Equinox Blog

Discourse Media launches global journalism fellowship for reporting on energy poverty

Collaborative multimedia series will examine systemic issues driving energy poverty around the world, and potential paths forward.

On November 10, 2015, Discourse Media launched the Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship (AEJF) — a project aimed at enabling critical, deep reporting on energy poverty globally. 

Applications Open: Discourse Media Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship


The Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship, a global collaborative journalism project, is administered and produced by Discourse Media, with financial support from Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI). 

WGSI’s current initiatives are centred around the question: “How can we use the latest science and technology to decrease our reliance on non-renewable energy sources and improve the well-being of the energy isolated?” 

To respond to a gap in media discourse around the issue of energy access globally, Discourse Media created a journalism project concurrent with the leadup to WGSI’s OpenAccess Energy Summit

Current journalistic reporting on global energy issues is fragmented into silos. Most coverage only looks at the issue through the lens of one beat, whether that be business or environment or development. The challenge, when it comes to reporting that tackles the issue of energy access, is that these facets are rarely connected. Discourse Media created the AEJF to support journalism that pushes the conversation about energy poverty and climate change into new bounds. 

Discourse Media will award fellowships to up to eight journalists from around the world to produce one long-form written feature article on the issue of energy access in their country/region. A flexible range of funding is available to cover reporting expenses on a per-needs basis.

The fellowships are open to both staff reporters and to freelancers who have a written agreement from an editor at a publication who has agreed to publish the content they produce and take part in the project.

Applications must be submitted to Discourse Media by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, November 29, 2015. Fellows will be selected and contacted by the end of December, 2015.

Learn more here.



Across the world, 1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. A further billion have unreliable access. For the last 15 years, the world has been proceeding without a development goal related to energy, and although one will finally be in place at the end of 2015, its importance has been underplayed. UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030 – is just one of 17, many of which would likely be solved by meeting goal 7.

What’s more, we are not on track to meet this goal. Although governments, NGOs, communities and researchers all over the world are trying to solve the problem of access to energy, the scale of the problem is far bigger than the scale of current solutions.

In April 2016, WGSI will host OpenAccess Energy, a Summit addressing the global energy access challenge that is motivated by these issues. WGSI’s summits bring together an multidisciplinary, multinational, and multigenerational group of stakeholders for a four-day intensive event where they develop an actionable framework for addressing a complex global issue.

Learn more about the global access energy challenge and read the OpenAccess Energy Brief  here.

Join the conversation on Twitter! Follow @wgsisummit