Journalists play a crucial role in society. Without them, the majority of the public would be unaware of what is going on in the world around them. True news reporters give their audience objective and unbiased information and allow them to do the interpreting themselves. This is important, because it gives everyone access to the facts regardless of their societal and financial status.
The Role Journalism Plays in the World
According to the American Press Institute, “the purpose of journalism is thus to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.”
The need for journalists has been around for a long time dating back to the creation of the U.S. Constitution, specifically when looking at the 1st Amendment. The specific amendment calls for freedom of the press, along with freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and petition. The press keeps the government in check and ensures it does not have total control, leading to mass propaganda.
George Washington expressed similar concerns of a life with no press when he was in power. “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter,” he said. Thomas Jefferson also shared in this notion, claiming that “the only security of all is in a free press.”
However, according to the Charles Koch Institute, the United States is ranked only 45th out of 180 countries in a report on media freedom. And since the rise of internet and social media, the profession has taken a major hit. The Pew Research Center notes that U.S. newsroom employment has fallen 26 percent since 2008.
For these reasons, it is imperative to support young journalists, along with those that have been in the field for some time. Below, are nine grants that are currently available on GrantWatch for journalists.
Nine Grants for Professional Journalists
- Fellowships to U.S. journalists to support research and reporting on current issues. Fellows will have opportunities for networking and project development. The residential fellowship takes place at the Russell Sage Foundation headquarters in New York.
- Grants of up to $25,000 to U.S. journalists for investigative projects on national or New York City politics and corruption. Journalists may work in either digital, print, or broadcast platforms. Grants cover document fees, travel, and compensation for reporting time.
- There are also grants to U.S., Canada, and International journalists for projects that raise public awareness about under-reported news items. Funding is to encourage collaboration as well as the use of new techniques for information gathering and data analysis.
- Grants to U.S., Canada, and International journalists, reporters, photographers, and filmmakers for projects that report on a crisis situation occurring anywhere in the world.
- In addition, there is funding of up to $8,000 to U.S. journalists to report on climate change. Focus areas include coastal stories, based on recent climate research, for publication or broadcast by news outlets in U.S. coastal states.
- Grants to U.S., Canada, and International eligible journalists to offset legal costs and fees. Specific types of assistance may include: arbitrary detention, deprivation of liberty because of the exercise of freedom of expression, and, in some cases, issues with visas/asylum and employment disputes.
- Funding to U.S., Canada, and International women professional journalists for career advancement in the area of news reporting.
- Finally, there are fellowships of $75,000 to U.S., Canada, and International journalists to travel to Harvard University to work on a specific course of research relating to journalism innovation.
- Grants of up to $2,000 to U.S., Canada, and International female journalists for emergency support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.