Abiose works at the Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation, where she coordinates a program that focuses on using the tool of investigative reporting for accountability and transparency. As a recipient of the Red Ribbon Award, and a fellow of the World Federation of Science Journalists, she has been at the forefront of reporting on science and development issues.
During her Fellowship year, Abiose published a series of articles and video reports about the social and economic failures that have contributed to the environmental degradation of the Niger Delta region. She visited illegal oil refineries, stalled oil-spill clean-ups and gas flare sites, to show the extent that communities have been affected by oil extraction in the region.
Abiose used these experiences from her investigations to write and stage a play in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The play, Environmental Refugees, confronted issues such as the lack of drinking water, lack of secure employment and health problems caused by oil extraction in Ogoni and other oil-rich areas. It was attended by over 300 residents from 17 local communities and was so well-received, a production company is talking to her about turning her play into a feature film.
Yasna is a freelance Chilean reporter, based in Santiago de Chile. For a decade she has worked as an international correspondent for various written and radio media, reporting from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her work has been published in La Tercera (Chile), The New York Times, Vice (Mexico) and Mediapart (France). She is co-founder of Late Magazine, where she is currently working as Editor and mediambiente.cl, a site committed to climate change.
During her Bertha Challenge project, Yasna worked with Juan Donoso (activist Fellow), to investigate the extraction of lithium from the ‘lithium triangle’ covering Chile, Argentina and Bolivia for electric cars marketed in Europe. Yasna visited sites of lithium mining to explore how the mining is affecting local ecosystems and communities, including the Atacama salt plains, home to one of the largest lithium mines in South America.
Dan is one of Australia’s most prolific comedy filmmakers and radio journalists. Calling himself an “investigative humorist”, Dan has used comedy as an activist tool throughout his professional career in Australia and the U.S. He has performed in front of thousands of people across Australia, including sell out shows at the Sydney Opera House and on ABC Radio National.
Dan is the host of the award-winning podcast and live comedy show, A Rational Fear - a show that brings together journalists, comedians, experts and politicians and uses comedy to talk about climate issues that get overlooked in mainstream media. During his Bertha Challenge year, he used this weekly podcast to engage new audiences with the climate crisis through comedy. He launched a monthly climate focused podcast, Greatest Moral Podcast of Our Generation, which was co-hosted by Linh Do (activist Fellow) (link).
Dan’s Fellowship year culminated with live shows in two of Australia’s climate-vulnerable cities: Newcastle, a traditional mining area and home to Australia’s largest coal mines; and Bega, one of the areas worst hit by the 2020 bushfires, where promised emergency funds still haven’t been delivered.
Andrea is a journalist, human rights activist and defender of the territory. She is a Nobel Women’s Initiative Fellow and was awarded the Sakharov Prize Fellowship, which honors individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. Andrea has also been an Indigenous authority in her hometown of Totonicapán.
During her Bertha Challenge Fellowship, Andrea worked with Federico Etiene Zuvire Cruz (activist Fellow) to share three stories of resistance told by women. Their work focuses on the intersection of organized women, Indigenous rights and territory with an emphasis on water, land and governance.
Along with the three films, Andrea and Fede also organized ‘Curra da Terra’, an online gathering of more than 267 Indigenous women from 116 Indigenous nations in 37 different countries. The event called on Indigenous women from around the world to share their experiences of resisting profit-driven destruction of Indigenous territories, and the violence that accompanies it.
Antonia Juhasz is an energy analyst, author and investigative journalist specializing in oil. Her investigations include the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, oil exploitation in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Paris Climate Accord, the role of oil and natural gas in the Afghanistan war and resistance movements from Standing Rock to the Norwegian Arctic. Her articles and opinion pieces appear in numerous leading magazines and newspapers. Antonia is the author of three books: Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill, The Tyranny of Oil and The Bush Agenda.
For her Bertha Challenge project, Antonia published a series of articles analyzing the state of the oil industry through a critical period that included the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 U.S. election. She focused on groups that are challenging the power of oil companies, and the role of women and girls in leading those movements.
