Purpose & background
LINA seeks to strengthen public interest journalism in Australia and support local newsrooms to grow their capability for reporting. Journalism that is investigative, solutions-oriented, features court reporting and/or focuses on the machinery of government often requires a higher level of resourcing than other forms of journalism, including a larger investment of time for researching and verification. This grant opportunity draws on funds provided by the Commonwealth Government to help newsrooms pursue specific stories that are unlikely to be covered in other media.
Applicants must be current members of LINA, meaning you have met LINA’s Hallmarks of Membership and agreed to uphold our Editorial Standards or equivalent policy of your own.
Your application must describe a specific story, or series which could reasonably be described as:
- Solutions journalism: investigates and explains how people try to solve widely shared problems, ie responses to problems that are newsworthy.
- Public interest journalism: reporting that pursues information that the public has a right to know, ie holding power to account. “Generally understood to be things that promote and support the proper functioning of society, and things that enable individuals to properly exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens and members of society.” – Alan Sunderland, The Ten Rules of Reporting, Simon & Schuster, Australia, 2022, page 45
- Justice/Court reporting: journalism focused on events and actions within the justice system.
- Investigative journalism: deep reporting on a single topic of interest
- A collaborative reporting project involving two or more newsroom partners.
Content must be produced and published within 3 months (approx. 90 days) of funding being approved. A copy of the published work must be supplied to LINA upon completion of the project via email to email@example.com
How much can I apply for?
A total of $100,000 is available until funds are exhausted.
Applications can request a maximum of $2,000 with most requests expected to be in the $500-$750 range.
Publishers may apply to this fund multiple times, however LINA will endeavour to support as many members as possible with the funds available. Dependent on demand, LINA may decline applications in favour of members who have received less support through this program.
What can I pay for?
Funds can be used to cover costs incurred in covering the story described in your application, such as:
- Journalist or contributor fees specific to the project (may include freelancers);
- Procurement of reports or information relevant to the story (eg. Freedom of Information requests, access to academic reports);
- Small equipment required, including software licenses (eg. to add audiovisual elements to the content);
- Local or domestic travel requirements related to the story;
- Images and photography; and/or
- Other resources specific to the project.
Any equipment purchased with funding supplied through this grant program must remain property of the publisher applicant, not the individual reporter.
What can’t I use this money for?
This funding is intended to support bespoke, discrete content projects. Funds cannot be used for:
- General operational expenses (eg. bills, rent, services like accounting, office supplies);
- International travel;
- Other costs not directly related to the project described in your application.
How to apply
Pitch us your story idea! Complete the application form and include:
- Your general report concept;
- The format your report will take;
- Who is going to work with you to get it done;
- Your anticipated costs (using budget template); and
- Where you plan to publish it.
Once your application is submitted you can expect:
- Confirmation of receipt within 24 hours
- A response approving or declining your proposal within 14 days
- Payment of the grant funds within 14 days of receiving an invoice
- Provision of the published content produced to LINA within 3 months (approx. 90 days) from date of approval.
What if it doesn’t work out?
Sometimes you can spend money pursuing a story, only to find it’s too contentious to publish or problematic in other ways. LINA doesn’t want you to publish an unverified story. If it all falls apart for some reason, let us know so we can account for what happened along the way and how the money was spent; if available, you could share your project notes or an unpublished draft in progress so that we can accurately account for the use of funds. We ask that you return any funds you haven’t used within 90 days of approval. Be honest and we’ll be all good.