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March 2, 2021
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Getting rid of plastics in Southeast Asia

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Prior to 2020, Southeast Asia appeared to be on the cusp of a regulatory revolution in regards to plastics. In 2018, Malaysia, a major plastics manufacturer, developed a roadmap to zero single-use plastics by 2030. In 2019, the Thai Retailers Association enacted a voluntary ban on plastic bags across over 24,000 retail outlets. Similarly, Vietnam was looking to end single-use plastics by 2025.

COVID’s focus on single-use, take-away culture has undoubtedly put many of these policies on the backburner. Added to this, is the post-COVID focus on reigniting retail and hospitality consumption. As such, it seems logical to assume that both plastics regulatory plans and the media focus will shift throughout 2020 and 2021.

The Competition

Through this online competition, we are searching for emerging journalists and researchers from across Southeast Asia, who will go through an online research training fellowship over a 2 week period.

Following this 4 week online training, we will select the top 5 researchers for a 10 week Research Fellowship. These researchers will aim to analyse the coverage of up to 5 publications in their respective country, over the previous 18 months. One additional researcher will similarly explore regional media sources.

This research will be focused on developing a clearer regional media coverage map while also interviewing several journalists to outline their challenges, needs for support and capacity building. It also aims to create brand awareness for Break Free from Plastic and to build their relationship with media in the region.

Throughout this period, Climate Tracker will facilitate bi-weekly group trainings and individual mentoring sessions.

The Research

This research will play a critical role in assessing this shift. In each country, we will aim to map:
1. If and how the media’s coverage of plastic waste has changed
2. The trends in framing ‘plastic bans’ and other regulatory shifts
3. How publications have shifted their framing, and which publications have shifted the most
4. What key journalists and editors feel about these changes, and what are the biggest influences on their coverage
5. How the pandemic has affected the media coverage of plastic waste

6. How can organization like Break Free from Plastic help journalists and editors in their coverage

What we expect from you

As well as the final, regional report, each fellow will also be supported to engage in a series of other outputs highlighting key themes coming up in their work. Through Climate Tracker’s team, each fellow will be supported to:

  • Write 1 mini analysis of their findings mid-way through the research process, as well as 1 final article, summarising their research.
  • Engage in 1 Podcast episode, talking about their research findings
  • Conduct 1 Webinar session, highlighting their research findings, alongside regional media institutions and NGOs.

As such, the collective final outputs will include:

  • 1 Final Report
  • 10 articles discussing the research (to be published on both Climate Tracker and our partner’s website)
  • Between 1-3 Podcast episodes discussing the research findings
  • 1 Webinar discussing the research and its findings

Why Should You Apply?

The 4 week training and mentoring period will give you both individualised support, as well as collective and collaborative experience to help you develop both as researchers and in the field of understanding regional plastics policy.

During the training period, fellows will be working on a mini-analysis of their own, that would be supported by a €60 stipend, upon submission of their final work. This research project would be the basis of the final selections at the end of the 4 week training. Selected fellows at the end of the training may received UP TO $800

Climate Tracker’s Mentoring Process has been specifically designed to support your individual research processes, as well as to reflect on collective challenges. The mentoring experience will include bi-weekly group calls, as well as individual mentoring, drafting and editing. It will seek to guide their work through:

  • Initial data collection
  • Categorisation
  • Framing analysis
  • Interviews
  • Analysis
  • Drafting
  • Final Reflection

How to Apply?
We’ll be accepting applications through this App. Sign up, sign in, and submit your application through this App. Simply submit your an open-access link to you CV and work you’ve previously published. 

Submit application BEFORE March 7th.