Coronavirus Response

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Journalists face prison, harassment over pandemic reporting

In Algeria, three newspaper employees face 10 years in prison over a report alleging a state facility published false statistics regarding COVID-19. Slovenian journalist Blaž Zgaga tells CPJ that he has faced harassment and threats from the government over his reporting on the virus. In Kashmir, journalist Raihana Maqbool tells CPJ how the area's continuing lockdown has stifled free reporting. (Photo: Reuters/Ramzi Boudina)

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Coronavirus Q&A

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    External Resources

    COVID-19 Emergency Funds for Journalists

    The following funding opportunities are available to journalists struggling due to COVID-19. This list will be updated as more funds and information become available.

    • AIR: The Freelance Audio Fund is available to AIR members in good standing. An additional fund will likely be made available to non-member audio makers and freelancers and small newsrooms.
    • BBC: The BBC has committed £700,000 to The Film and TV Charity, which assists those who work in TV and film production. To find out more about the fund, sign up here
    • Format: Self-employed photographers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can apply to Format’s Photographer Fund for grants of up to $500 per person.
    • Freelancers Union: The Freelancers Union’s Freelancers Relief Fund is offering grants of up to $1,000 per freelance household to cover lost income and essential expenses such as food and utility payments that are not covered by government relief programs.
    • Fund for Investigative Journalism: The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is offering emergency grants for U.S. freelancers who are reporting on the coronavirus, particularly around stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing. The average grant will be around $5,000, but can be as high as $10,000.
    • Internews: Internews’s rapid response fund will help small, local newsrooms survive in the face of COVID-19. The fund will launch with $100,000 and initial applications will be sought from existing Internews partners.
    • IWMF: The International Women’s Media Foundation has created a Journalism Relief Fund with grants up to $2,000 for women-identifying journalists who face significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off or who urgently need assistance.
    • National Geographic: The COVID-19 Emergency Fund will distribute support ranging from $1,000–8,000 for local coverage of the preparation, response, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is open to writers, photographers, videographers, audio journalists, cartographers, filmmakers, and data visualization experts.
    • PEN America: PEN America’s Writers’ Emergency Fund will distribute grants of between $500 and $1,000 to fiction and non-fiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists. Applicants must be a professional writer based in the U.S.
    • Women Photograph: For now, all donations to Women Photograph go toward an Emergency Fund for independent women and non-binary photographers impacted by COVID-19.

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