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Supporting Free and Independent Media Globally

Organisation: Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labor

Status: Closed

  • Grant

Funding Size: $1,000,000

Deadline: 10/05/2023

  • Eligibility Criteria:
    DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernmental organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses.
  • Type of funding: Grant
  • Target countries: Worldwide
  • Application language: English

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for a project that will support civil society and independent media to advocate and hold governments accountable by promoting and strengthening the ability of individuals to exercise their fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly free from harassment, intimidation, and physical harm.

The program should promote and protect open and resilient information ecosystems by:

  • promoting the long-term adaptive capacities and sustainability of independent journalists, including freelancers, and media outlets, and
  • bolstering the resilience of journalists and independent media outlets to legal and regulatory challenges. The awarded project will serve as one component of a larger DRL initiative to protect independent journalism globally.

DRL will award an overarching cooperative agreement to a consortium of at least three NGOs with both global reach (“Consortium”) and expertise to address multiple components of an enabling media environment, including supporting exiled journalists, freelancers, and media outlets; responding to legal and regulatory challenges; and mitigating online and offline risks facing journalists and independent media outlets in a variety of contexts.

Project activities should address the objectives above for journalists and media outlets operating in a range of environments, including in rapidly closing contexts; contexts in which growing pressure forces journalists to flee and where journalists are operating in exile or in migratory host countries; and in countries viewed as regional leaders whose actions have influence beyond their borders, and which may be a welcoming environment for exiled journalists.

Illustrative activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Improve the adaptiveness and operational sustainability of independent journalists and media, including those operating in exile and those who are members of marginalized communities;
  • Provide legal and psychosocial support services to journalists under threat;
  • Enhance the ability of media organizations to manage response to and withstand repressive laws and regulations;
  • Strengthen risk mitigation and management strategies of independent journalists and media outlets operating in exile;
  • Provide independent journalists, in all their diversity, the skills and resources needed to reduce their vulnerability to, improve their responsiveness to, and mitigate the potential impact of threats and attacks, online and offline;
  • Foster connections and exchanges, particularly among exiled independent journalists and media practitioners– including through peer training and mentorship – to strengthen coordination and knowledge sharing, including for media operating in third countries.

See here to learn more and apply.

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