Grants to Support Independent Media During Covid-19 Pandemic

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Issuance date: May 27, 2020

Closing date: June 8, 2020

Open to: Media outlets from the Republic of Moldova

Estimated number of subawards: 2

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) is currently accepting applications from qualified independent media organisations based in the Republic of Moldova within the Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes project.

Giving Voice, Driving Change – from the Borderland to the Steppes is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and aims to support democratic growth, good governance and human rights in and across the Caucasus, Moldova, Ukraine and Central Asia by strengthening the ability of independent media and civil society organisations in and across the countries.


The space for independent media in Moldova has been shrinking over the last decade. The crisis caused by the novel coronavirus has intensified trends that already existed before the pandemic.

The World Press Freedom Index compiled by the Reporters Without Borders (R.S.F.) shows that Moldova dropped in significantly - by 36 places to 91 out of 180 countries - since the index was launched in 2013.

According to the index, “Moldova’s media are diverse but extremely polarized … [and under the] excessive influence of its oligarchs. … the broadcasting regulatory authority’s lack of independence continues to be a source of concern”.

In addition, the Nations in Transit report stated that the ongoing lack of public access to information and quality media content had driven the country’s declining international rankings on press freedom and sustainability.

Independent media is under intense financial, physical and psychological pressure during the pandemic. With the declaration of the state of emergency, restrictive measures for individual population and businesses have been imposed in Moldova to try and limit the spread of the virus. 

Journalists have had to continue their work under tightened security conditions, while also facing a lack of transparency and restricted access to information of public interest.

Disinformation, safety risks and press freedom threats are mounting. The role of critical voices and independent media in informing the public and holding government to account has never been more important.

Programme Objective

In response to these challenges, IWPR aims to support and explore innovative ways of informing and connecting with audiences in Moldova and beyond.

The objective of this funding opportunity is to help independent media adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic, developing new content and distribution channels to ensure more financially viable operation and growth.

Specifically, IWPR will support project proposals that address at least one of the following areas:

  1. Content production and reach
    • Gender equality and women’s rights.
    • Innovative and creative ways of exposing disinformation and hybrid threats.
    • Public debates leading to policy change.
    • New programming to reach out to young people.
  2. Capacity building and sustainability
    • Media production team upgrade and training.
    • Business models that help develop financially sustainable media products and services.

Eligibility and Application Process

Subject to availability of funds, IWPR intends to provide up to 30,000 Euros in total funding for activities to be implemented no later than October 2020. IWPR reserves the right to fund any or none of the applications submitted.

Only media outlets based in the Republic of Moldova are eligible for this award.  Applicants shall provide the following information in their application:

  • Concept note of no more than two pages outlining the following aspects of the proposed project: objectives, activities, expected results, timeline.
  • Proposed project budget in Excel (download here).
  • CVs for project’s key personnel.

How to Apply

IWPR requires that applications be submitted electronically (e-mailed) to Ana Dabrundashvili at [email protected] no later than June 8, 2020. Questions can be directed to [email protected].

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