Call for Proposals: Story Grants on the May 2022 Campaign and Elections

Internews Philippines is offering reporting grants to support the publication and production of in-depth, data-driven, innovative, community-based, and multimedia stories on the electoral processes and issues.

Deadline: 14 January 2022 (Friday) at 11:59 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time)

Please read the following sections carefully, as they contain important information on eligibility and the application process.

Overview

There is an overabundance of information as well as mass mis- and disinformation being spread, significantly hindering the ability of the public to decide on matters that affect their daily lives. Given the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming elections, already a tumultuous period with potential risks of political crisis and instability — good, accurate, and evidence-based information help citizens navigate this complex and evolving environment. Journalists and content creators need the support to report events and issues accurately, responsibly, and safely helping audiences take appropriate action.

Internews Philippines is seeking to help keep the vibrant media ecosystem alive and meaningfully engage community journalists and media practitioners on issues related to elections and disinformation. The story grants will allow for the media to keep conducting their public information mission, which is even more essential in the conduct of elections during a pandemic. (Please see the “Philippine media’s pledge for the 2022 elections.”)

In the Philippines, Internews promotes and protects a healthy information ecosystem responding to challenges like attacks against media, disinformation, and closing civic space.

Story themes

Topics could include, but are not limited to voter education, voter suppression, political conversations, electoral mis- and disinformation, conduct of campaigns and elections, polling and tracking trends, vote counting and tabulation, electoral dispute resolution, electoral influence operations, etc.

Internews values citizen participation and empowerment. We also champion accountability and solutions journalism as well as investigative and enterprise reporting.

Eligibility

Applications are open to Filipino journalists and content creators (print, visual, broadcast, online, and multimedia) with demonstrable background and experience in reporting news and public interest issues.

We encourage pitches from freelancers and staff from all types of media organizations — international, national, local — especially those with particular interest in storytelling that tackle underreported narratives and are relevant to vulnerable and marginalized communities.

We will accept both individual and group applications from early-career and senior journalists and content creators.

Story approach and format

We expect to award 10 grants with the average amount being USD 1,500. We may consider larger grant amounts for up to USD 3,000 for stories that utilize collaborative work and innovative approaches that may be more costly and time-consuming.

Applicants should provide a detailed budget with justification for the amount requested using this template. We ask that budgets be reasonable and account for costs necessary for reporting without being extraneous. We expect that stories will be published or produced with equipment the applicant already has access to (including cameras, drones, lighting, tripods, etc.) and will not consider budgets that heavily focus on purchasing new supplies.

Stories can be published or produced in any major language in the Philippines. However, applicants who intend to write, publish, or produce stories in local languages need to also include an English translation. Please include the cost for translation in the budget, if necessary.

Stories must cover the election period, which is from January 9 to June 8, 2022, and released up to June 30, 2022.

Judging criteria

Applicants should consider the following points for their story pitches:

Relevance: Does the proposal meet the criteria and objectives of the call? Why does this story matter and to whom? Is the main idea, context and overall value to the target audience clearly defined?

Angle: If the story has been covered by mainstream media, does your proposal bring new insights into the topic or offer a fresh angle?

Impact: Does the proposal have a compelling narrative or investigative element that will inform and engage, draw attention, trigger debate, and urge action?

Innovative storytelling: The use of creative approaches, multimedia and data visualization will be considered a plus.

Application process

Applications must be written in English and include the following:

  • A story pitch explained in no more than 500 words.
  • A budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs. Please download and use the budget template here.
  • A compelling distribution plan, which includes letter(s) of interest from editor(s), publisher(s), or producer(s) as well as a report on the reach and analytics of the story published or produced.
  • Three samples of stories or links to relevant work.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae and contact information (name, email, mobile number).

Send all the requirements on or before 14 January 2022 (Friday) at 11:59 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time) to Kathryn Raymundo (kraymundo@internews.org) with the subject line: Internews Story Grants 2022. Applicants selected for the story grants will receive a notification via email.