Applications for Wave 2 of the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund are now closed.

Please read the Call for Applications (Wave 2) document and the updated FAQs below for details.

This page is frequently updated with new FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Who can apply for funding?

    News organisations and journalists that are:

    • With their principal place of business located in a country in the Council of Europe
    • Signed up to a press regulator, trust initiative, or part of a press association
    • Actively covering COVID-19
    • Serving communities on a hyperlocal, local or regional scale, or communities of interest (communities being served must also be in Council of Europe member countries)
    • Have proven community loyalty and a focus on producing public interest journalism
    • Either non-profit or for-profit
    • In existential need of financial support brought on by the COVID-19 crisis
    • Have a bank account that accepts international payments

    For eligibility criteria that is specific to freelance journalists or news organisations respectively, please read the Call for Applications (Wave 2) document in full.

  • 2. If my application was unsuccessful in Wave 1, can I apply again for Wave 2?

    If you submitted an application for Wave 1 in April 2020 and were unsuccessful, you may re-apply for Wave 2. We are asking all applicants to create a new application in order to reflect the changes in your/ your organisation’s circumstances since the original application.

    We understand this is extra work for previous applicants, but there are two important reasons for doing so:

    1. We’ve adapted the grant programme based on feedback from Wave 1 and a new understanding of the needs of grantees. Accordingly, the forms have changed

    2. Five months have passed since the first applications were made. Circumstances may have changed for applicants (for better or worse). Now every applicant has a fair opportunity to tell us about this and be considered for Wave 2.

    Your previous application is saved in the same grants platform under Applications > My Applications, should you wish to copy information across to a new application.

  • 3. If my application was successful in Wave 1, can I apply again for Wave 2?

    News organisations, freelance journalists or groups of freelance journalists who successfully received grants through Wave 1 are not eligible to re-apply.

  • 4. Why have you chosen to only support organisations based in Council of Europe member countries?

    We are the European Journalism Centre, so we’re focusing our support on Europe. There are many definitions of Europe; the Council of Europe offers one that is expansive and internationally recognised.

  • 5. What does ‘actively covering COVID-19’ mean?

    The fund is aimed at news organisations and journalists who are providing a service to their community through regular reporting and coverage of COVID-19’s impact on that community, as well as useful information related to the pandemic (e.g. about local facilities and businesses; mobilising people looking for ways to help their community; producing and explaining information about health advice or government support, etc).

  • 6. My organisation is a magazine/ radio station/ tv station/ digital outlet/ print newspaper, can I apply?

    News organisations publishing in print, online/web, television, radio, podcasts, online video, messaging service, e-newsletter, mobile app, social media or any combination thereof can apply.

    News organisations that publish content only via messaging service and/or social media platforms are not eligible.

  • 7. I am a freelancer, am I eligible?

    Freelancers and/or groups of freelancers are welcome to apply for the Emergency Fund track, which provides €5,000 grants.

  • 8. My organisation is a state-owned publication, or a local paper owned by a publishing group. Am I eligible?

    The following categories are not eligible for the Fund:

    1. State-controlled media entities. For the purpose of this Fund, “state-controlled media entity” is any media entity that is partially or wholly under the editorial control of a state (based on a range of factors, including but not limited to funding, structure and open source reporting). This does not include “public media entities”, which includes any media entity that is publicly financed, retains a public service mission and can demonstrate editorial control
    2. A subsidiary local media company owned by a larger conglomerate. For the purpose of this Fund, a “conglomerate” is a large media group that consists of different related or unrelated businesses, publications or subsidiaries
    3. A news aggregator

    The Fund also does not aim to support: organisations or individuals that are not publishers of their own original journalism; national news organisations or news agencies.

    Please carefully read the full eligibility criteria in the Call for Applications (Wave 2) document.

  • 9. If I am serving communities outside of Europe, am I eligible to apply?

    Your principal place of business must be located in a Council of Europe country (meaning that your registered address and main base for work is in one of these countries). You also must be serving communities (geographic communities and/or communities of interest) that are in the Council of Europe countries.

  • 10. What can I spend the grant funding on?

    The grants are core funding. Core funding is financial support that covers the core organisational and administrative costs of an organisation or freelancer. This can include salaries, travel expenses, office rent, equipment, technology, infrastructure, utilities, and communications.

    You can find additional examples of the type of activities the grant funding can be spent on in the Call for Applications (Wave 2) document.

  • 11. How much funding can I apply for?

    Applicants may request the following amounts:

    • Track 1, Emergency Fund (for news organisations): €5,000, €10,000 or €25,000
    • Track 1, Emergency Fund (for freelancers or groups of freelance journalists): €5,000
    • Track 2, Endurance Fund: €10,000 or €25,000

    For applications submitted by groups of freelance journalists, the same amounts of funding apply (i.e. €5,000 per application to the Emergency Fund, not €5,000 per journalist named in the application).

