Applications open for SIRI sponsorship and grants

Are you a journalist or media house with a story to tell that will have a social impact?

Women In News (WIN) has launched a new round of its Social Impact Reporting Initiative (SIRI) which provides small cash sponsorship for reporting assignments for individual journalists that focus on social impact and activities-based grants for media organisations and industry associations.

The SIRI reporting sponsorship of up to EUR 2,000 is open to individual women journalists currently enrolled in a Women in News (WIN) Africa program, or alumni, in the countries of Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, subject to certain eligibility criteria. You may apply as an individual if:

  • You are not currently receiving a salary from a media organisation
  • You have been made to take unpaid leave for an extended period
  • You have been made to take a salary cut of 50% or more for an extended period
  • You are a correspondent who has seen a work contract cancelled or reduced due to COVID-19.

One is eligible for a SIRI assignment once every 12 months. The deadline for applications is 31 March, 2021

Assignments should reflect social, economic, political or health-related issues through a gendered-lens. General interest stories with an emphasis on segments of the population that are considered vulnerable or under-represented are also encouraged. This may be defined by gender, age, geography, racial or sexual identity, as well as economic status. Click here for more on Sida’s multi-dimensional view of poverty. Public interest and investigative stories are also accepted. 

For more on the eligibility criteria, reporting themes and deadlines go here.

Media houses and media related organisations apply for organisation grants of up to EUR 8,000 to support their efforts to bring timely and accurate information to their audiences. The short term grants are open to those in print, digital or radio, and industry associations that are coordinating efforts on the ground on behalf of the media industry.

Priority will be given to any media organisation or media-related industry association that aims to deliver news and information to vulnerable or under-represented communities and the stories of vulnerable or under-represented communities to mainstream society. Community and local media organisations will also be given priority. 

What is SIRI?

SIRI was launched in 2020 to bring into the mainstream media news stories from marginalized communities. To date, more than 500 articles have been produced – many of them published in mainstream media. Articles focused on bringing the stories of marginalized or at-risk communities to mainstream media and bringing news and information to underserved communities.

The type of reporting was widespread. A project for Capital Radio Malawi “found people involved in cross border businesses risking their lives and of customers by disregarding preventive measures and avoiding screening processes at formal border posts.  They downplayed the impact of the pandemic on their lives, arguing they would die of starvation if they stopped.” said SIRI beneficiary Wezi Nyirongo.

For some, the initiative enabled them to increase relevance and connection with their communities. Astrida Uwera, a publisher of Agasaro Magazine from Rwanda said “the SIRI grant enabled us to show our potential and has opened doors for Agasaro magazine to more and bigger opportunities than the ones we had before COVID 19. We were able to produce a lot of content and we are increasing our visibility which is a big milestone”

For Sub-Saharan operators in countries identified above, there are three opportunities to apply for funding between now and end-July 2021.

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