The Africa-China Reporting Project (the Project) at Wits Journalism is inviting all journalists to submit proposals for a series of Africa-China investigative journalism grants intended for larger and more expansive investigations. This series of grants will be supervised by Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of Journalism at Wits Journalism, who will work directly with the selected journalists.
Since 2009 the Project has provided reporting grants and other opportunities for journalists to investigate complex dynamics and uncover untold stories, emphasising on-the-ground impact and perspectives to illustrate how the lives of the people of Africa are changing amid the comprehensive phenomenon of Africa-China interactions.
Now in 2018 the Project intends to support more expansive Africa-China investigations by identifying competent journalists and partners to undertake investigative journalism.
Case in point: Cross-border pangolin investigation
The Project is seeking to work with journalists who are able to deeply investigate a single topic of interest within the broad Africa-China framework, and additionally who are able to involve more partners who can assist the investigations, such as news agencies, investigative units, etc. One example of a recent highly successful investigative collaboration engineered by the Project was the cross-border pangolin investigation. The Project worked with Anu Nkeze Paul, an environmental journalist from Cameroon who investigated pangolin poaching on ground level in Cameroon, and with the Hong Kong media house HK01 who investigated demand dynamics and networks in Asia. The result was a ground-breaking investigation on how pangolins are poached in Africa and then trafficked via elaborate routes to Asia.
Potential focus areas
For these investigative reporting grants the Project thus encourages journalists to submit proposals that aim to bring to light fresh and nuanced investigations bringing in new learning about complex Africa-China relations, and ideally that involves other partners and institutions that can collaborate on and expand the investigation; the Project can potentially assist applicants to form partnerships with potential partners. The important thing is for applicants to come with fresh and new ideas for investigations and a feasible plan to carry them out. The Project also encourages multimedia reporting.
As the pangolin investigation above illustrates, there is wide scope in environmental issues for Africa-China investigative journalism and much that can still be investigated in this field. Yet within the Africa-China framework there are various issues where fresh and ground-breaking reporting can be undertaken, such as the following:
- Economy: Corporate activities, criminal networks, business links, etc.
- Social: Health, public services, etc.
- Political: Government dealings/engagements, aid and development assistance, education and sponsorships, etc.
- Environment: Following-up on the ban in ivory trade, complexities of implementation; poaching & trafficking; pollution, etc.
- And more topics such as agriculture; industrialisation; change/evolution in Africa-China ties; anti-piracy measures; Chinese private security in Africa and the arms trade
These are suggested themes, but as long as the focus is within the broad Africa-China framework the Project will consider each proposal on its own merits.
In addition to the pangolin investigation, here is a short list of investigative journalism that the Project has supported in the past that may be instructive for applicants:
- The ecological, industrial and drug war behind the abalone on your dinner table: Revealed how South African abalone is being driven to near-extinction amid the deep conflicts affecting society, profiling poachers, traffickers and enforcers
- Chinese donations: Tale of frustration that lies behind health aid to Africa: Reported how staff at one of Tanzania’s largest hospitals were unable to use anti-malarial equipment donated by China for lack of training, while Chinese medicines remained unused as they had never been tested and declared safe in Tanzania
- Railway: Angola’s iron, snake forked tongue: Detailed how the mysterious Hong Kong-based China International Fund had quietly gained control of Angola’s rail infrastructure, in particular the 1,344 km Benguela Railway that links DRC and Zambian mining interests to European markets
- The Chinese multinational making millions out of vulnerable Ugandans: Detailed the suspect diagnoses, dubious machines and brazen pyramid schemes in stores around Uganda run by TIENS, a Chinese company based in Tianjin
- Rush for donkey skins in China draws wildlife traffickers: Outlines how demand from China has caused donkey slaughter and trafficking of donkey skins in Africa, and investigates the players involved in illegal trafficking of the skins.
How to apply
The Project is looking for experienced investigative journalists who have new and fresh ideas and the means to deliver them. Applications containing the following items should be sent to [email protected] by no later than 27 April:
- Applicant CV, and list of previous Africa-China reporting and/or previous investigative journalism reporting
- Proposal for story to be investigated, with a clear headline at the start and a brief report of WHAT will be investigated and HOW, including a detailed methodology for how the investigation will be undertaken (explaining feasibility of timeframe execution) and a planned timeline for the investigation
- An indication of which partners will be used/required and how this will expand the investigation
- A budget with specific line items totalling as much as $3,000
For any further questions please contact the Project team at
金山大学新闻系“非中报道项目”邀请广大记者朋友申请一揽子旨在支持大规模、拓展性非洲-中国调查报道的采访津贴。这一系列津贴将由金山大学新闻系卡克斯顿新闻学教授（Caxton Professor of Journalism）安东·哈勃（Anton Harber）监督，并由他直接指导入选记者。
本项目希望，与我们合作的记者能够对非中框架下的某个单一话题进行深入调查，并且能够与更多伙伴一起开展合作调查，后者比如新闻机构、致力于调查新闻的非营利组织等等。我们最近支持的一个成功合作案例是跨国穿山甲盗猎调查。我们与喀麦隆环境记者Anu Nkeze Paul和香港媒体HK01合作，由前者对喀麦隆的穿山甲走私情况进行调查，后者则针对亚洲市场的穿山甲需求及其销售网络展开调查。这一合作报道首次揭示了穿山甲如何在非洲被盗猎，并如何通过复杂的路线被运往亚洲。
- 你餐桌上的南非鲍鱼，背后竟是一场毒品、生态与渔业的战争: 揭示了在深层的社会冲突中，南非鲍鱼正如何被迫走向灭绝，展现了其中偷猎者、贩运者和执法者的面貌和处境。
- 铁路：安哥拉的铁蛇信：详细介绍神秘的总部设在香港的“中国国际基金”（China International Fund）如何悄然控制安哥拉的铁路基础设施，特别是长达1344公里、将刚果（金）和赞比亚矿产利益与欧洲市场相连的本格拉（Benguela）铁路。
- 中国驴皮需求激增 ，吸引野生动物走私犯：揭示了中国对驴皮的需求如何造成了非洲对驴子的大规模宰杀和对驴皮的走私，描绘了驴皮走私产业中的不同参与者。