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Science journalism fund awards five new projects

6 September 2018

The winners of the third round of the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund will receive over $17,000 in new grants to cover science topics for a range of media outlets.

Funded projects range from a Te Ao Māori perspective on predator control, to innovative multimedia and digital interactives on Antarctica and greenhouse gases, to the scientific discoveries of everyday New Zealanders.

Five projects will receive funding, including:

Māori and Predator Control - funded by New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge

$5000 to freelancer Jacqui Gibson, working with E-Tangata on a longform article about Ngāti Kuri's journey to develop a large-scale predator-proof fence in Northland.
Agricultural greenhouse gases and options to reduce emissions - funded by the New Zealand Agricultural Gas Research Centre
$3000 to data journalist Chris Knox at the New Zealand Herald for his project “Up and down the agricultural emissions debate”.
$700 to Tom McKinley at the Otago Daily Times for his project to develop an infographic illustrating the non-CO2 agricultural greenhouse gas cycle for online readership.
Science on ice - funded by Antarctica New Zealand
$3600 to Kaitlin Ruddock at TVNZ for a multimedia project entitled “If Ice Could Talk” an interactive journey with Antarctica researchers uncovering clues to our changing world
Whose Science? funded by Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ)
$5000 awarded to Rebekah White at New Zealand Geographic for her project “A Nation of Scientists” about non-professional citizen scientists making scientific discoveries.
All of the projects will made available following publication under Creative Commons licence. Previously funded projects can be found here.
“It's been great to see a range of new applicants bringing forward innovative new ideas,” said the fund’s founder Dr Rebecca Priestley. “We are seeing a real impact from this initiative, with 16 high quality science journalism projects seeded in the first year across 10 media outlets.

"Looking to the future, we plan to transition to an annual funding round in response to media industry feedback, with an emphasis on providing greater flexibility for applicants across a range of topics."

The five judges for this round were Dr Tara Ross from the University of Canterbury, Dr Pauline Harris and Dr Rebecca Priestley from Victoria University of Wellington, Dacia Herbulock from the Science Media Centre, and Dr Hamish Campbell from GNS Science.

A new call for applications for 2019 will open in December this year. Any organisations wanting to support the fund, please contact Rebecca Priestley at sciencejournalismfund@gmail.com. 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 Communication Prize, in association with the Science Media Centre, to support journalism that highlights the science that underpins, or informs, major issues facing our society.

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