PLEASE NOTE:  As of 4/22/20 we are suspending this opportunity. We received 237 proposals and we thank everyone for applying. If you would like to submit a COVID-19-related story proposal, we are still accepting applications for stories via our international travel grants program, data journalism grants program, and Bringing Stories Home grants program.

Grant Overview

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that supports independent global journalism, is seeking proposals that develop innovative approaches to reporting on the novel coronavirus crisis using collaboration among journalists and newsrooms across state lines or national borders. This opportunity is open to all newsrooms and independent journalists in the United States and abroad. 

At a time of scarce media resources, the coronavirus story challenges newsrooms to find creative ways to bring accurate, compelling, and timely information to their readers.  We are eager for proposals that break traditional notions of scooping and competition and instead use the power of sharing and collaboration to increase reporting capacity and expand the reach and impact of stories.

We are seeking strong proposals that involve a strategic and concerted effort by multiple journalists and/or newsrooms to pursue a reporting project together, leveraging resources, expertise, and publication platforms. 

In addition to a strong collaboration component for reporting and publication, we encourage proposals that:

  • Focus on systemic, under-reported issues underlying the coronavirus crisis 
  • Use data-driven and/or interdisciplinary approaches to reporting on coronavirus 
  • Hold the powerful accountable 

For inspiration, here are examples of local, national, and global collaborative projects: 

To apply, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • A description of the proposed project, including distribution/publication plan. No more than 250 words.
  • Methodology: Please describe your approach to collaborating with other journalists/newsrooms on coronavirus reporting. Include: who has agreed to take part in the collaboration; who will coordinate the effort; what resources will be shared across teams/newsrooms; what outputs are expected; timeline. 
  • A preliminary budget estimate, including a basic breakdown of costs.  Include travel costs, software, coordination, data work. Please do not include stipends for journalists/team members who are in the employ of newsrooms or are being paid by a publisher.  If you are a journalist collaborating with a data analyst and/or data visual specialist you may include consultant fees in your budget.
  • Three examples (links) of published work by you (or someone your project team.) For example: journalistic collaborations that you, your newsroom or partners in this project have been part of. 
  • Three professional references. These can be either contact information or letters of recommendation.
  • A copy of your resume or curriculum vitae.

Applications may also include a more detailed description of the project, which can be uploaded as additional material. 

We will select multiple project proposals for support in 2020. We will consider projects of any scope and size.  Please choose a team leader to submit the proposal. Submit only one project proposal per team. 

This grant opportunity is now open, and applications will be reviewed on a first-come, rolling basis. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply?

This opportunity is open to journalists of all nationalities and regions of the world.  We are open to proposals from groups of freelance journalists working together and groups of newsrooms collaborating on a project.  We want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are empowered to report on the coronavirus crisis. We strongly encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms that represent a broad array of social, racial, ethnic, underrepresented groups, and economic backgrounds.

When will you be notifying applicants on whether they've been selected?

We begin reviewing applications as soon as they are received and typically notify applicants within a week or two if they're being considered for support.  

What is the budget range for the collaborative journalism proposals?

We do not have budget range for these awards and we are open to supporting multiple projects in 2020. For comparison, most awards for our international reporting/travel program are between $5,000 and $10,000, but may be more or less depending on circumstances.

Do you pay stipends or salaries for freelance journalists?

We expect news organizations to pay freelance journalists for their work, though in exceptional cases, we may consider stipends to cover a reporter's time, if provided in the budget with an explanation.  It is OK to include costs of contractors, such as data researchers or data visualization/story designers in your proposal and budget. Please do not include stipends for journalists/team members who are in the employ of newsrooms or are being paid by a publisher.  

What if I'm a freelance journalist or a staff journalist who is seeking support for a one-off or a solo project related to the COVID-19?

We are still accepting proposals from freelance journalists and staff journalists who are seeking support for solo projects.  Please submit your proposal here.

More questions?

Email [email protected]—we're checking emails daily and look forward to hearing from you.