalism and advance a new and distinctive agenda for development coverage through awarding funding to a selection of state-of-the-art reporting projects of great impact and high visibility. Since 2013 the programme granted funding to 100 projects.

In 2015 the EJC launched a special edition of the IDR grant programme aimed at supporting long term global development coverage. Four major European news organisations (Spiegel Online, Welt/N24, Dagens Nyheter, De Correspondent) were each awarded grants worth €150.000.

In 2016 the EJC launched another special edition: the “Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany”. This edition aims to advance a better coverage of international health, health policy and development related issues by supporting the production of stories that have a strong impact on media audiences in Germany. The programme will continue throughout 2017 with several rounds of application.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media. This mission has two main aspects: On the one hand, it is about safeguarding, enhancing, and future-proofing quality journalism in Europe and on the other hand, it is about supporting initiatives towards press freedom in emerging and developing countries. This often includes creating the framework conditions for independent and self-determined journalism in the first place. To these ends, the EJC provides thematic training, professional capacity development, and a wide range of support activities for journalists.

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