The NewsSpectrum Collaborative Reporting Fellowships provide support to joint reporting projects carried out by journalists working at minority-language media in partnership with a majority-language media outlet.

Up to 20 fellowships will be funded in 2021, providing a total of €240,000 to minority- and majority-language journalists and media outlets in the EU.

How does it work and who can apply?

The Collaborative Reporting Fellowships provide financial support to specific reporting projects. The Collaborative Reporting Fellowship aims to encourage collaboration and exchange, promote quality coverage of minority-related issues and strengthen the capacity of minority-language media in the EU.

Here’s an overview of the key application criteria:

  • Applications for the fellowship must be submitted jointly by a team of:
    • A journalist or media worker working at a minority-language media organisation in the EU or the UK. This includes freelancers who are regular contributors to a minority-language media organisation; and
    • A majority-language media organisation based in the EU or the UK.
  • The reporting project must focus on a topic of public interest to the audiences of both media organisations. The project must be planned to be published by both media organisations and must involve collaboration between the minority-language and majority-language journalists/media organisations.
  • Applicants are encouraged to include an in-person portion (at least two weeks) during which the minority-language journalist works in-person at the majority-language media organisation. The fellowship will cover the costs of travel and accommodation for this purpose. However, in light of the COVID-19 situation, applicants may put forward a reporting project in which the team members collaborate remotely, providing that the aims of the fellowship can still be met.
  • The Fellowship is open to journalists and media organisations working on all platforms, including print, broadcast, online media and multi-platform story-telling.

Which minority media outlets are eligible?

Minority-language journalists are eligible for the fellowship if their media outlet produces its content in a regional or minority language (including migrant languages and Roma languages) – this means any language that is not a national official language of the country where the media organisation is based. (For more details, see “How do you define minority-language media” on our FAQ page.)

In addition, priority will be given to media that meet the following criteria:

  • publish original content on a regularly scheduled basis (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). Original means self-produced information that is not republished content or a simple aggregation of news;
  • have a track record of quality content;
  • have at least 2 employed journalists or regular contributors; and
  • an audience based primarily in the EU or the UK.

Eligible topics

In general, the reporting project can focus on any public-interest topic that is relevant to the audiences of both media organisations.

However, priority will be given to projects that highlight the specific situation or perspective of minority groups in the EU, that deal with relations between minority and majority groups, and/or that encourage an informed discussion of European affairs in minority-language media and the audiences they serve.

Applicants are encouraged to put forward projects that offer new information or shed new light on issues of public debate. Cross-border collaborations are encouraged.

All types of reporting are welcome, including investigative journalism, feature writing, explanatory reporting, and news analysis. Projects can also be a combination of different reporting types.

Stories can be published in any form, including print, video, and audio. Projects that incorporate digital storytelling techniques and audiovisual formats are especially welcome.

Funding details

Teams may request up to €12,000. However, each partner in the project (the minority-language journalist fellow and the majority-language media organisation) is limited to no more than €6,000.

Applicants must submit a budget as part of their application, using the budget template provided. The budget template provides further details about which costs can be included; please read the instructions on the budget template carefully. Applicants must also state if they have additional funding from other sources for their project.

For minority-language journalist fellows, the fellowship can cover:

  • Salary costs (full or part) for the duration of the reporting project. Salary costs will be reimbursed directly to the journalist’s employer. Freelance journalists will receive a stipend directly. Salary costs for other staff members of the media outlet can be included if relevant for the project.
  • A reasonable stipend to cover local costs as part of the in-person portion of the fellowship (accommodation, local transport, subsistence).
  • Travel costs (e.g., airfare/train) to and from the location of the majority-language media organisation. (Note: These travel costs may be covered additionally to the €6,000 limit.)
  • Other costs relevant to the reporting project, if necessary and justified (e.g., additional travel costs, research costs).

For majority-language media organisations, the fellowship will cover:

  • Salary costs for staff members involved in the reporting project.
  • Other costs relevant to the reporting project, if necessary and justified (e.g., travel costs, research costs).

Selected projects will sign a grant agreement to receive the funds. In most cases, half of the fellowship amount will be disbursed at the start of the fellowship. The second half will be disbursed after completion of the fellowship and delivery of a brief report to IPI/MIDAS.

Grantees will be asked to keep detailed documentation (e.g., receipts) of their spending or accounting information for three years and will be required to provide them upon request.

In-person element

In line with the aims of the Collaborative Reporting Fellowship, minority-language journalists are encouraged to spend at least two weeks working in-person at the majority-language media organisation. The in-person aspect is intended to give minority-language journalists the opportunity to gain insight into the operations of the host organisation’s newsroom, while promoting broader exchange and collaboration between minority- and majority-language media.

