Individual Grants for Journalists Reporting on Rule of Law

Deadline: 31 March 2014
Open to: journalists from Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia with at least 3 years of professional experience in media
Grant: 3,000 – 10,000 EUR

Description

The economic crisis in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia has led to the reduction of the resources for established journalists and media. This further increased the pressure on professional journalism in all 3 countries, and has led to likely bypassing of important stories, in particular those that relate to the rule of law. Rule of law remains the biggest challenge for Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia in their EU-integration process. Contributing to national improvements in this area will also help these countries in their quest to become EU-members.  In view of these facts, on the occasion of the Constitution bicentenary, the Royal Norwegian Embassy has decided to launch a fund to support professional journalism in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, that should lead to the production of the quality media material in the area of the rule of law reporting.

The Media Grant Programme will primarily offer individual grants, but is also open for teams of journalists working together on a project. The grants are meant to support reporting on the rule of law by journalists who have ideas, sources and have arranged credible dissemination (publishing) plans, but are in need of financial resources to conduct interviews, gather records and data and finalize their reporting projects for publishing and for the presentation to the general public. Reporting projects that break new ground, expose misconduct or wrongdoing, are likely to be bypassed, remain unreported or underreported, given the current media production, and those that have potentials for strong social impact and are of utmost public interest are all encouraged by this call.

Eligibility

The eligible applicants are journalists working in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, with at least 3 years of media related working experience, as evidenced in submitted CVs. This includes freelance journalists as well as those working within media outlets on permanent or part time basis.

The journalists requesting grants are supposed to already have ideas and developed methodology for reporting stories that tackle rule of law, as depicted in the project proposals submitted to this call. They are also supposed to develop and ensure the dissemination (publishing) plan. All traditional news media, that focus on delivering news to the general public, including print media (newspapers, newsmagazines), and broadcast media (radio and television) may be included in the dissemination (publishing) plans. The letter of commitments to publish stories resulting from the reporting projects proposed, from news outlet executives, should ascertain these plans.

Team applications, made by groups of associates are also allowed, in which case a lead applicant should be nominated. Associates may include, for example photographers, cameraman, production assistants, or other persons involved in the finalization of the reporting project.

The applicants are responsible for the implementation of the grants, which includes adherence to the approved work plan, sound financial management and adherence to the standards of practice.

Any attempt to obtain confidential information and/or influence the Embassy and/or consultants assessing the received proposals by the applicants will immediately lead to exclusion.  Published or broadcasted works should address the general public in Serbia, Montenegro and/or Macedonia, reaching widely to all structures of society.

Grant

The amount of money requested per grant shall not be higher than 10,000 EUR, and not lower than 3,000 EUR. Please note that a maximum size grant will be awarded only in exceptional circumstances and for projects that naturally entail higher production costs (such as TV production).

In total, Media Grant Programme intends to award approximately 30 grants.

Total fees may not be higher than 500 EUR per person/month, and this relates to the fees of the lead applicant, associates (in any) and/or experts involved. Reporting projects are expected to start in May 2014 and be finalized (including also the final publishing and/or broadcast) by December 2014. Costs associated with editorial support may be requested only in special circumstances, as normally, editors of the outlets committing to publish stories are expected to conduct editorial work prior to publishing and/or broadcast of the material made due the course of the awarded projects, ensuring that final presentation meets the editorial and journalistic standards of the subject media outlet.

Embassy will not offer any mentoring or specialized support to the awarded grant beneficiaries. Awarded individuals are expected to be well established journalists, able to undertake research and production work independently and without external support, from start to the end. Embassy will monitor the progress of the projects, against the set work plans and approved budgets.

Application

Applications must be received in English. Applications should include the following documents. All these are mandatory and need to be submitted when applying for the grant:

  • A description of the proposed reporting project. Here you are expected to present the topic you wish to explore, the methodology that you propose and the structure of the final products, as well as the media outlets where the stories will be published and/or broadcasted. Sources may be depicted, but need not be named.
  • A preliminary budget estimate, including basic breakdown of costs.
  • Three samples of your previously published or broadcasted work, which you consider your best journalism work so far.
  • One to three professional references. These can be either contact information, or letters of recommendation, depicting your competence and adherence to general standards of practice.
  • Letters of commitment. This is a letter signed by a news executive (editor in chief in majority of cases) committing to publish the story, as long as it is completed as promised and meets the news outlet’s editorial and journalistic standards. A letter of commitment is a non-negotiable requirement under this Call and Embassy is not able to provide any support in the obtainment of it.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae, depicting your education and work experience and professional achievements so far, listing in minimum the details of the work done in the last 3 years.
  • Applications may also include a more detailed description of the project, supplementary documentation, studies or analysis, but these will be taken in the consideration as long as they do not undermine fair treatment of all the potential applicants.

Applications should be sent by mail to the address indicated below: [email protected], with a subject of the mail clearly titled Media application.

All documents listed above should be sent in one email until 31 March 2014. Please note that the maximum size of email is 9 MB. If you need to send large attachments, email us in advance to make other arrangements.

The interested parties may contact the Embassy at [email protected] until 24 March 2014 if they need any information related to the application procedure.

More information on how to apply, find in the official call.

Leave a Reply