Renewing Democracy, an initiative of the Solutions Journalism Network, was launched in May 2018 to encourage reporting about how people and institutions are attempting to reinvigorate democracy in communities across the country.
Solutions Journalism Network will provide more than 100 grants through 2020 to reporters and news organizations to support stories, projects and collaborations that examine how communities are responding to problems such as voter suppression, the opioid crisis, criminal justice reform and disinformation.
Funding supports work in three broad areas:
- Civic agency and mobilization — Bottom-up community efforts to change the status quo or overcome social, political or economic conflicts.
- How the machinery of democracy works — Community initiatives to address voting, electoral and political reforms.
- Policy responses by public institutions — Strategies implemented by federal, state and local agencies to make government more transparent, efficient, equitable and accessible to the people it serves.
Grants are open to U.S-based news organizations that have worked with Solutions Journalism Network before or are new to SJN and agree to participate in an online webinar or in-person workshop about solutions journalism. Award winners will receive a grant up to $4,000 to produce their work.
We are looking for story and project proposals across media platforms that report about a response to a problem, fit the parameters of Renewing Democracy, reflect potential for impact and resonate with communities.
Ideal proposals will include most of the following elements:
- Investigation and explanation of how communities, policy makers, public agencies, and other institutions have addressed problems.
- Use of data and/or research to report stories, providing evidence about the efficacy about the response being examined.
- A strategy for measuring impact, beginning with a clear goal for the story or project.
- Use of multimedia, data visualization or social media to tell stories.
- Engagement activities that connect the reporting to constructive public discourse.
Stories can be told in any number of formats. SJN welcomes shorter pieces as well as longer take-outs; investigative series; TV news segments or public affairs programming; podcasts; data visualizations and interactive maps. We also appreciate collaborations between reporters in multiple newsrooms.
Apply online. Renewing Democracy grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Please contact Keith Hammonds, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Delaney Butler, email@example.com.
Applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission. Grantees have three months from the date of the award to publish their work.
Upon publication of their stories, award winners must submit a financial report and a 600-word narrative about their experience reporting from a solutions journalism frame.
About Solutions Journalism Network
Solutions Journalism Network trains and connects journalists to cover what’s missing in today’s news: how people are responding to problems.
Read more about Solutions Journalism Network here: https://thewholestory.solutionsjournalism.org