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. Alos, 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. In addition, it seems logical to assume that both plastics regulatory plans and the media focus will shift throughout 2020 and 2021. 

Taking these massive changes into account, we’re seeking out young media researchers to engage in training and research with us to learn how the media landscape for the coverage and reporting on plastic usage and policies has changed in the past 2 years. 

The Opportunity

Through an 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. Also, one additional researcher will 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. APPLY TODAY

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
plastics in southeast asia

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


We’re currently looking out for journalists between ages 18-35 from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Participants must be able to analyze articles in both their national language and English. 

Having experience or background in the environmental field will be a plus. People with a full-time job are welcome to apply, given the timing flexibility of the research project! 

How to Apply

Show us your experience in journalism, media research, and environmental issues! Why would you be the best person for this opportunity?

Simply head over to our App, sign up, and submit your application through the App. Don’t hesitate, we’re already reviewing applications. 

Deadline: March 7th 

All the best! APPLY TODAY

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