The in-person portion of the fellowship is expected to last at least two weeks. It can, but does not need to, coincide with the overall length of the reporting project.

The fellowship will cover the costs of the in-person portion through a reasonable stipend according to local costs. Travel costs (train/airfare) are covered separately. Majority-language media organisations can include any administrative costs for the in-person element as part of their project budget.

Length of fellowship and publication requirements

The length of the fellowship will vary and depends on the time needed to complete the reporting project. This will be spelled out in the fellowship agreement. Teams should indicate the intended length in their application. However, the following conditions should be kept in mind:

  • The results of the reporting project must be published in both the minority-language media organisation and the majority-language media organisation by no later than 28 January, 2022. Therefore, all fellowships will end latest on 28 January, 2022.
  • The fellowship should include an in-person portion of at least two weeks.
  • The fellowship can only cover costs up to €12,000 only (€6,000 per partner).

Application requirements

The NewsSpectrum application process aims to be simple, efficient, and secure. All applications must be submitted in English via the online Good Grants platform. Good Grants is a free-to-use secure platform for submission and storage. It is ISO/IEC 27001 certified and GDPR compliant, and has multi-factor authentication, encrypted data, multi-tier backups and a secure multi-server architecture in VPC. NewsSpectrum is committed to protecting the personal data of applicants.

In order to apply, applicants should first create an account via the dedicated NewsSpectrum Good Grants application portal. Applicants are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to familiarise themselves with the application form questions and instructions.

The application consists of:

  1. Completed application form, which asks about the project description and plan, project relevance, team experience, collaboration benefits, sustainability and risk assessment, as well as brief background information about the applicant and the majority-language reporting partner.

and the following supporting documents:

  1. Project budget of up to €12,000, with a maximum of €6,000 per project partner. Applicants must use this budget template.
  2. Minority-language journalists who are employed by a media organisation need to submit a letter of agreement from their editor or manager. (Freelancers do not need to provide this.)
  3. Majority-language journalists must also submit a letter of agreement from their media organisation.
  4. CV of the minority language journalist.
  5. CVs of key staff at the majority-language media organisation that will be involved with the project.

Selection process and timeline

There will be three application periods for the Collaborative Reporting Fellowship in 2021. The third and final application period opened on 18 August 2021 and closed on 27 September 2021 (23:59 CEST).

Applications will first be assessed to ensure that they fulfill the basic application requirements. Applicants may be asked to provide further information or provide any missing documents.

The successful projects will be chosen by a selection committee consisting of experts from the fields of journalism and academia. The experts will be chosen from among individuals with a thorough understanding of minority-language media communities in Europe as well as the wider knowledge of media pluralism and independent journalism. High value will be placed on diversity to ensure a well-rounded and informed selection of fellowship projects. The names of the selection committee members will be made public after all application rounds have been completed.

The selection committee’s decision will take account of, but not necessarily confine itself to, the following criteria:

  • Fulfillment of fellowship eligibility criteria
  • Newsworthiness/added value of proposed project
  • Expected relevance of the topic for audiences of both media outlets
  • Contribution to public awareness on minority-related issues
  • Potential for the project to strengthen skills and development of minority-language media
  • Potential for the project to establish sustainable links between minority- and majority-language media
  • Clear and defined project plan
  • Feasibility of the project within the project timeline and budget
  • Adequate risk assessment
  • Track record of the journalists and media outlets involved, in particular as relates to independence, impartiality and journalism ethics

The selection committee will also consider the overall package of fellowships with a view toward ensuring:

  • Geographical balance
  • Thematic balance
  • Balance among media types (print, online, radio, television, etc.)
  • Inclusion of representatives of different minority groups throughout Europe. Special attention will be given to the inclusion of migrant-language media and Romani-language media.

Examples of reporting projects

Need some inspiration? Here are some examples of minority-majority collaborations what could fit under the Collaborative Reporting Fellowships:

  • A journalist at a Basque-language media outlet carries out a feature story with a Spanish-language media outlet in Spain (same country).
  • A Russian-language journalist in Latvia carries out a joint investigation with a Latvian-language media outlet in Latvia (same country).
  • A German-language journalist in Italy publishes a news series with a German-language outlet in Austria (cross-border).
  • An Arabic-language journalist in France publishes a data journalism project with a Dutch-media outlet in the Netherlands (cross-border).
  • A Romani-language journalist in Slovakia publishes a multimedia project with a German-language media outlet in Germany (cross-border).

Questions and contact

Our FAQ section provides answers to many specific questions about the grant. For further questions, applicants should contact the International Press Institute at [email protected]

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