1. What is the International Press Institute (IPI)?

The International Press Institute is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists. We are dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the protection of freedom of opinion and expression, the promotion of the free flow of news and information and the improvement of the practice of journalism. IPI, the world’s oldest global press freedom organisation, is based in Vienna, Austria. 

2. How many categories does the IPI News Innovation Contest have?

In addition to the must-haves (digital and news information created by journalists or for journalists), there are two categories: 

3. What kind of projects will receive funding?

Our goal is to support projects that impact how digital news is consumed and facilitate the democratic process. We will consider both currently-running projects and startup projects.

You are eligible to win if your idea:

  1. Involves Digital media.
  2. News Information created by journalists
  3. Falls into one of these categories: New Platforms; Training.
  4. Is supported by a strong sustainability plan.

4. What must my application include if I want to apply under the Training category?

Timeline; objectives; well-explained topics; target group; candidate selection process; short description of trainers; locations (where the training is going to be held); costs.

5. How does the application process work?

We have developed a five-step process, making it easy and efficient for you. The only place you can apply is here on the IPI News Innovation Contest site. No applications are accepted by mail, email, fax or any other means. Simply fill in the online form here.

Here are the five steps:

  1. Fill in your contact details.
  2. Select the program type you are applying for, where you plan to implement the program, the estimated duration of the project and some background information on your organization.
  3. The purpose of this section is to get a general overview of this project. Fill out a simple form that tells us the essence of your idea – project purpose and description and expected outcome. We also would like to understand in detail what you consider innovative, as well as who will benefit and how. Please include a risk assessment in this section.
  4. Here we would like to understand the budget requirements in detail, other sources of funding and any partnerships that may exist related to the project.
  5. The last step allows you to upload supporting documents (budget description; detailed budget and project timeline; other documents you believe we should be aware of in support of the project).

To download a sample application form click here.

6. Are there geographical limitations?

Yes and no. While we accept applications from around the world, the online project must be implemented in Europe, Africa or the Middle East.

We strongly encourage applicants from Africa and the Middle East.

7. Which languages will be considered?

The application form must be filled out in English but the project can be executed in any language of the focus regions

8. What part of the budget will be funded?

IPI will fund all or a portion of the requirements for implementation of the proposed project, but not overhead costs like office rent or office furniture. Other overhead costs like special equipment acquisition will be considered if they are not higher than 10%-15% of the total budget. Salaries for trainers, project coordinators, outsourcers, developers or any other form of human capital are not considered overhead costs. Each proposal will be evaluated independently in this respect.

9. How does the selection process work?

The submission deadline is 23 February, 15:00 CET.

After 23 February, we will select a group of finalists and then our international Advisory Board will evaluate each proposal. Winners will be announced in early April.

10. Who reviews my application?

The IPI Grant Manager reviews each application first, recommends a group of finalists and then shares this with the Advisory Board and IPI managerial staff.

11. Who can enter the competition?

Any organisation or individual with a forward-looking idea and aiming to drive journalism excellence and innovation for either journalists themselves or the community.

12. What is the deadline for entry?

The deadline for entry is 23 February 2012, 15:00 CET.

13. How will I be notified and how?

Finalists will be contacted by the IPI Grant Manager via email. We highly recommend following us on Facebook and Twitter for constant updates.

14. Is there a limit on funding for an individual project?

There is no minimum request amount. We recommend candidates consider a maximum amount of $600,000 USD for extremely strong projects. Every proposal will be reviewed carefully in this respect. The submitted budget should be as realistic as possible or the project may be disqualified immediately.

15. When will I receive the funds and when should I plan implementation?

The awards will be paid out from May 2012 to October 2012. We will work out a special payment/supervision/reports/deliverables schedule with each winner.

The winner must be able to initiate execution of the project immediately.

Projects must be executed and concluded before November 2012 (6 months)

16. Why was my project not a finalist?

There may be several reasons why we decided not to include your project in the shortlist. Please be assured that each application was reviewed carefully to see how it fits with our objectives. Possible reasons for failure to make it to the shortlist could include:

  • Your proposal included overhead costs that were too high.
  • Your proposal pertained to the development of an already-existing website or news portal.
  • Your proposal included activities that fall outside our regions of interest.
  • Your proposal was not supported by a strong sustainability structure or was overly optimistic.
  • Your proposal built on ideas not related to professional journalism.
  • Your proposal lacked crucial information or was incomplete.
  • The requested amount was more than $600,000 USD.
  • Your budget was overstretched.
  • Your project was similar to - or the same as - others outside or inside your region.
  • Your proposal sought funds primarily to operate an organisation, as opposed to the project itself.