The Pulitzer Center is seeking proposals to advance wide-reaching and relevant journalism on issues impacting communities in sub-Saharan Africa, including but not limited to water and sanitation, land degradation and coastal erosion, education, maternal health, and climate resilience. We place special emphasis on projects that inform behavior and policies that improve the lives of the communities reported on, and we encourage local journalists to apply.
With support from the Pulitzer Center, our journalist grantees have reported on the effects of fast fashion on Lesotho; coastal erosion’s impact on fishing communities in Ghana; gold laundering in Uganda; and the coming global famines caused by the confluence of COVID-19, climate change, and conflict in Ukraine. Their work has been published across a diverse range of news outlets, including international outlets like Science magazine and Al Jazeera, as well as leading African outlets like The Continent and Premium Times.
We support projects across all media platforms and encourage ambitious proposals that combine print, photography, audio, and/or video for one or more news outlets. The most successful projects are those in which news outlets match our commitment by adding interactive or multimedia elements to enhance and showcase their original reporting.
We encourage our applicants to think creatively about how they distribute their reporting so they may reach the communities that can most benefit from it.
Grants are open to reporters, photographers, radio/audio journalists, television/video journalists, and documentary filmmakers. We are committed to supporting journalists from diverse backgrounds and of all nationalities. This opportunity is open to newsrooms, newsroom staff, and freelance journalists. Some highlights of recent projects include:
- Starving in Somalia | Cara Anna, Associated Press
- The Hidden Lives of Our Blue Jeans | Ryan Lenora Brown (Lesotho/South Africa)
- Karamoja: A Land in Flux | Liam Taylor (Uganda)
- Swallowed by Sea | Erica Ayisi (Ghana)
- Oil Drilling in National Parks To Begin Despite Environmental Protests | Antoaneta Roussi (Uganda)
- Hobbled by Steep Wheat Flour Price, Nigerian Bakers Look the Way of Potato Purée | Ronald Adamolekun (Nigeria)
- Charting Conflict and Corruption – Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda | Sophie Neiman (DRC and Uganda)
- Mozambique’s Malaria Problem | Leslie Roberts (Mozambique)
We value data-based, investigative, and accountability journalism projects that tackle systemic issues and hold powerful local figures to account.
You decide what underreported stories your community needs to engage with, and we support that reporting and champion it. This includes creating educational materials and events to expand the reach of your stories and the conversations about them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is eligible to apply?
This opportunity is open to journalists and newsrooms around the world. We accept proposals from freelance journalists, staff journalists, or groups of newsrooms working in collaboration with a project idea. We want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are empowered to produce journalism. We strongly encourage proposals from journalists and newsrooms who represent a broad array of underrepresented social, racial, and ethnic groups, as well as 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 two weeks 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 proposals?
We do not have a budget range. We will consider projects of any scope and size, and we are open to supporting multiple projects each year.
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, illustrators, 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.
Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org!