Facebook and Walkley Foundation open applications for up to $92,000 regional newsroom funding

The Walkley Foundation and Facebook have opened applications for Facebook’s COVID-19 Australian News Relief Fund program, which will award non-metro news organisations up to $92,000 in funding.

‘Drought from Above’ by David Gray

The announcement:

The Facebook Journalism Project (FJP)  COVID-19 Australian News Relief Fund Program, administered by the Walkley Foundation, will award funds ranging from $15,000 up to $92,000 to eligible news organisations in Australia to help support them in:

1. producing original news content related to COVID-19 and/or

2. offsetting revenue shortfalls to help publishers maintain long-term sustainability.

This fund is part of FJP’s $2 million investment in projects, coaching and training to support Asia-Pacific news organisations’ coronavirus work. The Walkley Foundation will assess applications and distribute funds in Australia.

Key application dates:

  • Applications will be accepted starting Monday, May 18 at 09:00 am AEST until Sunday, May 31 at 11:59 pm AEST
  • Funding recipients will be notified in mid-June 2020

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for support, publishers must be:

  • A news organisation with their principal place of business located in Australia
  • Actively covering COVID-19 and producing original news content related to COVID-19
  • Employ the equivalent of at least 2 full-time journalists.

Preference will be given to publishers who:

  • Serve regional or non-metropolitan communities (regional media include areas outside of Australian capital cities and the Australian Capital Territory, but does include Darwin)
  • Publish public interest news content and such content accounts for a majority of their output
  • Have not yet received funding support from the Facebook Journalism Project in 2020
  • Clearly and candidly explain the funding’s contribution to their organisation’s long-term viability
  • Have been in operation for at least one year
  • Have Facebook pages and Instagram accounts that are in compliance with Facebook community standards and partner monetization policies

Selection criteria

A committee consisting of representatives selected by the Walkley Foundation will review eligible applications and select potential finalists. Finalists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Clear and compelling description of how funds will be used
  • Clearly defined organisational need supported by a budget proposal that directly addresses those needs
  • Quality of prior news reporting and other content related to COVID-19
  • Whether the organisation meets one or more of the preference criteria

Applications must be received by 11:59 pm AEST on May 31, 2020. See Terms and Conditions for full eligibility criteria, funding evaluation process and restrictions.


Source: Walkleys press release


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