April 18, 2020 (Updated )
Coronavirus seems like the only word anyone has used in months. We’re sick of it and we want it to be over – but it continues to seep into every aspect of our lives. For journalists, whether you’re freelance or staff, it can take a big toll financially and mentally.
At Journo Resources we want to help in whatever small ways we can, and this resource is one small part of that. This guide will be updated weekly our staff team to show you all of the support you can access from across the industry in one place.
We’ll be putting a strong focus on financial support, as this is what our readers have told us they need to the most, but we’ve also included links to free software, mentoring and other support that can help you through the following months.
Think we’ve missed something? Drop us a line.
Grants & Financial Support
In addition to the following funds which have been specifically set up for reporters struggling in the wake of COVID-19, it’s also worthwhile checking out our funding page.
It’s updated weekly and includes a range of funding opportunities for everything from further study to carrying out journalistic projects – especially if you’re a freelancer, it’s always worth checking out if someone might be willing to fund your work.
You can also sign up to our Tuesday newsletter here. It’s free and you get a weekly round-up of all the latest funding opportunities.
Free Press Unlimited Emergency Support Free Press Unlimited is calling this fund ‘Reporters Respond’. It’s aimed at journalists and media organisations who have faced online harassment, intimidation or violence. You have to be in distress or faced a crisis in order to apply. They have provided a list of examples where the fund could be used: for Medical assistance, Subsistence costs, Psychological support, Work provisions, Family support and Preventive safety measures. Apply ASAP.
International Women’s Media Fund COVID-19 Relief Fund: You have to scroll a bit down the page we linked to see the full details of this, but in short, if you’re a woman reporter who has found yourself in “dire straits” as a result of the pandemic, the IWMF could fund you up to $2,000.
The criteria include examples such as losing work, being laid off, or needing urgent assistance to avoid severe, irreversible outcomes. They say they will keep allocating funding until the pot runs out. Apply ASAP.
National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund For Journalists: This grant is still going. Demand is high, but applications are still being accepted. The fund will give support of between $1-8,000 for local coverage of the “preparation, response, and impact” of the pandemic through “evidence-based reporting”.
You’ll be working for your money here, but you can use up to 100 per cent of the funds to cover your own time reporting. It’s open to writers, photographers, video and audio journalists, cartographers, and those who do data visualisations. Apply ASAP.
#RoundYourHouse The good people at Roundhouse are bringing their Young Creatives events to your laptop. There’s a range of support depending on your needs. They are offering free Adobe Creative Cloud, tech support, Round Table panel discussions and homework resources for 11-17s. For the older people among us, there are new podcasts, an online Songwriter’s Circle to watch, weekly takeovers from our Resident Artists and Round Table discussions aimed at artists, makers and those working in the arts sector.
The Journalist’s Charity: The Journalist’s Charity does exactly what it says on the tin – they support journalists through rough times and give away between £350-500,000 a year to journalists in need.
There are no set figures on who gets what, but they do put in extra checks if you’re asking for more than £5,000. For most though, it’s a case of starting by filling out a simple form. They try to look at applications as quickly as possible, but there could be a small delay at the moment due to increased demand. Apply ASAP
The Printing Charity: The Printing Charity covers anyone who has worked in print for at least three years. That could be you if you’re a journalist or photographer working with print titles, or if you’re a sub-editor, designer, or editor. In short, it’s worth getting in touch if you think they might be able to help.
The first step is to drop them a call or fire off an email and they’ll take it from there. Even if they’re not able to help, they will try to signpost you elsewhere. Apply ASAP.
NUJ Extra: If you’ve been a full member of the NUJ for at least a year and have less than £12,000 in savings you may also be eligible for a grant from the NUJ’s charitable arm. They cover a range of things, but it’s worth noting their money is somewhat more limited than some of the other pots on this list.
In an interview with Women in Journalism, the team said they would be expecting people to have already applied for as many other pots of cash as they were eligible for, and that they would only be giving cash to those most in need. Apply ASAP.
Rory Peck Extraordinary Hardship Fund: This one has currently closed to new applicants while they process the first batch of people who applied, but they promise they’ll be re-opening for new applications as soon as possible, so bookmark the page and check back regularly.
It’s worth noting here that the Rory Peck Trust normally exists to support freelance journalists, with a focus on those involved in international reporting. They cite previous examples of helping those who have been “seriously injured, threatened, imprisoned, detained, or forced into exile”, but we imagine this fund will focus much more on financial need. Bookmark The Page.
Freelance Audio Fund: This one covers people who work primarily in audio, such as reporters, producers, editors and engineers. You can apply for a one off-award if you’ve experienced a loss in earnings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply ASAP.
