Grant amounts will range from $25,000 to $100,000, and the funds are intended to support local news organizations in the U.S. in efforts to respond to immediate community needs or offset revenue shortfalls in order to maintain long-term sustainability.
In order to qualify, news publishers must be based in the U.S., actively cover Covid-19 and serve a defined geographic area.
Facebook Journalism Project said preference will be given to publishers that:
- Serve immigrant, rural, underserved and economically disadvantaged communities.
- Represent areas where the impact of Covid-19 is particularly acute.
- Clearly and candidly explain the grant’s contribution to their organization’s long-term viability.
- Are family- or community-owned or independent.
- Have an established digital reader, digital listener or digital video consumer-supported business model.
- Have not yet received grant support from the Facebook Journalism Project in 2020.
Use of Facebook tools or services has no impact on eligibility.
Facebook Journalism Project said funds can be used to cover key organizational costs such as reducing furloughs for key personnel, hiring part-time staff to support newsgathering or business operations, or supporting alternative print distribution methods.
On the marketing side, money from the grants can be used to support local businesses through new advertising offerings, purchase new technology or maintain current systems.
Funds can also go toward coronavirus-related products and services such as dedicated newsletters, special fact-checking or debunking efforts, local-focused data reporting, online events, new reporting initiatives (such as solutions journalism), freelancer support or translation.
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of representatives from Facebook, the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Local Independent Online News Publishers, the Local Media Association, the Local Media Consortium and the National Association of Broadcasters.