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The European Journalism Centre announces over €1.6 million in new grants to support innovative development reporting

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, 10 November 2016

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is pleased to announce a new round of over €1.6 million in funding for innovative development journalism projects that will be awarded in 2017-2018 via its Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) grant programme. The funding is part of a two-year extension of the grant programme that the EJC has secured from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Over the next two years, the grant programme will continue to award financial support to journalists and media houses alike with the aim of developing experimental and compelling storytelling on topics related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The funded projects must also address issues in one or more of the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and/or the key European donor countries’ development relations with LDCs.

“With our grants we want to contribute to keeping the sustainable development goals and the challenges that come with implementing them on the public agenda. We are very fortunate, and proud, to be able to continue to support the international journalism community in their innovative storytelling approaches. We would like to thank all the journalists who have so far contributed to the success of the programme, and, moreover, would like to thank the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its continued trust and support.”, said EJC Director Wilfried Ruetten.

Eligible for applications are journalists and media outlets targeting mainstream audiences in at least one of Europe’s top five Official Development Assistance donor countries in absolute terms: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Secondary outlets may cater to any other European country, while publications outside Europe are most welcome for supplemental dissemination.

Over the coming two years, the EJC will run another special funding round for media outlets as well as four topical calls for applications centred on a varied selection of international development topics.

The first deadline to submit an application is 15 February 2017 (22:00 CET). Applications will be accepted on issues related to gender equality (SDG5).

Interested journalists can pitch story ideas free of charge at this online application form. Award decisions, based on journalistic quality and merit, will be taken in complete editorial independence from the Gates Foundation.

Funding will be up to €20.000 per grant and will cover direct expenses for journalistic research and study trips, possible technical costs for crews and equipment, data acquisition and analysis, visualisation, etc. Interested candidates may apply for full or partial grants, excluding, however, salaries of permanent staff. More detailed information on the application procedure, deadlines, and the aims of the project can be found at

For a showcase of previously awarded grants, see our portfolio. For any questions, check our FAQs or contact us at [email protected].


Note to editors:

The Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme was launched in January 2013 by the EJC with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project aims to reward quality journalism and advance a new and distinctive agenda for development coverage through awarding funding to a selection of state-of-the-art reporting projects of great impact and high visibility. Since 2013 the programme granted funding to 100 projects.

In 2015 the EJC launched a special edition of the IDR grant programme aimed at supporting long term global development coverage. Four major European news organisations (Spiegel Online, Welt/N24, Dagens Nyheter, De Correspondent) were each awarded grants worth €150.000.

In 2016 the EJC launched another special edition: the “Global Health Journalism Grant Programme for Germany”. This edition aims to advance a better coverage of international health, health policy and development related issues by supporting the production of stories that have a strong impact on media audiences in Germany.

The IDR Grant Programme has received $1,848,000 for the period of 2017 and 2018 that will be awarded to innovative journalistic projects centred on global development topics. In 2017 the programme will run two rounds of applications and organise two boot camp style trainings tailor-made for the winners of each round.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media. This mission has two main aspects: On the one hand, it is about safeguarding, enhancing, and future-proofing quality journalism in Europe and on the other hand, it is about supporting initiatives towards press freedom in emerging and developing countries. This often includes creating the framework conditions for independent and self-determined journalism in the first place. To these ends, the EJC provides thematic training, professional capacity development, and a wide range of support activities for journalists.


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