Science Journalism Fund 2019 Round 5 winners

Five new projects will be funded in the latest round of the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund.

Grants ranging from $1650 to $5000 will fund reporting on topics including lessons learnt from the Christchurch earthquake, preparing to be isolated by natural disasters, and the environmental and economic implications of soil carbon sequestering.

Projects have been awarded under the following themes:

Can soil carbon save the world? funded by Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research
$2000 to Alex Braae for his project “How large scale composting could transform farming and waste management in New Zealand, and sequester far more soil carbon” – for publication in The Spinoff.
$3000 to Eloise Gibson for her project “The Aussies can claim carbon credits for soil. Why can’t we?” ­– for publication in Newsroom.

Living on the edge? funded by the Earthquake Commission
$1650 to Katie Todd for “It won’t happen here – Is it time our policy makers shifted their thinking on natural hazards?” – a radio package and long-form written piece for Radio New Zealand.
$3350 to Paul Gorman for “Has Dunedin learnt from the Christchurch earthquake?” ­– a multimedia exploration.

Surviving (and thriving after) the next big quake funded by QuakeCoRE
$5000 to Baz MacDonald for “Isolated”, video episodes for Re: News on New Zealand communities preparing to be cut off by the next big quake.

All of the projects will made available one month following publication under a Creative Commons licence.

The four judges were Dr Tara Ross from the University of Canterbury, Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley, Professor James Renwick from Victoria University of Wellington, and Dacia Herbulock from the Science Media Centre.

This is the fifth completed funding round since the fund’s 2017 launch. Stories funded have ranged from the impacts of sea level rise to data privacy, to citizen science and controversial technologies.

“Supporting journalists to spend time working on innovative projects is what this initiative is all about,” said the fund’s founder, Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley. “We are delighted that several first-time applicants have been funded in this round, highlighting the growth of talent in New Zealand science journalism.”

You can read more about completed projects here. Some funded projects from the previous round are still underway.

Any organisations wanting to support the fund, please contact Rebecca Priestley at Readers also have the opportunity to support the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund through PressPatron, a new crowdfunding platform allowing readers to make contributions towards the type of content they love consuming.

About the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is the first independent journalism fund dedicated to furthering coverage of the science-related issues that impact New Zealanders. The fund was set up by Rebecca Priestley, winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Science Communicator’s Prize, in association with the Science Media Centre, to support journalism that highlights the science that underpins, or informs, major issues facing our society.

More information about the fund is available here. Visit Press Patron to make a contribution.