Grant details

Eligibility criteria

  • Both beginning (starters) and experienced journalist (seniors) can submit a project that cannot be realised through the normal channels of journalism, that has major news value and depth and that is also original, innovative and time-consuming.
  • The applicant must be a journalist (written or audio-visual press), or be able to prove that he/she is aspiring to a career in journalism. Personal references and/or references to earlier work are essential in that respect.
  • Only natural persons can apply for a grant.
  • Projects with regard to investigative and special journalism must deal with topics that are relevant for Flanders.
  • The project must be published in a Dutch-language medium in Belgium. A letter of intent for publication from at least one professional news outlet is required for journalists with more than 2 years of experience. For starters this is considered a plus.
  • All journalistic end products qualify for a grant: newspaper and magazine articles, radio and television documentaries and series, photo-reportages and books, podcasts and journalistic non-fiction books.

Grant types

The Pascal Decroos Fund has three types of grants:

  • INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM: A working grant for investigative journalism allows the applicant to concentrate on one particular topic for a longer period of time.
  • IN-DEPTH JOURNALISM: The projects must go beyond regular reporting, daily journalism or correspondence. The subject or theme must be special, or else the approach or angle.
  • PRELIMINARY RESEARCH: When it is not clear whether the inquiries will yield the expected results, it is possible to apply for a grant to cover the expenses of the preliminary research.

Which costs

A grant can cover two types of costs:

  • Expenses (both for freelance journalists as for employed staff journalists).
    These can include travel, visa, accommodation, translation, fixers, access to pay-databases, FOI requests, legal screening, etc.
  • Research time (only for freelance journalists).
  • Following expenses are NOT eligible for a grant: investments goods (such as IT equipment, cameras, …), office costs, production costs, food and beverage, per diems.

Applications need to include budget calculation according to the budget template.

Deadlines and timing

  • There are usually 4 applications rounds per year.
  • After the application deadline, Journalismfund.eu checks that formalities are in order and may call for more information from applicants. This usually takes one week.
  • After this the applications go to the jury who makes the final decision.
  • Applicants are usually informed about the decision around 40 days after the application deadline.

Jury

  • The applications are assessed by an independent jury of four people with ample experience in investigative journalism. The jury members are chosen by Journalismfund.eu. They remain anonymous until they leave the jury.
  • You can find an overview of previous jury members here.
  • Both Journalismfund.eu and the jury are bound to strict confidentiality – before, during and after evaluation of the proposals.
  • The jury will decide on journalistic criteria:

Criteria

1. Added value compared to mainstream coverage / a forgotten story

2. Relevance in society

3. Originality and innovative methods

4. Daringness

5. Feasibility

6. Newsworthiness

7. Experience of the applicants, references

8. Saleability

9. Time-consuming

Grant Conditions

  • Every grantee signs an Agreement with Journalismfund.eu that states the mutual arrangements and conditions.
  • Grants are paid in two instalments: the first (2/3) upon signature of the Agreement, the second (1/3) after publication of the project and submission of the supporting documents for the expenses.
  • Grants are paid in euro. They are only paid out on bank accounts, not via other money transfer services. Any bank charges for international payments are carried by Journalismfund.eu, except for exchange rates.
  • Any journalistic product that is the result of the supported project explicitly has to mention the support of Journalismfund.eu.
  • At all times during the term of this Agreement, the Grantee and all other persons involved in the project have to endorse the principles of the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists as well as the national codes of ethics that are in force (see https://www.ifj.org/who/rules-and-policy/global-charter-of-ethics-for-journalists.html)