The Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) has compiled a list of sources for emergency funding of media and journalists! With warm recognition toward the GFMD and this important work, we are happy to share it here, for it to also reach community media in Europe - and beyond: our readers and users!
GFMD writes: COVID-19 pandemic has brought about unprecedented disruptions to the lives of journalists and media professionals. Beyond the difficulties faced in efforts to cover the crisis safely, with consideration for journalists’ mental and physical health, they also must deal with the severe financial uncertainty caused by the crisis which threatens the very existence of many news organisations. Despite the fact that news organisations have seen a major increase in traffic and news consumption as people attempt to understand the pandemic, journalism’s financial situation is growing increasingly more precarious.
While scores of news and media development organisations have developed and compiled valuable resources to help cover the pandemic, and many have provided advice on how to keep media businesses afloat, it is impossible for many journalists to do so without some sort of financial assistance. To help alleviate the pressure on newsrooms and journalists, especially freelance journalists, several companies and organisations have committed to financially support the international effort to share valuable and accurate information at a time when it is needed most.
Financial support for media during COVID-19 Crisis
The European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) have launched a $3 million USD fund to support hundreds of community, local and regional European news organisations. Emergency core funding will support community engagement, address critical business needs, and facilitate coverage of the pandemic. EJC will prioritise providing grants for small and medium-sized news organisations supporting the communities most affected by the crisis. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found here.
Internews have launched a rapid response fund to help small, local news organisations worldwide survive in the face of COVID-19. The fund launched with $100,000 to be made available immediately and is targeting $1 million in donations to provide immediate support for journalists globally. The new rapid response fund will give Internews’ local media partners – such as community radio stations and online news outlets in more than 80 countries – access to emergency funding so they can continue to operate in increasingly dire economic conditions.
The Rory Peck Trust have also launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund which aims to support freelance journalists during the pandemic. This extraordinary fund will be used to provide practical and financial support to freelance journalists whose work and livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is providing rolling Coronavirus Grants for U.S. Freelancers. FIJ’s Board of Directors is looking for stories on the coronavirus that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or abuse of power – in the public and private sectors. FIJ encourages proposals written for ethnic media as well as those submitted by journalists of color and involving the impact of the coronavirus in U.S. ethnic communities. Grants average $5,000 but can be as high as $10,000. They cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. FIJ also considers requests for small stipends.
The South Asian Journalists Association are providing a series of Economic Hardship Project Reporting Grants for freelance projects. SAJA is partnering with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project to help finance freelance projects that are focused on covering the coronavirus outbreak and its impacts. The goal is to support freelance journalists who may be facing financial hardship at this time. Two grants, up to $2,500 each, will be awarded to support the projects, which can be in any medium.
The Judith Neilson Institute has launched 3 different initiatives to support journalism throughout the crisis. JNI will boost funding for freelancers and casual contributors, provide a free news service for Australia’s 450 community radio stations, and help tackle misinformation on COVID-19, including on social media.
Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) via MacArthur is organising a fund for freelance workers who are experiencing economic hardship and is seeking additional funders to contribute. AIR is committing $25,000 in Phase 1 to assess the range of needs and to cover bills, health care, rent, lost travel expenses, etc. AIR will distribute $599 per response to keep below the $600 W-2 threshold and to assure that undocumented producers can also apply for help. It is anticipated that funds will be distributed in early April. Phase 2 will begin in May in which AIR will commit another $25,000 but are hoping to raise additional funds to offer small, local newsrooms support at higher levels, maxing out at $1500-$2000. Recipients of the fund must be AIR members.
Women Photograph are offering emergency funds for freelance photographers who have already been hit hard by COVID-19 and will continue to be impacted by loss of assignments as we face this global health crisis. Many independent photojournalists have substandard access to healthcare and cannot afford to face prolonged loss of income. This Emergency Fund is meant to provide a small amount of one-time support to independent women and non-binary photographers who need assistance — there are no restrictions on what the funding can cover: it can be healthcare, childcare, rent, or professional expenses. Photographers may request up to $500 in support
Brown Institute for Media Innovation is offering a “rapid” micro-grant to help support journalists, technologists, health researchers, data scientists, social scientists, and any and all communities involved in covering the virus. The grant is for $5000 and can be spent for just about any activity that helps inform the public.
The Pulitzer Center has announced the Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge, a new grant designed to encourage innovative journalist and newsroom collaboration on the coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic across state and national borders. This opportunity is open to all independent journalists and newsrooms in the United States and abroad.
The International Women’s Media Foundation’s Journalism Relief Fund with the initial support of Twitter, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the Foundation for a Just Society, is now open to woman-identifying journalists in dire straits – journalists who have faced significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off, or who urgently need assistance to avoid severe, irreversible outcomes. This fund will provide small grants of up to $2,000 USD per request, though special consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to those who may have greater financial needs.
National Geographic’s new COVID-19 Emergency Journalism Fund will provide a series of grants to top quality storytellers and journalists (individuals, not institutions) who may be “stuck” all over the world. They want to engage them to produce “hyper-local” reporting to address and meet the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved populations negatively impacted by COVID-19. National Geographic will support stories on medical and health impacts, but will also encourage reporting that covers social, emotional, economic, education, and equity issues as well.
The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) has partnered with Facebook to support the fact-checking community working on the COVID-19 related misinformation with a budget of $1 million. The budget will be distributed as flash grants based on approved proposals including, but not limited to, translation of fact checks from native languages to different languages, multimedia (videos, infographics, podcasts) production about COVID-19, working with health experts for evidence-based and scientific coverage, audience development initiatives that use innovative formats, such as offline or interactive communication, to better reach people with reliable information, and fact-checkers supporting public authorities with reliable information for better communication about COVID-19.
Facebook has pledged to invest $100 million in the news industry at a time when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means that accurate reporting is more important than ever. $25 million will be provided in grant funding for local news through the Facebook Journalism Project, while the remaining $75 million will come in the form of “additional marketing spend” to worldwide news organisations.
Twitter has donated one million dollars to be evenly distributed between the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation. These funds will be used to ensure these organisations can continue their work in the face of new economic strains and to directly support journalists