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​Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme Special Edition: Proposal Guidelines

This article follows our official press release. Please read below detailed guidelines for submitting a funding request.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) calls for funding proposals from major news outlets. Eligible are newspapers, magazines, and high-impact online publishing houses in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The IDR Special Edition is looking to support coverage of selected United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a regular rhythm over the course of one year. In-depth articles, reportages, op-eds, videos, graphics, and multimedia pieces should tackle issues of overarching SDG-related concern and/or specifics on the respective country’s SDG-related activities and its relations with recipient countries of aid and cooperation. Innovative and experimental storytelling approaches are expressly encouraged. Please note that we do not fund short-form news.

The coverage 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.,, or be tied into the domain of the main website (e.g., They must be promoted appropriately on the publisher’s main portal (e.g., banners, teasers, announcements).

Mono-thematic sub-pages are fully integrated in the main portal’s navigation at the first or second tier (e.g., or They also must be promoted in more prominent sections of the portal (e.g., banners, teasers, announcements).

We expect launch content, i.e., between three and six original items that populate the microsite or sub-page by the time it is first made public, and weekly updates with at minimum one originally produced new content item.

The grant takes the form of a stipend that may be used to cover any direct costs (i.e., no general overhead and no expenses for other thematic sections of the publication) related to creating, promoting, and managing the microsite or sub-page, and to produce and edit the journalistic pieces. This includes, inter alia, 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., as necessary and appropriate.

The media outlets commit to free access to the funded project. The funded projects have to be freely accessible to a national or global online audience without any access barriers (e.g., pay walls, registration, etc.). The publishers may retain copyright, however, publication under a Creative Commons License is encouraged, in order to allow for global and free access.

The media outlets agree to follow the transparency standards of the grant programme and mention the source of funding on the microsite or website page, as follows:

“This project is funded by the European Journalism Centre via its Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme (”

The EJC shall not exert any influence on the editorial decision-making of the media outlets.

Publishing houses may apply for a grant of up to €150.000 for one year, and we foresee to give 3-5 grants in the period 2015-2016. To make the grant decisions, we require:

  • a short editorial concept, explaining the thematic orientation and approach of the microsite or sub-page;
  • a short explanation of how the special edition will be tied in with the main publication and portal, as well as an outline promotion plan; and
  • an itemised budget.

The deadline for submission of proposals is 2 November 2015 (18:00 CET).

The IDR Special Edition will support no more than one outlet per country. Payments will be made in three installments, at signature of the grant agreement, at mid-term, and at the end of the one-year. The grantee must report quarterly on the use of the budget, output, and audience information. Syndication of contents to outlets in third countries is strongly encouraged; the grantee may retain all resulting proceeds. We also encourage cooperation between awarded outlets and other IDR Grant Programme grantees.

For any questions or to submit the proposal, contact Wilfried Ruetten, EJC Director, via [email protected]

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