How Grants Can Impact the Future of Journalism
Before I started my job at GrantWatch.com, I worked at a local newspaper as a copy editor. I graduated from college with a degree in communications with a concentration in journalism and had plans of being a great journalist. Little did I know, the bubble I lived in when it came to my idea of journalism in college was far different from the current state of journalism in the real world.
Is Journalism Dying?
We have all heard the jokes of how journalism is dying and print is already dead; but unfortunately, I saw firsthand with my first job out of college just how real this punchline is. As I walked into the newspaper room on my first day at a real newspaper, the first thing I noticed when I looked around was the number of empty cubicles. Two and a half years later, I had experienced two rounds of layoffs, a set of pay cuts and a number of changes enforced specifically to save money, including cutting our content significantly.
Suffice it to say, I did not see a stable future in journalism, so I started contemplating a career change. The truth is the field of journalism is struggling, especially when it comes to local news coverage. Big publishers are buying out countless smaller papers. But rather than put time and money into the papers to help them succeed, instead they end up slashing budgets. The funding is just not there. And if something doesn’t change soon, the number of journalists in the world will be few and far between. Personally, this is not a world I would not want to see.
According to the Pew Research Center (“Center”), newsroom employment decreased by 26% in the United States between 2008-2020. The Center also notes that a third of U.S. newspapers experienced layoffs in 2020. Of these papers, 11% of them had multiple rounds of layoffs
Why Journalism Is Important
Journalists are crucial to society because they inform the public about what is going on in the world. Without them, some voices would never be heard. Journalism is also essential to a functioning democracy because it keeps checks and balances in place to hold our nation’s leaders accountable.
Especially in today’s world, where mostly everyone has immediate access to information at the drop of a hat, it is hard to know what information to trust. This is why it is important to fund journalism and encourage young journalists. They have the education and training to properly research and write a thorough article. However, if the industry keeps cutting corners and doesn’t get the funding it needs to flourish, experience will not be enough; journalists will no longer have the tools and resources they need in order to do their jobs to the fullest.
For these reasons, it is important that more funding be made available in the field of journalism, even if it means looking for private funds. Grants can be a great way to find extra money for your newsroom or media outlet.
Top 10 Grants Available for Journalists and Newsrooms/Media Outlets
GrantWatch.com has many grants for journalists listed on its site. These grants include funding for investigations, as well as grants for newsrooms and journalists individually. Below are 10 of these grants that are currently available.
- Grants are available to reporters, media outlets and journalists for urgent, time-sensitive journalistic investigations.
- There are also grants available to media outlets for reporting news stories. The purpose of this program is to promote reporting of important but under-reported stories relevant to all residents in their local communities.
- Funding is available to journalists and newsrooms for investigative projects with a focus on inequities in healthcare.
- Grants and in-kind support are available to news startups to support journalist entrepreneurs.
- In addition, grants are available to journalists and newsrooms for investigative projects with a focus on gender equality.
- Reporters can also apply for grants for investigative journalism stories to expose corruption and wrongdoing.
- There are grants available to journalists for innovative projects that raise public awareness about under-reported news items.
- Grants are also available to journalists and newsrooms to provide technological solutions to problems in journalism.
- Up to $7,500 is available to journalists for reporting on tropical rainforests.
- Finally, grants of up to $10,000 are available to journalists to cover costs incurred while researching and writing groundbreaking stories.
With close to 8,000 grants currently available, GrantWatch.com is the leading grant listing directory. A MemberPlus+ subscription is required to view full grant details, including eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page.
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