Journalist Kayla Young has been selected by Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI in Spanish) to work on collaborative investigations with five other Caribbean journalists about the impact of climate change and COVID-19 in the region.
When complete, the project will be published by the Cayman Current and other participating media organisations.
Other winners include Freeman Rogers of the BVI Beacon in the British Virgin Islands, Errol Caballero of Concolón magazine in Panama, Sharina Henriquez of NTR/Caribisch Netwerk in Aruba, Olivia Losbar of RCI Guadeloupe, and Laura Louis of the AyiboPost in Haiti.
“The Caribbean, due to its geographic and cultural reality, shares many problems associated with climate change that have deepened due to COVID-19 and its management by governments,” said CPI Executive Director Carla Minet. “But Caribbean countries can also share, through collaborative journalism, oversight tools and even solutions to those common challenges. This new group of grantees invites us to explore these connections from distinct angles that arise from regional discussions.”
Each winner will receive a stipend of US$2,000 to cover research costs. Meanwhile, CPI will offer editorial support to produce the investigations.
The evaluation committee included Dr. Pablo Méndez Lázaro, an associate professor at the University of Puerto Rico’s Department of Environmental Health; Gustavo Faleiros, environment investigations editor at the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network; Dr. Aaron Bernstein, interim director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Carla Minet, CPI executive director; and Omaya Sosa Pascual, CPI special projects editor.
The winners, alongside 30 other Caribbean journalists who specialise in climate and health, came together in April for ‘The Caribbean Investigates: A Virtual Encounter of Investigative Journalists’, organised by CPI’s educational arm, the Institute for Journalistic Formation (IFP in Spanish). The encounter offered four days of workshops to explore possible areas of investigations. The event was made possible with support from Open Society Foundations, Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL) and Para la Naturaleza.
“We were impressed with the quality of proposals presented by this group of journalists from the Caribbean on such crucial and extremely complicated topics for our region,” Sosa Pascual said. “We expect they will produce important stories from this collaboration.”
IFP puts out opens calls annually for workshops featuring noted experts and journalism figures, and for investigative journalism grant proposals offered to journalists in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.