The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and the training centers of Malaysiakini and Tempo have formed a consortium to gather journalists in Southeast Asia who want to look into Covid-19 stimulus packages offered by governments in the region. 

The consortium has opened a call for applications to the program “Southeast Asia Training and Reporting on Covid-19 Financial Stimulus Packages,” where journalists will learn from and gain access to various experts who will be able to discuss country and regional situations as well as help them plan their stories. 

The training sessions on investigative journalism and financial and economic reporting will all be online. At the end of the training sessions, the consortium will select 10 story proposals that will receive funding and additional mentoring to complete their stories.

The coronavirus pandemic has sunk the economies of many countries and driven  populations into poverty. Stimulus packages have been crucial and would continue to be necessary to help people cope with the devastating impact of the pandemic on their lives. 

Journalists have played a crucial role during the pandemic, reporting crucial information to the public despite growing mobility restrictions and risks to infections. 

It is just as crucial to scrutinize the governments’ stimulus packages – monetary and fiscal – if they are able to address the needs of the most vulnerable sectors and the funds are spent properly. 

The Philippines’ PCIJ, Malaysia’s Malaysiakini, and Indonesia’s Tempo are known for their investigative journalism. The consortium aims to ensure that governments in Southeast Asia are accountable for Covid-19 financial and economic stimulus packages. 

Interested journalists will have to fill out this Google Form. Applications will be accepted until May 20, 2021.

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