Local Cross-Border Journalism FAQ

What do I need before I can apply?

Obviously, you need a good idea for an investigation, a local cross-border team of at least two journalists or media outlets, and at least two letters of intent from professional news outlets who are willing to publish the result of your investigation.

For more information, click on the grant details.

Can I apply alone?

No. You would need to collaborate with at least one team member from a different country.

I have an idea for a local cross-border investigation, but I don't have a partner yet. Can you help me find a partner?

Yes, check out our tip page: How to find a teammate.

Do I need to publish my story in English?

No. The result of your journalistic investigation can be published by a professional media outlet in any language.

However, it is required to submit your full project application in English. English is the common language of our international jury, and all jury members need to be able to assess all applications on the same basis.

Which European countries are eligible to apply?

Journalists that reside from countries that are members of the European Union and non-EU participating countries, which include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Tunisia, are eligible to apply. However, we also welcome countries from outside the European Union as long as any proposal has a clear European dimension to it. 

What do you mean with local cross-border investigation? What does that entail?

The focus of your investigation can be about a variety of issues, including local politics, businesses, environment, societal changes, etc. that may also apply to other local European cities. We welcome different ideas as long as the ideas are borne out of local viewpoints. The most important part of this programme is the opportunity to collaborate between two (or more) journalists from different parts of Europe where the main aspect of their story can intertwine between their respected local cities.

We certainly aim to help local journalists and local media outlets to give them more opportunities to succeed. However, we welcome all professional journalists who are interested in investigating "local" topics.

Which costs are eligible?

A grant can cover two types of costs:

1. Working time of the journalists to conduct their investigation (please note: working time will need to be substantiated with a timesheet)

2. Expenses:

  • Direct investigation expenses such as travel, visa, accommodation, translation, fixers, access to pay-databases, freedom of information (FOI) requests, legal screening, insurance, etc., ...
  • Following expenses cannot be covered by the grants: overhead, office costs, investments goods (such as IT hardware, mobile phones, cameras, …), production costs, food and beverage, per diems.

Applications must include a budget calculation according to the budget template.

How much money can I receive from the grant?

It is perfectly understandable to ask. We get this question a lot...

However, there is no clear answer. The amounts vary per project and depend on the duration of the investigation, the number of team members, and the necessary expenses.

You may use this budget template for your reference.

We want to stress that you should initially plan a convincing project proposal, assess the necessary tools and resources you will need to conduct your investigation, and only then draft a realistic budget to fund your project. Jury members will consider your project proposal if you submit a good quality and realistic budget plan. This is one of the criteria assessments the jury will look for in awarding you grant money. Therefore, it is NOT a good idea to inflate your budget.

In practice, grants could vary from e.g. €2,000 for smaller investigations to €10,000 or even more for very large investigations that involve newsrooms in many countries, require a lot of research and expenses, data access, legal screening, etc., and yield a large series of publications.

I have teamed up with other journalists and/or local news outlets. How do we compile and submit our grant application?

One team member can start an application through the online application form. S/he can then invite multiple people to collaborate with on the draft application. The online application-in-progress is easy to navigate and can be saved multiple times before final submission.

According to the application form, a team can consist of two types of applicants:

  • Local professional freelance journalists (natural persons);
  • Local news outlets (legal entities). This means that journalists in the team who are an employee of a news outlet need to be listed as an individual applicant: they fall under the news outlet they work for.

If a grant is awarded to the project, the grant money will be allocated to the different applicants (i.e. the freelance journalists and/or news outlets) according to the submitted budget.

When will I know the result of my grant application?

Applicants are usually informed about the jury decision around 40 days after the application deadline.

Where does the money come from? And how can Journalismfund.eu safeguard mine and its own independence?

Journalismfund.eu's Local Cross-Border Journalism Grant Programme is co-funded by the European Union and Adessium Foundation.

All formal agreements between Journalismfund.eu and its donors stipulate independence and no editorial interference. (Representatives from) donors can never be part of the juries that award the grants. Journalismfund.eu does not take money from donors that don’t agree with these terms.

We adopted an Ethical Funding Policy to ensure that Journalismfund.eu properly manages its priorities and projects with appropriate independence from its funders. This Policy also aims at providing transparency regarding the identity of Journalismfund.eu’s sources of funding to avoid any suspicion of inappropriate influence or conflicts of interest concerning Journalismfund.eu’s activities.

Journalismfund.eu’s financial records are reviewed annually by an independent auditor. You can find all funding information and financial documents here.

I would like to self-publish our investigation on my own platform. Is that OK?

You are welcome to publish parts of your investigation or in its entirety on your own platform or blog. For your application, however, we request two letters of intent for publication from professional news outlets in two different countries and independent from your own platform.

Is the information I submit to Journalismfund.eu about myself, my work and my investigation secure?

Journalismfund.eu strives for the highest standards for data protection and security. Read about our privacy and data protection measures here.

What is Journalismfund.eu actually?

Journalismfund.eu vzw is a Belgium based independent non‐profit organisation established with the purpose of promoting independent investigative journalism.

Check the general FAQ about our organisation.

More information

Do you still have questions about this grant programme or the application procedure? Do you want pre-application advice to discuss your project idea? Don't hesitate to contact us!