A New Emergency Funding Opportunity for Eastern and Southern European Freelance Journalists

Applications Accepted Now through 22 June 2020

(Press Release: 26 May 2020) The Coronavirus pandemic has brought considerable human suffering and major economic disruption. The crisis is also hitting journalism and poses an existential threat to freelance journalists in Europe and around the world. Some countries have recognized the negative impact on the free press and have implemented support measures. However, in Eastern and Southern Europe, such support measures are currently glaringly absent.

Simultaneously, there is a significant risk that countries will use the emergency situation of the pandemic to further retreat from their obligations to protect human rights and ensure press freedom.

To address these issues, Hostwriter is offering funding in the form of grants to freelance journalists based in Eastern and Southern Europe through the Agora Europe Journalism Grants Program.

Applicants must pitch a single story that they see missing in current news coverage. Additionally, they should provide information about how the COVID-19 crisis has affected them as a freelance journalist. This information will enable us to understand the scope of the current crisis in the media sector in different parts of Europe.

Twenty journalists will be chosen to participate in the Agora Europe Journalism Grants Program, which will consist of two parts:

Part I: Each of the selected journalists will receive €500 in emergency funding to use in whatever way they wish (e.g., to pay rent, buy food, living expenses, etc.).

Part II: Journalists will participate in a kick-off meeting and will be grouped into teams to work on a story topic for their region. A total of €3000 will be distributed among the teams to pay for costs incurred in the production of their stories.

Teams will be required to have their stories published by a regional media outlet, and Hostwriter will translate pieces into English for publication as part of a dossier on our platform.

Interested applicants should visit the website for complete details on how to apply.

The Agora Europe Journalism Grants program is made possible with the support of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF). We are grateful to ECF for enabling us to turn our planned Agora Project into an emergency support program to help journalists in Eastern and Southern Europe, at a time when freelance journalists are facing severe losses of income due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

About Hostwriter:

Hostwriter is an open network that helps journalists to easily collaborate across borders. We currently connect more than 5,000 journalists in more than 150 countries.

We see cross-border journalism as a tool to solve two pressing global challenges: to raise the quality of foreign reporting and to diversify the Western-centric news narrative. By connecting international media professionals, providing training in “Cross-Border Journalism” and launching projects that shed light on unequal power dynamics within the field, Hostwriter powers the collaborative future of journalism that is as diverse as the societies it serves.

Press Contact:

Bernadette Geyer, Head of Communications