The Pulitzer Center is seeking applications for enterprise and underreported stories about COVID-19 inequities and other U.S. and global health system failures. We’re interested in systemic barriers to all sorts of care, including, but not limited to, COVID-19 vaccines and treatment. We’re also interested in stories about misinformation and politicization that impede improved access to care and preparation for future health crises. This opportunity is open to all newsrooms and independent journalists in the United States and abroad.
COVID-19 laid bare what was clear to many already: With some exceptions, health systems around the world are woefully underresourced or inaccessible to many who aren’t wealthy.
COVID-19 spread rapidly among essential but often lower-paid U.S. workers who were unable to shelter and work at home. Despite lessons learned from the pandemic, even routine health care remains beyond reach for many in the world’s richest country. A disturbing number of U.S. residents also continue to shun vaccines, influenced by misinformation.
Globally, millions of people in low- and middle-income countries are unable to access vaccines. And some also harbor fear of inoculation. The pandemic and other crises have also contributed to a global surge in mental health problems, yet mental health care often remains taboo and unaffordable.
We’re interested in reporting projects about underreported COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 health inequities, as well as solutions in the works. For inspiration, here are a few recent projects we supported:
- Vaccine Hesitancy Project Ghana | Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman
- "Rich Countries Cornered COVID-19 Vaccine Doses. Four Strategies To Right a ‘Scandalous Inequity’" | Jon Cohen and Kai Kupferschmidt
- Tracking the Vaccine: Eye on Equity in Chicago and Illinois | WBEZ team
- "We Used Machine Learning and Computer Vision To Unravel COVID’s Financial Burden on Georgians" | Nick Thieme
- "Documentary: The Pandemic and Fake News in the Upper Xingu" | Fábio Zuker and Thomaz Marcondes Garcia Pedro
- "Post-Trump, Christian Nationalists Preach a Theology of Vaccine Resistance" | Jack Jenkins
- "Race for the Vaccine" | Catherine Gale, Caleb Hellerman, and Janet Tobias
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 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 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 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.
Email Pulitzer Center Senior Editor Susan Ferriss at email@example.com. We check emails daily and look forward to hearing from you.
The COVID-19, Vaccines, and Global Health Inequities grant is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and general operating support.