The Justice for Journalists Foundation Announces the Topics for Its Investigative Grant Programme 2021

London, January 25, 2021: The Justice for Journalists Foundation is now accepting applications for its annual Investigative Grant Programme. The JFJ Investigative Grant Programme is now closed until 2022.  

The Foundation’s Advisory and Expert Boards will consider all applications that meet the Foundation’s criteria. This year, due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions, we will only accept proposals for investigating and reporting the stories that do not require any foreign travel. Therefore, this year the maximum amount offered for each individual grant is USD 50’000
This year, JFJ will accept grant applications in the following three subject areas:
(1) An investigation into the following crimes against journalists committed in 2020-2021:

  • State orchestrated abuse and harassment of journalists inciting them to suicide (ex. Irina Slavina, Russia);
  • Physical violence against journalists covering civil protests in the former Soviet countries (ex: Belarus: protests against elections results; Russia: protests in support of Alexei Navalny; Kyrgyzstan: civil unrest surrounding presidential elections, etc.);
  • Gender as a target: violent attacks on female media workers (ex. Tajikistan, Northern Caucasus, and Afghanistan);
  • Murders of investigative journalists looking into cases of local corruption, misuse of public funds and activities of organised crime (ex. Julio Valdivia Rodriquez and Victor Fernando Alvarez Chavez in Mexico;  Rakesh “Nirbhik” Singh and Isravel Moses cases in India);
  • Hiding behind the masks: police brutality against journalists during the BLM protests, anti-lockdown demonstrations, and other civil unrest in the USA and Europe.

(2) An investigation into the following issues involving violent crimes against journalists:

  • Violent crimes against journalists covering migration;
  • Abduction, kidnapping, prosecution and harassment campaigns against independent journalists and bloggers;
  • ‘Heavy hand’ of the security services: assassinations, beatings, arrests, harassment of media workers, including those in exile;
  • Neglected and forgotten: unsolved murders of journalists in South Sudan, Philippines, Somalia, Syria and Iraq;
  • Who is behind the deadly attacks on environmental journalists? (ex. South America and Africa).

(3) An investigation into crimes against journalists in the following categories:

  • How to get away with murder: impunity for the death of journalists in the twenty-first century (ex. Turkey lack of investigation or state policy);
  • SLAPPed and scared in Africa and Asia: journalists vis-a-vis corporations;
  • Online harassment turned into the offline attacks – virtual threats or real danger to journalists (ex. deanon, doxxing, online harassment, deepfakes, etc.). 

Grant applicants should provide a detailed budget for their investigative project along with a 500-words long project description to demonstrate that their proposal is solid. The project proposal should highlight what is new and significant about the story and what its potential impact might be. The proposal should contain an outline of the reporting plan and a timeline for completing the project, as well as a description of stories to be published or broadcast as the outcome. Any potential interest in the project registered on behalf of media outlets should also be specified. 
The Foundation’s Advisory and Expert Boards will examine applications between 15 March and 15 April, and announce their decision by the end of April 2021.

In 2019-2020, JFJ supported 24 applications for journalistic investigations into violent crimes against media workers. Total grant amount distributed was over USD 700’000 for investigation of crimes committed in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Brazil, Central African Republic, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, UK and Vietnam.

All questions regarding the grant programme should be forwarded to

Photo: Arseny Vesnin, journalist of Echo of Moscowin St. Petersburg