  • 12. Can I attach URLs, documents and statements in the original language or do they have to be translated?

    You can attach URLs, documents, policies and statements in your native language, you do not need to translate them into English.

  • 13. If I do not have one or more of the policies or documents you are asking me to submit, should I create them?

    In order to be eligible for funding under Wave 2, a news organisation must have published on its website at least three of the following: editorial policy, code of conduct, transparency statement, complaints procedure, diversity policy, privacy policy, whistleblower policy.

    You should NOT create any new URLs, policies or documents specifically for this Fund.

  • 14. What do you mean by ‘financial statement of accounts’?

    By ‘most recent statement of financial accounts’ we mean the annual statement of your news organisation for the last financial year, which is usually signed/approved by an accountant.

    Annual statements for a company or organisation usually include details such as balance sheet, income, retained earnings, cash flow etc.

    If you do not have a statement available for 2019/ the current year for some reason, you may upload one for 2018 / last year. In case your organisation does not have this information yet, you may also provide bank statements.

  • 15. Do I have to submit a detailed budget or project timeline?

    You are not required to submit a detailed budget or timeline at application stage. You will be asked to submit a budget if you are shortlisted for grant funding.

    However, depending on which track you are applying to, you will be able to describe or select from a list the types of activities and/or types of costs that you expect to use the grant funding for.

  • 16. When will I find out the outcome of my application?

    Update 21 October: Due to a delay in the shortlisting process, successful applicants will be notified by 11.59pm CET on Monday 2 November.

    Due to the high numbers of applications received, we will not be contacting unsuccessful applicants. If you have not been contacted by a member of the EJC team by 11.59pm CET on Monday 2 November, that means on this occasion, your application has not been selected to receive funding.

  • 17. Can I apply to more than one funding track?

    Applicants can only apply for one of the funding tracks.

  • 18. Can I apply both as an individual and as part of a group of freelancers?

    No. If you are initially applying as an individual you cannot also apply as a group of freelancers. And if you are initially applying as a group of freelancers, you cannot also apply as an individual.

  • 19. If I am shortlisted for funding, how long will it take to receive the funds?

    We aim to transfer the (first) payments of grant funding to Grantees within two weeks after after the formal grant documentation has been issued and signed by Grantees and the EJC.

    However we cannot guarantee this and we will endeavour to keep Grantees informed about their status.

  • 20. What currency will grant funding be issued in?

    The EJC will transfer grant funding to Grantees’ bank accounts in Euros. The EJC will not be responsible for changes in exchange rates nor for any fees incurred by Grantees’ banks.

  • 21. If groups of freelancers apply, who receives the grant funding / how do we distribute the funds to the other group members involved?

    In such cases, the application should be submitted by one designated lead applicant. The EJC will issue only one Grant Agreement per awarded application, and it is the responsibility of the lead applicant to distribute the funds to the other collaborators.

  • 22. If I receive a grant, do I have to use Facebook tools or platforms?

    Grants are not dependent on the use of Facebook tools and products.

  • 23. How do you decide who is awarded the funding?

    The EJC team and independent experts will review and shortlist the applications. The applications awarded funding will need to meet the eligibility criteria and will also be shortlisted on the basis of the best match to the selection criteria described in the Call for Applications (Wave 2) document. The EJC will decide upon and administer grant awards independently from Facebook.

  • 24. What type of reporting is expected of me as a Grantee?

    Grantees will be asked to record and share progress, learnings and impact achieved and report it at the end of the Fund period (by Friday 5 February 2021). This information (as well as the information provided in Grantees’ applications) will be published along with other intelligence and data generated by the Fund by the Fund Partners, for the purposes of informing the end-of-Fund evaluation, and sharing learnings with other practitioners and the wider industry. All business-sensitive information provided will be anonymised before being published publicly. The EJC team may also contact Grantees during the Fund period to capture interim progress.

  • 25. Can I see the questions before I start working on my application, so that I can prepare the information I need?

    Yes. Make an account on Good Grants, choose the track you want to apply for, and then start a new application in order to see the different questions and sections of the form.

    You can go back and edit whatever you provide in the application fields before you submit your final application, so you are free to make changes as you work on your application.

  • 26. NEW: I am not / my organisation is not signed up to a press regulator, press association or trust initiative - am I automatically ineligible?

    If you / your organisation are not registered with one of these types of associations or initiatives, then write ‘No’ in the relevant field in the application form AND briefly explain why. For example, ’No, because there is no such association or initiative in the country where I am based’.

    We will take into account the reasons why you / your organisation are not signed up to one of these types of associations or initiatives when we review your application.

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