Format Photographer Fund: A fund for self-employed photographers who may have lost work as a result of COVID-19. They’ve got $25,000 to give away globally, offering up to $500 per person. It’s also worth noting here that you don’t have to be a Format customer to apply for this – they want to help as many independent photographers stay on their feet as possible. Apply ASAP.
The Radio Academy Audio and Radio Emergency Fund: This one is for people working within audio and radio industry, including people who work on podcasts, and seems to have a specific focus on freelancers. They’ll be offering grants of up to £1,000 for people who have been affected by the crisis, looking at new applications on a weekly basis. Apply ASAP.
The Author’s Emergency Fund: This fund covers “all types of writers illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others” – the main criteria is that author-related activities make up a substantial amount of your annual income. They’re offering grants of up to £2,000 to cover urgent need. They expect to be able to notify those who are successful within four weeks. Apply ASAP.
Community Radio Fund
The Government have announced a £400,000 fund with Ofcom to support community radio stations hit by Coronavirus. Non-profit stations are invited to bid for emergency grants to help meet their core costs. Ofcom are providing guidance on how to apply. Apply ASAP.
The GUAP Fund
If you’re a freelancer, aged 16-30 who was creating prior to COVID-19 and is struggling to continue to now, apply for #GUAPFUND. They are giving £100 to a different creative every week. Apply ASAP.
Funds That Have Closed For Now:
- Substack Individual Writers Grants: The team at the newsletter writing platform were offering grants of between $500-5,000 for independent writers either using or considering using their platform. They say they will also be looking to run further grant programmes in the future, so they’re worth bookmarking.
- InterNews Rapid Response Fund: This fund for local news outlets in more than 80 countries has now closed, but they have left the door open to re-opening applications. If you’re a local news outlet, it’s one to still keep an eye on.
- European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund: A joint project between the European Journalism Centre and Facebook, there are three different strands which aim to give away $3 million to community, local, and regional news organisations, as well as freelancers.
- Google’s Global Journalism Emergency Fund: Another one from the big players, this Google fund aims to support “thousands of small, medium, and local news publishers globally”. It’s aimed at organisations with between two and 100 full time journalists who have been in operation for at least a year, but they’ll consider other organisations on a case by case basis.It’s a pretty simple and streamlined form with just three basic sections, and if you’re successful they’ll make you an offer of funding. As far as we can see, it doesn’t even seem like you have to do a whole budget.
- Africa-China Reporting Project: Another grant here which rewards you for your reporting – Wits Journalism will awards up to $1,500 for journalists proposing stories on public health and the impact of COVID-19 focused on areas in Africa.You don’t need to have specific experience within the health field, but you will need to give a detailed proposal, say where the investigation will be published, and provide a CV and links to your past reporting work.
- Pulitzer Centre Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge: The Pulitzer Centre is looking to award grants to organisations and journalists who can create innovative approaches to covering coronavirus through collaboration with other newsrooms. It doesn’t say how much cash they have to give away, but it does say that things will be looked at on a first come, first served basis.
- International Anti Corruption Conference Grants: If you’re a journalist under the age of 35 you can apply for up to $10,000 grant to allow you to report on COVID-19 from a perspective of humanitarianism, equality, or looking at economics. If selected, you’ll also be matched with a senior editor who can help guide your reporting.
- PINF Emergency Fund The Public Interest News Foundation has £60,000 to support independent news providers in the UK. The grants will be a maximum of £3,000, to support small publishers who have taken a financial loss due to Covid-19. Check out their FAQ’s to see if you company would be eligible.
Free Software, Wellbeing Help & Other Support
While for many journalists, financial support is understandably the top priority, a range of other organisations are offering different types of support. Again, we plan to update this section weekly, so please do let us know if we’ve missed anything.
Journo Resources: Hi! It’s us! We’re offering free CV or pitch reviews, running regular, free events with our partners to help you get through this time, and also upping our levels of content like this. You can read more about what we’re doing here.
UnderPinned: The team from UnderPinned are giving their essential virtual office package away for free until September. It’s an impressive piece of kit that helps you keep on top of day to day tasks, invoices, and your accounting, and it also includes access to a mental health hotline. See more here.
Final Cut Pro 90 Day Trials: Apple are offering free 90-day trials on Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, if you’re unable to access work software or need to cut back on the bills. Also, a great excuse to edit that documentary you’ve been planning for six years.
Adobe Creative Cloud Suite: Students who aren’t able to get access to Creative Cloud as part of their course will be able to pick up a free licence from Adobe to help them complete their studies.
Women in Journalism: The charity are running weekly Zoom calls with leading journalists on a range of topics from making your side hustle profitable to working for brands and charities. You can keep an eye on what’s next on their news section.
This piece is part of our coronavirus support package. You can take a look at the full details of everything we’re doing to support journalists here.