Reporting Illegal Wildlife Trading
In marketplaces across the world the illegal wildlife trade is booming, and enormous, irreparable damage to biodiversity is occurring. By reporting on environmental crime, investigating the illicit financial flows related to environmental crime commodities as well as the marketing strategies and value-chains of criminal networks involved in the illegal wildlife trade, independent journalists and the media are critical to exposing illegal internet trade in wildlife.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for journalists based in China, Brazil, Nigeria, the Gulf States and Pakistan who are motivated to write investigative stories regarding the online trade in illegal wildlife. In particular, we are looking for investigations into how online illegal activity facilitates the illegal wildlife trade. The journalists will receive mentoring from expert investigative journalists to complete investigations on the topic, with the aim of increasing public understanding of the illegal wildlife trade.

Illegal Wildlife Trade is a multi-month scheme and journalists that take part in the mentoring process commit to participating in a series of mentoring sessions and produce journalistic investigation(s), signing an agreement to this effect.
Journalists will not be considered to have finished the scheme until they have attended all appropriate sessions with their mentor and produced at least one story or investigation.

Benefits of the scheme

  • Journalists taking part in the scheme will receive a modest stipend to fund their research, of which a proportion will be provided in advance. The rest is provided on publication of the investigation;
  • You will propose one or more concrete story ideas that you wish to work on within the scheme – we will provide experienced journalists to help you pursue your story right up to publication or broadcast;
  • You will also have access to story ideas and editorial advice, and will be able to share your own expertise with participants from other regions.


  • Journalists with at least 5 years of professional experience and fluent English (mentoring may not be provided in your native language);
  • It is an advantage if you are familiar with investigative journalism. Experience writing/broadcasting on wildlife issues is a plus;
  • You must be able to spend significant time working on illegal wildlife trade investigations;
  • Both freelancers and staff journalists may apply. Journalists working for a news organisation will need consent from their editor to take part. Freelancers should provide evidence that one or more media organisations will be willing to take their work.


  • Two work samples
  • Editor’s letter confirming applicants have permission to take part in the programme
  • Visit the application portal to APPLY

Visit the official website of the Thomson Reuters Foundation 2018 Reporting Illegal Wildlife Trading Program For Journalist for more information