Grant Details Local Media for Democracy

Eligibility criteria

  • This grant programme is open to legal entities with a registered seat in one of the EU27 countries or teams of journalists (physical persons) having their legal residence in the EU27 (including the 9 EU outermost regions).
  • The legal entities should have a turnover of less than 1.5M EUR and shouldn’t be part of a group or consortium with a consolidated turnover that exceeds an amount of 3M EUR.
  • Eligible proposals entail to benefit the public, especially local citizens and communities whose interests are best served by quality, ethical and pluralistic local media.
  • The project should be clearly defined to build independence, resilience and sustainability in local, regional and community media, and should also be defined in time (the maximum term of the project may not exceed 7 months).
  • The grant request does not intend to finance the regular operations, but to support well-defined innovative projects that go beyond regular operation.
  • The media outlets must be legal entities officially incorporated at least one year before the application deadline of the grant call. Teams of journalists must prove their collaboration of at least one year.
  • Media outlets should already have made journalistic content available to the general public at least one year before the application deadline of the grant call (no Business2Business journalism).
  • The applicant and/or the relevant news medium focuses on a broad audience in the region concerned.
  • Training organisations cannot apply for this grant.
  • Only one project application is possible per applicant.
  • Only applications submitted via the Journalismfund Europe’s online application platform will be eligible.

Eligible Activities

The following types of activities are eligible:

  1. Inviting experts to develop a sustainable business media plan.
  2. Attend training for their journalists, editors and media managers on related issues
  3. Support for editorial innovation and audience engagement actions.
  4. Support to business innovation actions (e.g. diversification of revenues)
  5. Business strategy: for media who need coaching on their business strategy and planning.
  6. Community engagement and growth: development of audience strategies in particular knowledge of regional audiences.
  7. Native advertising: development of partnership content and advertorial product offers.
  8. Experiment with native advertising to increase overall revenues.
  9. Innovation and agile development: identification of an area for innovation and agile development. Innovation and experiment in order to find new routes for growth or resilience.
  10. Expertise to establish an official structure to form a local media.
  11. Investing in technical tools and development (only the depreciations on investments will be accepted as cost).


Eligible costs for funding:
Personnel and operating costs that meet the following cumulative conditions:

  • directly attributable to the project
  • arise during the project period and after the signing of the grant agreement with Journalismfund Europe
  • necessary for carrying out the project, reasonable and justified
  • effectively incurred by the grant beneficiary, identified and verifiable, in particular recorded in the grantee’s accounts in accordance with the accounting standards applicable in the country where the beneficiary is established and with the grantee’s usual cost accounting practices
  • not funded by other donors or support programmes
  • compliant with the applicable national law on taxes, labour and social security

With regard to the eligible costs regarding investments:
Purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets used for the project must be declared as depreciation costs, calculated on the basis of the costs actually incurred and written off in accordance with international accounting standards and the beneficiary’s usual accounting practices. Only the portion of the costs that corresponds to the rate of actual use for the project during the project duration can be taken into account.

Grantees must minimize unnecessary travel, particularly air travel. Our policy is to only make essential trips and to champion alternative ways of collaborating with others. This saves time and money, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions (that contribute to global heating). We ask that our grantees do the same for the work that we fund and report to us on the air travel they make.

Non-eligible costs for funding:

  • personnel and operating costs not directly attributable to the project
  • internal rental costs (rental to oneself - as owner - of premises or other infrastructure)
  • overhead costs
  • meal costs, food and beverages
  • In-kind contributions by third parties
  • Interests, debt service charges, currency exchange losses
  • recoverable VAT

Applications need to include a budget calculation according to the budget template.
Please read the instructions tab in the budget template carefully.

Deadlines and Timing

  • The first application deadline will be 25 May 2023 and the second on 28 September 2023.
  • After the application deadline, Journalismfund Europe 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 for assessment.
  • Applicants are usually informed about the jury decision around 40 days after the application deadline.

Assessment Criteria

  • Feasibility of the project, timeline and budget.
  • Team structure and experience of the applicants.
  • Ability to demonstrate adherence to core journalism principles: fact-based, accurate, independent, fair, impartial, accountable.
  • Respect the right to reply for people being criticised.
  • Have a public accessible code of ethics describing the principles above.
  • Provide information and encourage information exchange and debate on public interest issues.
  • Credibility, sustainability, diversity and innovation of the proposal.
  • Impact of their project to their local audience and community in relation to the “news desert” area of the applicant.

Finally, the jury will also take into consideration the variety within the global selection of granted projects. This means diversity in terms of:

  • region (e.g. news deserts areas / regions)
  • methods and approaches
  • team composition


  • The applications are assessed by an independent jury of 4 media experts from Europe. The jury members are chosen by Journalismfund Europe based upon a long list of names suggested by the consortium partners and the international advisory board of Journalismfund Europe.
  • The jury decides independently about the granting of the submitted project proposals, based on the grant rules, the assessment criteria and the available budget.
  • The jury remains anonymous until all the projects are finalized, to ensure its independent decision-making processes without interference
  • Jury members are bound to Journalismfund Europe's strict conflict of interest policy, which is designed to ensure the highest standards in terms of ethical conduct and to ensure the independence and objectivity of decision making.

Technical Assistance and Mentors (Media Experts)

International Media Support (IMS) media viability experts will assess the needs of each of the grantees based on their application and carry out an online consultation between the expert and the media outlet. The online consultation will be based on a set of questions to assess audience capabilities, content & product capabilities, organisational capabilities, business capabilities, revenue capabilities and ecosystem capabilities (the understanding that viability can be developed through networks, partnerships, and collaborations) a gender and inclusivity perspective will be applied cross-cutting on these aspects.
Following the assessment, advice and mentoring to the local media beneficiaries would be carried out in thematic sessions, including topics such as:

  • New methods and techniques for audience research and knowledge of regional audiences
  • Deep and sustained audience needs analysis
  • Community engagement and growth: Selected media to develop their audience strategies
  • Support for content and editorial innovation in order to find new routes for growth or resilience.
  • Support to new startups or editorial offerings in the ecosystem
  • Selected media to identify an area for innovation and agile development of new products or services to answer the challenges identified in the news desert research.
  • Investing in technical automation tools and development (e.g. Artificial Intelligence or Machine learning)
  • Strategies to gamify or push back against social media platforms
  • Inviting experts to develop a sustainable business media plan
  • Attend training for their journalists, editors and media managers on related issues
  • Support to business innovation actions (e.g. diversification of revenues)
  • Mentorship
  • Business strategy: for media who need coaching on their business strategy and planning
  • Experimentation with new revenue diversification as % share of overall revenues
  • Knowledge to establish a local media
  • Develop and apply inclusive organisational strategies

The sessions will be designed based on the needs of the applicants. All the support provided will apply a gender and inclusivity perspective cross-cutting.

Grant Conditions

  • The grantees and all other persons/organisations involved in the project shall endorse the principles of the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists as well as the national codes of ethics that are in force (i.e. Truth & Accuracy, Independence, Fairness and Impartiality, Humanity and Accountability).
  • Every grantee signs an Agreement with Journalismfund Europe 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 completion of the project and submission and approval of the financial report and supporting documents (in this respect please read the Financial Report tab in the budget template carefully).
  • Grants are paid in euro. They are only paid out on the bank accounts of the grantees, not via other money transfer services. Any bank charges for international payments are carried by Journalismfund Europe, except for exchange rates.
  • Any journalistic product that is the result of the supported project explicitly has to mention the support from Journalismfund Europe.
  • Applicants need to consent with Journalismfund Europe’s general grant rules.

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