Applications for wave 1 of the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund are now closed.

Before applying, please review the FAQs below and carefully read the full eligibility criteria in the Call for Applications document.

This page is frequently updated. Questions 21 through 29 were added on 21 April after the AMA session.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Who can apply for funding?

    News organisations and journalists that are:

    • Based in Europe (as defined by the Council of Europe)
    • Actively covering COVID-19
    • Serving communities on a hyperlocal, local or regional scale, or communities of interest
    • Either non-profit or for-profit

    Please carefully read the full eligibility criteria in the Call for Applications document.

  • 2. 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. We are reviewing all criteria between waves of funding to make sure support is getting to where it needs to be.

  • 3. 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).

  • 4. 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.

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

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

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

    The following categories are not eligible for the fund: state-controlled media entities; local media companies owned by larger conglomerates.

    Please carefully read the full eligibility criteria in the Call for Applications document.

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

    You must be based 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.

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

    The grants are designed as 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.

  • 9. How much funding can I apply for?

    Applicants may request the following amounts:

    • Track 1 Engagement Fund: €5,000
    • Track 2, Emergency Fund: €10,000 or €25,000
    • Track 3, Innovation Fund: €50,000.

    For applications submitted for groups of journalists or consortia of organisations, the same amounts of funding apply (i.e. €5,000 per application to the Engagement Fund, not €5,000 per journalist named in the application).

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

    If you applied for the Emergency Fund, you will receive a response (whether you were successful or not) at the latest on Monday 11th May.

    If you applied for the Engagement and Innovation Funds, you will receive a response (whether you were successful or not) by Friday 5th June.

    We will try our best to inform you earlier than these dates.

  • 11. How many waves of funding will there be?

    There will be subsequent funding waves in the coming months (dates to be confirmed). Sign up to the mailing list to receive updates about the Fund.

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

    Applicants can apply for only one track per wave of funding.

  • 13. Can I apply both as an individual and as part of a group of freelancers or as part of a consortia of news organisations?

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

  • 14. If my application is rejected for wave 1, can I apply again to subsequent waves?

    If you are not successful at funding in wave 1, your application may be considered for subsequent waves of funding. You will not need to reapply.

  • 15. 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.

  • 16. 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.

  • 17. If groups of freelancers or consortia of news organisations apply, who receives the grant funding / how do we distribute the funds to the other partners 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.

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

    The EJC team 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 document. The EJC will decide upon and administer grant awards independently from Facebook.

  • 19. 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.

  • 20. 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. 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.

  • 21. NEW: Can I attach the documents and statements in the original language or do they have to be translated?

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

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

    Most or all news organisations have listed on their websites a privacy policy (for example about GDPR, handling user data, or editorial policy) so these can be attached to your application as links or documents.

    Your organisation most likely has one or more of these documents already. It is fine if you only have some of the documents listed.

    You should NOT create any new documents specifically for this Fund.

  • 23. NEW: 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 for some reason, you may upload one for 2018.

  • 24. NEW: If my organisation is part of a press regulator e.g IMPRESS, can I upload the regulator's standards code / codes of practice as supporting documentation, or do I have to provide specific documentation for my organisation?

    You can upload the regulator’s standards / codes and if your organisation has specific ones, upload those too.

  • 25. NEW: There is no field to explain my innovative project idea in the Innovation Fund track.

    In the application form for the Innovation Fund, you can provide this information in these two fields:

    1. Describe how the COVID-19 crisis has specifically impacted your organisation

    2. Describe how the grant funding will help your organisation to overcome the problems you have described in the previous question

    You can use these two fields to add detail about the idea you want to develop and how you will use the funds to develop it.

  • 26. NEW: Which section of the application form can I use to tell you about my project idea or what activities I will spend the grant funding on?

    You can provide that information in this field:

    Describe how the grant funding will help your organisation to overcome the problems you have described in the previous question.

    This question is part of the ‘Impact from participating in the fund’ section of the application form for all three funding tracks (Engagement Fund, Emergency Fund, Innovation Fund).

  • 27. NEW: 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, in the field where you are explaining how the grant funding will help you/your organisation overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, you can describe the activities that will help you overcome those problems and the types of costs associated with these activities.

  • 28. NEW: 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 Award Force, 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.

  • 29. NEW: Can a non-journalistic organisation apply to the Fund?

    If you are applying as a consortia of news organisations, the lead applicant must be a news organisation.

    If one member of the consortia is a non-journalistic organisation, they are eligible if they can demonstrate how their involvement is benefitting the consortia.

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