Applications are now open for the Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Journalismfund Europe’s grant programme that strives to advance investigative journalism in Dutch-language media in Belgium.
The programme awards grants to distinctive journalistic projects. The grant gives experienced as well as young journalists the chance to execute their investigative ideas and by doing so, contribute to quality investigative journalism in Flanders.
Objectives and Philosophy
- The aim of the Grant Programmes of Journalismfund Europe is facilitating investigative, crossborder and independent journalism in order to promote democracy in Europe by connecting donors and journalists without endangering the journalists’ independence.
- The project will be one that, in principle, could not be realised within the remit of regular journalism – a project of great newsworthiness and depth that is simultaneously original, innovative and time-consuming.
- The grants are completely independent from commercial interests. Financing comes from different sources and for the most part from several international foundations and the Flemish government. Journalismfund Europe safeguards the independence of the grantees from the donors and also guarantees that the grants are completely unrelated to political influence.
- Journalismfund’s fundraising is conducted according to the following key principles: full transparency, independence and no editorial interference. (Representatives from) donors can never be part of the juries that award the grants. Journalismfund does not take money from donors that don’t agree with these terms. For more information about their funding policy, they refer to their Ethical Funding Policy.
- Journalismfund is assisted by an International Advisory Board. The International Advisory Board, together with Journalismfund, ensures that the grant initiatives contribute to the facilitation of independent investigative journalism in Europe and beyond.
- In 2023, there is €265.000 to distribute over four application rounds, which means approx. €66.000 per round. The money comes from the Flemish government.
- The amounts of the grants are not fixed. They depend on the topics, the number of team members and the duration of the project as well as on the total budget available for the specific Grant Programme.
What the grant money can be used for
- Grants can cover working time and out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, visa, accommodation, translation, fixers, access to pay-databases, FOI requests, legal screening, etc., …
- Only freelance journalists can apply for a grant to cover their working time. Employed staff journalists can only apply for a working grant if they can provide a reason and prove that they are not receiving any wages for their working time on this project.
- Following expenses cannot be covered by the grants: investments goods (such as IT equipment, mobile phones, software, …), production costs, food and beverage, per diems, etc., …
- Only natural persons are eligible for a grant. Depending on the Grant Programme restrictions can be made based on the residency of the applicant(s).
- The applicant(s) must be working as professional journalists. Furthermore, references from individuals (editors, publishers, journalists, professors) and/or references to earlier work are essential. Journalismfund Europe reserves the right to contact references (while respecting the confidentiality of the proposal).
- Students are not eligible in all Grant Programmes.
- Journalists who were previously allocated a Journalismfund grant can reapply, but the jury can include the result of previous grants in their evaluation of the new application.
- The applicant(s) must demonstrate convincingly that the project would be unrealisable without a grant. In other words, the reason why the applicant is appealing to Journalismfund should be explained.
- The applicant(s) should be able to demonstrate the feasibility of the project.
- A basic commitment in the form of a ‘Letter of Intent’ to publish the product from a news editor is one of the conditions1 to obtain a grant.
For more information, visit Pascal Decroos Fund.