Journalists can apply for $8,000 COVID-19 emergency fund

Photograph by Williams Daniels

DEADLINE: Roling basis ― The National Geographic Society is calling for journalists all around the globe who wish to cover COVID-19 within their own communities to apply for its COVID-19 emergency fund.

This is just as COVID-19 continues to evolve and impact communities around the globe.

This fund will place particular emphasis on delivering news to underserved populations, particularly where there is a dearth of evidence-based information getting to those who need it.

The National Geographic Society is interested in local and even hyper-local distribution models. This fund is designed to quickly deliver support so that both individual stories and longer series of content may be created.

The fund will distribute support ranging from $1,000–8,000 USD for local coverage of the preparation, response, and impact of this global pandemic as seen through evidence-based reporting.

Beyond reporting on medical and physical health related to COVID-19, the National Geographic Society especially encourages reporting that covers social, emotional, economic and equity issues.

Narratives around the pandemic necessarily include facts and numbers, but ultimately, must also go deeper—telling the stories of inequities that COVID-19 has brought to light.

The National Geographic Society seeks writers, photographers, videographers, audio journalists, cartographers, filmmakers, and data visualization experts to apply for this funding.

Journalists should seek placement of this work within their local media ecosystems and must attribute their support to the National Geographic Society’s Emergency Fund for Journalists. National Geographic Society or National Geographic Partners may also choose to publish some of this work as part of its global coverage.

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Reporting may cover any aspect of the virus and its fallout, including but not limited to:

  • Social consequences of COVID-19 and measures to contain it, particularly related to equity—such as its impact on immigrant communities, domestic violence, and early childhood education.
  • Stories of resilience and solutions that could be applied on a regional or global scale.
  • Novel forms of data visualization or science communication to help communities better understand how to protect themselves.
  • Lessons learned from local response(s) to COVID-19 that could be applied to other large-scale challenges, such as climate change or the refugee crisis.
  • Best practices of how educators, students, and schools are reacting to this crisis, particularly as they illuminate under-resourced schools.

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Priority communities include: Those at high risk or hit especially hard by the virus, indigenous communities, immigrant or refugee communities, underserved, urban, rural, elderly populations, and children.

Applicants may use up to 100 per cent of their budget as personal reimbursement for their reporting time. The National Geographic Society asks that applicants estimate their standard fee for reporting on or creating such content.

The National Geographic Society also asks that recipients of this funding prioritise their respective health and the communities in which they work.

While many journalists are accustomed to putting themselves in harm’s way in pursuit of a story, the National Geographic Society asks that journalists not only consider all precautions to protect themselves, but that of the people you are covering as well.

The National Geographic Society encourages journalists to follow local, regional, and national guidelines in terms of access for accredited journalists in their respective regions.

Finally, the National Geographic Society notes that all reporting must be fact-based and accurate.