The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, a non-profit organization that supports independent global journalism, is seeking applications for innovative data-driven journalism projects that spotlight underreported issues. This opportunity is open to all newsrooms and independent journalists in the United States and abroad. Click here to learn about Artificial Intelligence Accountability reporting grant opportunities.
We are eager for proposals that will employ cutting-edge data techniques, as well as embrace collaboration among newsrooms, whether that be across state lines or across national borders. We encourage proposals that push the envelope in data collection and analysis and make use of advanced data mining techniques, such as machine learning, natural language processing, as well as spatial data analysis, satellite imagery, drones and sensors. We're seeking compelling data-driven storytelling, based on original data collection and analysis and strong visuals, that has the potential to shape public discourse and hold the powerful accountable.
For inspiration, here are recent examples Pulitzer Center-supported data journalism projects:
- Built to Last | Christo Buschek, Alison Killing, and Megha Rajagopalan (2021 Pulitzer Prize Winner / Sigma 2021 Award Winner)
- Waves of Abandonment | Clayton Aldern, Christopher Collins, and Naveena Sadasivam (2021 U. of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Small/Medium Newsroom)
- Land Grab Universities | Tristan Ahtone, Kalen Goodluck, Robert Lee, Geoff McGhee, and Margaret Pearce (2021 Sigma Award Winner / 2020 Polk Award Winner)
- "Nations Divided: Mapping Canada's Pipeline Battle" | Jillian Kestler-D’Amours and Megan O’Toole
- Taken: How the Police Profit from Seized Property | Pam Dempsey, William Freivogel, Brant Houston, Dan McCarey, Jolie McCullough, Jacob Ryan, Neena Satija, and Edgar Walters
- "Forced Out: Measuring the Scale of Conflict in South Sudan" | Carolyn Thompson (2019 IRE Philip Meyer Award Winner)
- "The Atlantic Conquest" | Guido Bilbao and Sol Lauría
- Mapping Makoko | Oluwatosin Adeshokan, John Eromosele, and Jacopo Ottaviani (2021 Sigma Award Winner)
- "Sucked Dry: Land Grabs Leave Thirst in Nile River Communities" | Annika McGinnis and Fredrick Mugira (2020 Fetisov Journalism Award Winner)
- "Power Play: How Chinese Money Damned Myanmar's Economic Transition" | Eva Constantaras, Clare Hammond, Victoria Milko, and Ye Mon
- "Kruger's Contested Borderlands" | Fiona Macleod and Estacio Valoi
Also, please check out examples from the 2020 SIGMA awards.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is eligible to apply?
This opportunity is open to U.S. residents and journalists around the world. We are open to proposals from freelance data journalists, staff journalists, or groups of newsrooms working in collaboration with a data project idea. We want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are empowered to produce data journalism. We strongly encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms who 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 month if they're being considered for support. If there is some urgency to the field reporting, the applicant should state the reason in the application.
What is the budget range for the data journalism proposals?
We do not have budget range for these data journalism awards. We will consider projects of any scope and size and and we are open to supporting multiple projects each year. Most awards for our past data journalism project support has been between $10,000-20,000, 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 are examples of editorial products or project expenses that the Pulitzer Center grants DON’T cover?
- Books (we can support a story that might become part of a book, as long as the story is published independently in a media outlet)
- Feature-length films (we do support short documentaries with ambitious distribution plans)
- Staff salaries
- Equipment purchases (equipment rentals are considered on a case-by-case basis)
- An outlet’s general expenses (for example rent, utilities, insurance)
- Seed money for start-ups
- Routine breaking news and coverage
- Advocacy/marketing campaigns
- Data projects aimed solely at academic research. Data should be developed to enhance/support journalism.
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