Mike is a photographer, filmmaker and environmental scientist who uses his knowledge of visual storytelling and conservation to create narratives that drive social change. He holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has directed award-winning films in the Arctic, the Amazon, the Himalayas and East Africa. His work has been featured by National Geographic, The Guardian, Vox, the BBC and others.
For his Bertha Challenge project, Mike spent a month travelling around Chesapeake Bay, photographing and interviewing residents. The Bay is the U.S.’s largest estuary, and an important wetland habitat, facing rising sea levels that threaten the homes and infrastructure of local communities.
Mike used blue tape to physically mark where the coastline is expected to reach by 2100. His photos show the projected coastline cutting across play areas, roads and houses. He also took portraits of local residents standing in places of personal significance with a measurement stick showing how high the water is expected to rise in that location. The portraits are accompanied by interviews with people talking about the importance of the area and about the future of Chesapeake Bay.
Alongside these photos, Mike also produced aerial images showing how much land will be lost by the end of the century if nothing is done to address climate change, compared to how much land will be lost if immediate and radical action is taken.
Bhrikuti is a multimedia journalist based in Kathmandu. During her decade-long career, she has reported extensively on environment, technology and human rights. Bhrikuti loves all things audio, and is co-creator of the feminist podcast Boju Bajai, which she started in 2016 with poet Itisha Giri. Her work has appeared in several Nepali and international media, including The Kathmandu Post, Nepali Times, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times and Buzzfeed News. In 2017, she won a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Masters degree at Columbia University in New York, where she specialized in investigative journalism.
Bhrikuti used her Bertha Challenge Fellowship to investigate the extent of the ecological damage caused by illegal sand extraction from rivers across Nepal, and its impact on the most vulnerable communities. She investigated the collusion between business and politics, in particular connections between politicians with influence over Nepal’s ecological legislation, and the sand extraction and construction industries. Alongside her investigative stories, Bhrikuti developed a public database with records of Nepal’s public officials and their business interests.
Charles is a Zimbabwean journalist and freedom of expression activist. He has a keen interest in community centric investigative journalism, with a particular focus on social justice and environmental management issues. In 2010, he was one of the founding employees of the Media Centre in Harare, where he was instrumental in establishing a resource centre for freelance journalists and promoting citizen journalism in communities across Zimbabwe. Charles is a Radio Netherlands Certified trainer of trainers in multimedia production and a Programs Officer and Editor at Community Radio Harare, a community radio initiative.
Charles’ Bertha Challenge project focused on the effects of corruption and mismanagement in the delivery of basic sanitation services for marginalized communities, in the context of an escalating climate crisis. He set up the website Dry & Dirty as a platform for news and resources about water pollution and political corruption in Harare and beyond.
In addition to his investigative stories, Charles created a documentary where he talked to communities affected by Harare’s water crisis, including communities whose water supplies have been cut off by illegal construction work on Harare’s wetlands. He also produced an e-book to present his year’s research.
Elroi is a multimedia investigative journalist, whose stories have ranged from Indigenous peoples and human trafficking, to refugees. His work has received numerous accolades, including being twice nominated for a Peabody Award, winning five SOPA Awards and seven Asian Media Awards. During his time at R.AGE, the team has won the Kajai Award twice, and was conferred the United Nations Malaysia Award in 2016.
Elroi worked with Puah Sze Ning (activist Fellow) to focus on Malaysia’s Indigenous Orang Asli communities who are moving out of government resettlement schemes and returning to their customary lands. These lands are often exploited by the state and commercial enterprises for profit, leaving little resources for Indigenous communities.
Elroi’s investigations focused particularly on the Orang Asli struggles against logging companies. He documented the detrimental impact logging has on the local environment – and by extension on the Orang Asli’s access to land, water and food, as well as on the health of community members. Alongside his stories, he worked with community journalists to set up a digital map where various Orang Asli villages shared photos, videos and geospatial evidence of logging activity, and to submit this as evidence of malpractice to the authorities.