Hurry! Applications for the 1st round of NFI Fellowships for Independent Journalists are now open till December 15th, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have multiple impacts on our lives. Existing challenges have been exacerbated and new ones have emerged. Across the country, individuals, communities, businesses and governments are responding differently. Covid has claimed many casualties. Good reportage need not be one of them.
The pandemic and the consequent economic slowdown have also taken its toll on good journalism. At this moment, we need good journalism to be stronger than ever before. Journalists need support to report deeply on stories that matter.
To support credible and independent journalism, the National Foundation for India has launched the media fellowship programme for independent journalists. Under the programme, several grants will be made to independent journalists on a rolling-basis every quarter, beginning November 2020.
The inaugural round is in English. The subsequent rounds would be open to Indian languages as well.
This program provides journalists with both financial and editorial support throughout the grant-period cycles.
Each grantee will be given INR 30,000 to publish one story on a broad range of themes and issues of public interest, reported in depth over one month.
If required, NFI will provide editorial support to guide and help the grantee to report better.
NFI will aid the grantee in publishing the stories with different media organisations.
The window for applications will open every three months. NFI will announce the opening of the applications window on its website and on its social media handles.
Each round of fellowship will have detailed criteria on eligibility and the kind of stories we hope to support. Please read the criteria and the pitch guide for the specific round before you apply.
An NFI-appointed jury will select the grantees. Early submissions will be given additional weightage during the selection process. Fellowship grants will be announced within 15 days of the application window closing.
Applications are now open till December 15, 2020.
* Who can apply?
Journalists who meet the following two criteria:
1. Independent journalist not engaged on a full-time basis with any media organisation.
2. Journalists residing outside the six metropolitan cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkota, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
* What kind of stories can you pitch for the grant?
In the current round, we invite applications for stories to be published in print and digital formats in English.
The story is reported deeply, evidence-based and well-investigated. The story could be a news-break, an analysis or a feature. It could be specific to the region or geography you report. We want to support stories that do not stop at merely reporting an incident or an event but draw these out in the context of larger trends in governance, society and the political economy.
The story could be on one of these themes or on the intersection of these themes. This is an indicative list and not an exhaustive one.
1. How governments, businesses, people, communities and societies are responding to contemporary challenges in India.
* Time to report
You are expected to complete and submit the story within one month (30 days) from the receipt of the grant.
* Expected story length
1,000-2,000 words. Long-form.
* Before you send your pitch to us
1. Make sure you pitch us more than a raw idea.
* How to pitch for the fellowship
1. Your story idea in less than 400 words. (Optional: you may add a note of less than 150 words to this on how your proposed story brings new information, or understanding on an issue of public interest.)
To strengthen your pitch, please consider the following elements in your proposal:
1. The most recent development, event, incident or an emerging trend you want to report on.
* If you have read the above, please click https://www.nfi.org.in/fellowships-webform to fill the details of the application.
The NFI Media Fellowships Advisers are Dhanya Rajendran, Krishna Prasad, Kumar Sambhav, P Sainath, Sanjay (Xonzoi) Barbora and Seema Chishti.
For more information, please visit: https://www.nfi.org.in/fellowships
Image Courtesy: National Foundation for India website