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Science Journalism Fund COVID-19 winners awarded


Seven new projects will be funded in the special COVID-19 round of the Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund.

Rapid grants of $2,500 have been provided to projects related to COVID-19, with publication expected in the next month, for a total of $17,500.

Funding was provided by ESR, Te Pūnaha Matatini and the Science Media Centre.

The following projects have been funded.

Vaping: its role in the Covid-19 crisis and if proposed new regulations go far enough
Nicky Pellegrino, freelancer, for intended publication in Newsroom.

Baking, biking and bubbles: has the Covid-19 lockdown made us more or less healthy?
Niki Bezzant, freelance

Covid-1984, will we sacrifice our privacy to stop a pandemic
Robin Kerr, RE: News

Fixing the country: start in your own backyard
Glenda Lewis, freelance, for intended publication in Stuff Catalyst

On the Offensive: Otago researchers tackling Covid-19
Bruce Munro, Otago Daily Times

What happens when a new disease emerges?
Libby Wilson, Stuff/Waikato Times

COVID-19 and other crises
Veronika Meduna, freelance, for intended publication in New Zealand Geographic

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

"The COVID-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on local media outlets and freelance journalists," said the fund's founder, Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley. "So we're pleased to support these seven projects ranging across freelancers, regional papers and a youth-oriented outlet."

The three judges included Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley, Professor Michael Baker from the University of Otago, Wellington, and Dacia Herbulock from the Science Media Centre.

This is the sixth completed funding round since the fund’s 2017 launch. Topics covered range from agricultural green house gases to data privacy, to robots in healthcare and gene editing.

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 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 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.

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