Journalistic investigation grant programme

Programme description

The programme is intended for journalists and editorial offices in need of support in time-consuming and costly journalistic investigations. We are looking for projects important to citizens and conducive to a positive change of the Polish social, political and economic reality. These projects must carry significant information value and be conducted according to high ethical standards.

Proposals may be individual or team initiatives.

The grant programme is open to experienced journalists living in Poland and cooperating with the Polish media. Projects can be carried out in cooperation with journalists and media from other EU countries.

We expect candidates to have journalistic experience (press, radio, TV, online) documented by examples of already published material.

The funded project must be published by at least one professional outlet. When submitting an application, a letter of intent from the editorial department which plans to publish the material is required.

All journalistic formats are eligible for the grant: newspaper articles, documentaries, radio and TV content, photo essays and books, podcasts and journalistic non-fiction books.

Journalists who have previously received a grant from the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation may reapply for it after a year. In evaluating a new application, the Jury will take into account the results of previous grants.

What costs are covered by the grant

The grant may fund:

  • costs of travel, subsistence, visas, accommodation, translation, assistants, access to paid databases, legal verification, etc;
  • remuneration costs (in the case of remuneration for the applicant, this only applies to journalists who are not employed on a permanent basis, unless they are forced to take unpaid leave from their own media outlet in connection with an investigation);
  • production costs;
  • the costs of purchasing equipment (up to 30% of the amount applied for).

 The following expenses are not covered by the grant: office costs, banking and legal costs, subcontracting.

Each proposal must include a cost calculation based on the budget template.

Deadlines and timetable

 The first round of applications is scheduled for 2021. The deadline in 2021 is 31 October 2021 at 23.59.

Further application deadlines will be announced next year.

Once the applications are received, the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation checks whether all formalities have been fulfilled and may request additional information from the applicants. The verification stage takes 10 days.

Once the applications have been positively verified, they will be assessed by the Jury (see below).

Applicants will be informed of the Jury's decision within 40 days of the deadline for applications.

Evaluation of applications, Committee and Jury

The applications are evaluated in two stages by an independent Committee consisting of experts in the field of journalism and a Jury selected from it. The Committee members are selected by the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation. From among the 30 members of the Committee, whose names will be made public, three persons will meet as a Jury on a rotating basis. The Jury remains anonymous.

The Committee is responsible for the pre-selection of up to 10 projects. The projects selected further are then forwarded to the Jury, which makes the final selection of no more than 3 projects and decides on the scope of co-financing. The work of the Committee is chaired by Piotr Stasiński, advisor to the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation.

Both the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation and Jury members are obliged to maintain confidentiality - before, during and after the evaluation of the applications.

Members of the Jury operate within the strict framework of the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation's policy of preventing conflicts of interest. This is to ensure the highest ethical standards and independence and objectivity in decision-making. Members of the Committee cannot be employees of "Gazeta Wyborcza".

The Committee and Jury meet twice a year. Meetings are held online.

Criteria

The Committee and Jury will evaluate the entries on the basis of the following criteria:

  • relevance to the community and potential for positive change;
  • the news worthiness of the information and to what extent it is new or presented in new circumstances;
  • originality when compared to commonly addressed journalistic topics;
  • quality and reliability of investigative methods;
  • originality and scope of the planned publication;
  • feasibility of the investigation, timetable and budget - we ask applicants to set a date for completion of the material;
  • team structure and experience of applicant(s).

The Committee and Jury will also take into account the diversity of the projects submitted in terms of:

  • region (both as regards the subject of the investigation and the members of the team, if the project is not individual);
  • topics;
  • methods and approaches;
  • forms of publication;
  • composition of the team.

All criteria will be scored by the Jury. The maximum number of points is 100. Candidates will receive a summary with the number of points obtained in each criterion.

Conditions for grant award

Grant applicants and all others involved in the project must adhere to the principles of the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists.

Each applicant signs an agreement with the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation that sets out mutual obligations.

The grant is paid in two instalments: the first one (60%) after signing the Agreement, the second one (40%) after publishing the project and submitting the documents confirming the incurred expenses (statement of incurred expenses and list of supporting documents).

The grant is paid in PLN to bank accounts. All bank charges for international payments are borne by the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation, except for differences resulting from exchange rates.

Any journalistic material published as a result of the grant must contain a clear reference to the support from the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation's Investigative Journalism Programme.

Applicants must accept the General Terms and Conditions of the Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation Grants.

More questions? Check our FAQs or contact us

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to prepare before submitting an application?

The first step is to come up with an original investigative project of high social value. To prove it, we require a letter of intent from a professional media outlet guaranteeing the publication of the material. Each proposal must also include a cost calculation based on a budget template.

Can media organisations apply for a grant from the Investigative Journalism Programme?

Yes. Applications can be either individuals or groups of journalists, including those working as a single editorial team at a media outlet. In assessing an editorial team's application, the Jury will take into account the extent to which the grant is necessary for the investigation, taking into account the size and condition of the media organisation.

Can I publish the result of my journalistic investigation on my own platform?

The conditions of the grant do not prohibit the publication of part or all of the material produced with the support of the Investigative Journalism Programme. However, this cannot be the only form of its release. According to the rules of the Programme, the funded project must be published by at least one professional outlet.

I am not employed full-time. What criteria do I use to calculate the cost of my salary?

You can report the honorarium, based on the median monthly earnings of a journalist in Poland - 5500 PLN gross.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funding from the Investigative Journalism Program?

The amount of the grant depends on the nature and requirements of a given project, and is therefore highly individualised. At the same time, the programme is intended for journalists who need support to carry out time-consuming and financially demanding journalistic investigations, so the minimum grant amount is PLN 10,000.

Komisja Grantów i Stypendiów programy składa się z 30 wybitnych przedstawicieli kluczowych redakcji w Polsce, środowisk akademickich oraz intelektualistów zajmujących się tematyką praworządności i praw człowieka i wyłonione z niej Jury. Członkowie Komisji są wybierani przez Fundację Gazety Wyborczej.
Spośród 30 członków Komisji, których nazwiska zostaną podane do publicznej wiadomości, trzy osoby zbierają się rotacyjnie jako Jury. Jury pozostaje anonimowe.
Piotr Stasiński
Fundacja Gazety Wyborczej
Andrzej Andrysiak
"Gazeta Radomszczańska"
Edwin Bendyk
Fundacja Batorego
Seweryn Blumsztajn
Towarzystwo Dziennikarskie
Michał Broniatowski
Onet
Kamila Ceran
TOK FM
Sylwia Czubkowska
Spider's Web
Ewa Ewart
dokumentalistka, związana z TVN
Maciej Głogowski
TOK FM
Agata Grzybowska
RATS Agency
Jerzy Jurecki
"Tygodnik Podhalański"
Katarzyna Kasia
Kultura Liberalna
Renata Kim
"Newsweek"
Paweł Ławiński
Onet
Ewa Milewicz
dziennikarka niezależna
Jacek Nizinkiewicz
"Rzeczpospolita"
Włodzimierz Nowak
reporter
Maciej Okraszewski
Dział Zagraniczny
Piotr Pacewicz
OKO.PRESS
Monika Płatek
Wydział Prawa i Administracji UW
Tomasz Sekielski 
Sekielski Online
Ewa Siedlecka
"Polityka"
Barbara Sowa 
"Śledztwa Pisma"
Michał Sutowski
Krytyka Polityczna 
Agata Szczęśniak
OKO.PRESS
Michał Szułdrzyński
"Rzeczpospolita"

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