COVID-19: Microgrant & Mentoring
Call for solutions-oriented stories focused on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic
DEADLINE EXTENDED until Sunday, 12 July 2020.
As news about the problems of the COVID-19 pandemic and its many social implications intensifies, coverage of responses to those problems – efforts to contain the virus, cope with its social and economic impacts, and help communities recover – is becoming more and more important.
Why? Because audiences need to understand what’s working to contain COVID-19’s spread, and how. Communities should know when and why others like their own have gotten better results. Policy makers must be armed with intelligence about systemic responses that can inform their preparation for the next crisis, whether virus-related or not.
To support the development of solutions journalism in Central & Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, and Eurasia, Transitions, in cooperation with our local partners, is opening a microgrant call for solutions-oriented stories focused on responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to financial support, we also offer mentoring during the entire production of the article to achieve the highest possible quality.
Before submitting a proposal …
We strongly recommend watching the webinar: “Solutions Journalism 101: Covering the Coronavirus Outbreak in Europe,” to be sure you understand the basics of this approach. In our experience, those who have already attended a workshop or reviewed related resources are much more likely to receive funding. For further inspiration to frame your reporting, it’s worth taking a look at these 24 questions and reviewing the special dossier of COVID-19-related stories that the Solutions Journalism Network has collected. Here are examples from Hungary or from the Czech Republic.
The proposal must meet the basic criteria of solutions journalism:
- Practices high-quality journalism (rigorous reporting);
- Describes an existing response to a social problem, how it works, and why (it does not present theories and claims of “should be”);
- Brings evidence of the impact of the solution being pursued (not just good intentions);
- Offers a broader insight/lesson that can be beneficial to others in a similar situation; and
- Discusses the limits of the solution/response (no solution is perfect).
Read more about what solutions journalism is (and what it isn’t).
The following factors will be taken into account when assessing the application:
- Focus on a particular solution (investigation of the response to a problem),
- the quality of the project (clearly defined objectives and the activities leading to their achievement),
- the societal importance of the topic and the contribution to public debate,
- predicted local audience reach (number of readers/listeners/viewers)
- the professional credibility of the author/editorial staff and the individuals involved in the project.
If you want to apply, please fill in the APPLICATION FORM. Pitches must be submitted in English (don’t worry it doesn’t have to be perfect English!), but you are free to publish the article in your own publication in your native language. Deadline for submissions: 9 July 2020.
You may apply for up to 700 euros per story. Please submit a budget proposal broken down by major expense categories, such as database access, travel, etc. The budget may partly cover expenses for time spent on the story.
Each request will be assessed by a jury made up of representatives of Transitions and the local partner in the particular country. This jury will select and announce the winning candidates. The grant recipients will have three months to publish their work.
The story is supposed to be published within three months.
After publishing the story, the grantee is required to submit a report of a minimum of 4,000 characters on his/her practical experience with the use of solutions journalism and to agree that Transitions and/or the Solutions Journalism Network may use all or parts of the final report for promotional or training purposes.
While the primary target audience should be local, grantees agree to have supported stories translated and republished in English without limitation on Transitions magazine in order to reach international audiences.
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