Women, water, work and inequality

Uzbekistan. Image: Embassy Uzbekistan, Washington D.C.

Uzbekistan. Image: Embassy Uzbekistan, Washington D.C.

By Eric Freedman

Water is a precious commodity in rural Uzbekistan. It’s in short supply but essential for the cotton and wheat that are the landlocked Central Asian country’s “strategic export commodities” providing 30 percent of its gross domestic product.

Water is just as essential for peasants who grow most of their own food.

Now a new study shows the interconnection among water, women, work and gender inequality under Uzbekistan’s government-mandated water management system that overwhelmingly favors private farms owned by men.

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Environmental public radio reporting internship available for MSU students

The Knight Center is supporting a paid summer internship at Interlochen Public Radio.

It is open to students or recent graduates associated with MSU. The ideal start and end dates for this position are June 1, 2017  to August 25, 2017. However, the dates are flexible according to the intern’s availability. The deadline to apply is January 27, 2017.

This is an extraordinary opportunity for any aspiring journalist interested in public media and the environment. The intern will learn to probe people for detailed information, connect ideas and facts into a larger context, and tell stories that help people understand the natural world.

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Deadline looms for grants supporting high school journalism and science collaborations

To encourage collaboration between high school journalism and environmental science classes, Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism invite teachers to submit proposals for innovative class projects in which journalism students will report about field research by environmental science students.

The deadlline is Dec. 1, 2016

Our principal goals are:

  • to help young prospective journalists better understand and explain to the public how science is done
  • to help environmental science students learn to use the media to explain their work to the public.
  • to promote environmental and science journalism.

    The Knight Center intends to award 1-year competitive grants of $2,000 to up to three high schools: $1,000 to the journalism program and $1,000 to the environmental science program for equipment, software or scholarships. There is a possibility of renewal for one or two more years.

    In addition, the Knight Center will pair each school with a professional journalist to serve as a mentor to participating students and teachers.

    Here are the details:

  • Your proposal must include a project description (750 words maximum), the names and contact information for a partnering journalism and environmental science teacher from the same high school; grade levels of participating classes; and the estimated number of students in the participating classes. A proposal form is attached.
  • Your projects must generate student-produced news or feature stories with visuals (photos and/ or graphics) for print, online, audio and/or video that your school will disseminate. The Knight Center will also disseminate these stories to the public through our website, and some stories may be posted on Great Lakes Echo (www.greatlakesecho.org), the center’s award-winning online regional environmental news service.
  • Grantees must comply with MSU nancial reporting procedures.
  • Grantees (students, teachers and professional mentors will be invited to a one-day workshop at MSU in Fall 2017.
  • Application deadline: December 1, 2016. Awards will be announced by January 31, 2017.

    Projects should begin in February 2017 and be completed with a final report by the end of

    December 2017. A progress report is required by June 15, 2017.

  • Read about the successful 2015-2016 grantees at http://j-school.jrn.msu.edu/



Deadline looms for documentary funding

Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism will award up to three grants of $3,500 each to support the making of environment-related documentaries (video, audio or other digital media) by MSU faculty-stu-dent teams.

The deadline for submission: Dec. 1, 2016, at 5 p.m. Decisions to be announced approximately Feb. 1, 2017. The competition is open to faculty and students from all departments at MSU.

The maximum award is $3,500 for one year.

These must be documentaries, not public service announcements or advocacy pieces.
The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism must be credited for underwriting the project and allowed to use your documentary, including linking on our website and presentation in classes, workshops and other activities.
Allowable expenses include travel, essential equipment, supplies, pay for students and festival & competition entry fees. All expenditures must comply with MSU procedures and rules. Any equipment purchased remains the property of MSU. Grant funds must be expended within one year from the date of approval by MSU Contracts and Grants.


  • Working title
  • Medium: video, audio or other digital media
  •  Project summary (200 words maximum): What compelling story will you tell?
  • Estimated timeline (Be realistic)
  • Most likely audiences: Whom do you expect to watch or listen to it?
  • For video & audio documentaries, what length do you expect the nal version to be?
  • Distribution plans: How will you disseminate your product?
  • Budget plan: How do you plan to spend the money?
  • Team members
  • Faculty: name, rank and department or school and project role, with abbreviated CV
  • Students: name, year, major and project role, with resume
  • Potential problems and obstacles
  • Links to any relevant projects by team members or bring a digital recording to the Knight Center office at 382 Com Arts Building by the deadline

Email questions to Eric Freedman, director, freedma5@msu.edu.
Email submissions to Barbara Miller, mille384@msu.edu.