Journalists with a good idea for an investigative story with a European angle can now apply for research grants from the European Union. 1,1 million Euro will be distributed in two rounds of applications. The first deadline is on January 15th 2011.
The EU offers research grants for investigative stories, which involve two or more EU countries. Journalists with a good idea for a European or a cross-border story must team up with a colleague from at least one other EU country, find ¼ of the funding for their project and then they can apply.
The independence of the money will be safeguarded by an external “Assistance Body”. It will appoint a jury, maintain a website, administrate the grants and make sure that the experience from the projects is gathered.
A jury of “5-7 independent, reputed experts in journalism, investigative journalism and/or edition in those fields” will decide the awarding of the grants, following predefined rules.
The first round of applications has to be sent to the Commission, while the Assistance body is selected in a call for public tender. However the envelopes with the applications will not be opened by the Commission itself but handed over to the jury via the Assistance body once it is established.
The 1,1 million Euro were granted by the European Parliament as a pilot project, which is now scheduled to run until late 2011. Among the involved MEPs behind the initiative were German green Helga Trüpel, Danish liberal Anne E. Jensen and since his election last year Danish liberal Morten Løkkegaard.
Read more on Journalismfund.eu.