A woman wearing a mask and gloves photographs a man sitting on a wall

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: The Fight Against COVID-19 Misinformation and Rumors

September 8, 2020

Information & Application in Spanish | Information & Application in Arabic | Information & Application in Pashto | Information & Application in Dari | Information & Application in French

The Internews “Rooted in Trust” project is calling on journalists, multimedia producers, media outlets, and community-based organizations in seven focal countries to apply for funding to produce impactful content and/or activities to help fight against the “Infodemic” of misinformation and rumors that have hampered efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Grants are designed to improve community access to trustworthy and verified information about the virus and its impact through the use of traditional and new media and grassroots communication and community engagement activities.


30 September 2020

RiT GRANT Application Deadline ExtensionDue to the tremendous interest generated by the Rooted in Trust (RiT) GRANT Call for Applications, the deadline for accepting applications has been extended to Wednesday, 30 September 2020.


Rooted in Trust is accepting applicants from: Lebanon, Afghanistan, Philippines (Mindanao region), Colombia (Nariño region), Mali, Sudan and Central African Republic.

  • Journalists with all levels of experience (beginner, mid-career, experienced, freelancers or groups of journalists who wish to collaborate)
  • Multimedia producers that work with photography, audio, video, and/or animation
  • Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) that engage with vulnerable groups or communities

Freelance operators are encouraged to provide a supporting letter of intent from an outlet or organization that will disseminate their work.


Internews will award grants of US$ 2,000.1  

Priority will be given to applications that can demonstrate they are filling a gap in media coverage of the pandemic or an urgent information need.

We encourage the inclusion of multimedia and other new or unique communication platforms that will increase the impact of the project.   

Projects designed to address information gaps in vulnerable groups (for example: ethnic or linguistic minorities, people living with a disability, LGBTQ+, the elderly, women and children and other groups) will be viewed favorably. Use of local languages or dialects is encouraged.

All grant recipients will receive training and professional mentoring from Internews experts to help them develop and implement their project successfully.

If you are receiving funds from another donor for this project, please note the details in your application.

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed prior to the final selection of awardees.


The grant program aims to support activities including but not limited to:

Journalism and media:

  • Text-based Stories: 1,000-3,000 words
  • Photo Exhibits: 10 to 20 photos with detailed descriptive captions and a 200-400 word summary
  • Video and/or Animation: 4-6 minute video with 200-word written summary
  • Audio: Up to 40 minutes with 200-word written summary
  • Content designed to reach digital audiences online, via social media or in mobile phone formats.
  • Investigative reporting, data journalism, tech reporting, economic reporting, political and policy reporting.
  • Journalism that evaluates civic restrictions, censorship, and attacks on civil society and the press.
  • Reporting related to digital safety best practices, as well as digital security threats or cyberattacks that relate directly to risks being created by the coronavirus and COVID-19. 
  • Community media initiatives.
  • Fact checking initiatives, work that tracks or combats rumors and misinformation.
  • Procuring supplies necessary to improve newsroom safety or to allow for remote newsroom set ups and remote coverage of COVID 19, including phone/internet cards for staff, boom microphones, online/remote recording tools, transportation for staff who would normally take public transportation, cleaning costs for newsrooms, etc.

Community engagement:

    • Creation and distribution of IEC materials for vulnerable populations.
    • Activities designed to listen, engage and communicate with communities who may face barriers in accessing verified information.
    • Activities that work with community leaders, religious leaders, young people or other groups to encourage safe practices
    • Activities that draw on local culture, music or theatre to encourage safe practices.


30 September - Deadline for submitting applications
16 October - Grant awardees announced
19 October -  Meeting of awardees, mentors, and experts
20 October - 20 November - Development of projects with mentoring by Internews experts
20-30 November - Publication of stories or implementation of activities.


Diversity – the project should include as much gender, ethnic, linguistic, geographic, and cultural diversity as possible
Relevance – the project should be designed with a clear objective on how it will have a positive impact on the target audience or community that has been identified as vulnerable to misinformation and rumours about COVID-19.
Angle – if the central topic of the project has already been addressed, then the project should highlight how it is different and focuses on a new worthwhile aspect of the fight against COVID-19 misinformation.
Impact – the goal of the project must be a clearly defined positive impact on a clearly defined target audience or community.
Innovation – the more creative and innovative the project is designed and implemented, the better
Feasibility – all facets of the project must be realistic and achievable within the given timeline.


Fill out the application form in English or the local language you prefer.
Submit your application to covid-19@internews.org by 30 September 2020.
Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview.


All enquiries should go to  covid-19@internews.org

1 RiT may consider applications for projects for $2,000-$5,000 for groups of journalists or communicators who may wish to collaborate on an activity.

(Banner photo: Photojournalist Joyeeta Roy who works for the Daily Bangladesh Pratidin. Credit: UN Women/Fahad Abudllah Kaizer/CC)