What are the application criteria?

Goal

The European Publishers Longterm Reporting Grant is a media funding project operated by the European Journalism Centre. The grant programme aims to raise awareness of selected United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by way of supporting coverage by media outlets who reach significant audiences in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden or the United Kingdom.

The average grant given is around €130,000 and the programme is only open to media organisations.

Applications are presently closed.

Topic

We are looking for original reporting about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respect to one or more of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and/or the respective key European donor country’s development relations with LDCs.

Country focus

To be eligible, your project must:

  • Focus on relevant development issues in one or more of the world’s developing countries, excluding the countries from the former Yugoslav Republic, former Soviet Union countries, China and countries covered by a US financial embargo (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria).
  • Report on one or more of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and/or the key European donor countries’ development relations with LDCs.

Who is eligible?

Media organisations with websites that target audiences in one or more of the following European countries are eligible to apply: 

  • France
  • Germany
  • the Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

The funded stories can be published in any of the official languages of the five admissible countries.

Successful applications will show deep engagement and collaboration with local reporters on the ground.

NOT eligible for funding are:

  • State-owned or directly government-controlled entities;
  • The Guardian and Le Monde Afrique, as they already receive direct support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

* A relevant media organisation is considered to be one of the following: a broadcaster with at least broad regional reach; a mainstream print magazine or newspaper; a print trade publication or specialist magazine of particular influence as a multiplier; a website of significant reach and audience; an electronic format such as a mobile application; or a contribution to an existing app – with demonstrable potential to reach a large audience.

Selection criteria

All applications will be reviewed by a jury that will rate and rank the projects according to the following criteria: 

  • Editorial focus and quality
  • Impact and reach
  • Innovation

1. Editorial approach and quality

Your project pitch is the most important part of the application. Successful applications are: 

  • Relevant. The judges look for a strong link to the SDGs
  • Original. We value under-reported topics or fresh perspectives on the topics for this grant programme
  • Focused. Successful applications go beyond the surface of the stories they cover, using data and/or evidence reporting to back-up their reporting
  • Balanced. Every story has multiple perspectives and should reflect the reality, not the stereotype

2. Impact and reach

The European Publishers Longterm Reporting Grant is looking for projects that demonstrate how they will create impact and reach. 

Impactful projects inform public opinion and debate and change the way people understand an issue. They provide citizens with the information to make decisions and form opinions about their lives, communities, societies, and world. They provide in-depth information beyond the limitations of daily news cycles. 

Your project should achieve significant reach with large audiences in one or more of the five eligible countries. 

Syndication of content to outlets in additional countries is strongly encouraged; the grantee may however retain all resulting proceeds. We also encourage cooperation between awarded outlets and other grant programme awardees (for instance from our Innovation in Development Reporting grants). 

3. Innovation

Innovation is a requirement of this grant because we believe new storytelling ideas increase the chance of impact and reach. We think of innovation in four ways. 

  1. Engagement. Successful projects will show new ways of engaging audiences using digital technologies. Novel uses of video, audio, imagery, data, text, maps, graphics, quizzes, animation or other engaging content forms, in service of a great story, are essential.
  2. Format. Your chosen format must work for your proposed audience. Projects that leverage new social, browser and mobile platforms/technologies to deliver compelling stories are encouraged.
  3. Community. Successful applications show how they will turn an audience into an engaged community that grows during the lifespan of the story.
  4. Sourcing. Our judges are interested in the new ways your project will source data, evidence and video/images where appropriate to drive your story. 

The best applications will utilise all of the above to better serve the story and the targeted audience. It is important to remember that the reach of the story can be negatively impacted by overly complicated or inaccessible technologies that prevent distribution and media partnerships. 

What we fund

Media organisations may apply for a grant of maximum €130,000 for one year. 

In the period 2017 - 2018, we envisage to award between three to four grants. 

The grant takes the form of a stipend that may be used for direct costs which are related to creating, promoting, and managing the microsite or sub-page, and to producing and editing the journalistic pieces. This includes, for example, a proportional share of the responsible editor’s salary, travel and accommodation costs for field trips, costs for local fixers and stringers, photo and videographers, graphic designers, data specialists etc., depending on what is necessary and appropriate for the project. 

The grant programme provides funds to enable media organisations to cover development issues and not to receive money for already published work. Please also note that we do not fund short-form news. 

Grantees are accountable for all expenses, which must be justified reasonably and cannot be used for general overhead or expenses for other thematic sections of the publication.

The grantee commits to submit narrative, financial and user data metrics reports to the EJC both at mid-term and after the end of the project. 

Grants include all and any taxes for which the grantees may be liable. At the end of the project, grantees will need to account for all expenses by providing a financial report

Format

Your project shall take the format of a dedicated microsite or a dedicated website sub-page.

Microsites are self-contained and mono-thematic special editions of the main news brand. They may have a dedicated domain name, e.g., www.developmentnews.eu or may be tied into the domain of the main website, e.g., development.samplenewspaper.eu. They must be promoted appropriately on the publisher’s main portal, e.g., with banners, teasers or announcements. 

Mono-thematic sub-pages are fully integrated in the main portal’s navigation at the first or second tier, e.g., www.samplenewspaper.eu/developmentor - www.samplenewspaper.eu/international/development. They also must be promoted in more prominent sections of the portal. 

The microsites or sub-pages should feature in-depth articles, reportages, op-eds, videos, graphics, and multimedia pieces. They are expected to launch content with three to six original items, and have weekly updates with at least one originally produced new content item.