Media Freedom Matters: Call for Applications

Application Deadline and Instructions:  Applications must be received by Freedom House by 23:59 EST on January 17, 2022.  All grant applications must be submitted electronically to with “Moldova Media Advocacy Initiatives” in the subject line.


Freedom House invites applications for funding and support from local, registered non-governmental organizations and coalitions based in the Republic of Moldova, the Eastern Partnership Region, and the European Union that seek to enhances citizens’ ability to counter the spread of malign influences through disinformation in the Republic of Moldova. Disinformation – which is distinct from misinformation and fake news – is used to deliberately spread false information to influence public opinion, obscure the truth and divide society. Through advocacy, education, awareness-raising and/or training initiatives, proposed projects will aim to promote constructive dialogue on polarizing issues and foster trust and resilience among key stakeholders, including government authorities, civil society and journalists.  

The “Media Freedom Matters” grants program will serve the following objectives:

  1. To provide financial support to longer-term advocacy initiatives, public campaigns, and other activities that seek to build resilience to disinformation among civil society, authorities, marginalized communities, media, and citizens in the Republic of Moldova;
  2. To provide essential technical support, assistance, and tools to new initiatives or campaigns in order to leverage their impact to strengthen public trust in independent Moldovan media and fact-based journalism in the age of disinformation;
  3. To support independent media’s efforts, including reporting, rights-focused advocacy campaigns and analysis to make citizens better-informed and resistant to malign influences.

Freedom House will select up to two (2) advocacy initiatives for up to $10,000 in funding each. Applications will be considered in the following thematic areas:

  • Increase the resiliency of society and those in the media space to disinformation;
  • Explore how to balance free speech and media freedoms in the age of disinformation;
  • Consider how digital tools can be used to expose and counter disinformation;
  • Promote fact-based journalism, constructive opinion exchange, and trust-building efforts among citizens and the media;
  • Leverage and expand relationships among civil society organizations, national and local officials, independent media, and other key stakeholders from a diverse array of backgrounds;
  • Bolster citizens’ media literacy to make them less vulnerable to malign influences and disinformation;
  • Protect citizens’ right to access information.

Initiatives aimed at strengthening the role of media in advancing accountability for corruption, human rights abuses, or other violations that are focused on using, developing, or supporting domestic approaches and processes are encouraged.

Priority will be given to organizations and initiatives that see themselves as media freedom or support organizations, or agents of transparency, accountability, and democratic development. In addition, priority will be given to those initiatives addressing the spread of malign influences through disinformation at local- or regional-level.

Selected initiatives will receive a maximum of 10 months of financial assistance. Freedom House will support public campaigning, advocacy, and other outreach initiatives that will raise greater public awareness and hold the government and other relevant actors accountable to take concrete steps towards combating the spread of disinformation and improving respect for press freedom and freedom of expression in the Republic of Moldova.

Applicants have broad latitude to design projects under this call, but applications will also be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Clear vision – does the applicant clearly articulate an advocacy or outreach goal, target groups, and the tools for their initiative?
  • Innovativeness – does the applicant propose innovative approaches, including through the use of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, to distribute its content, engage the public, raise awareness, or advocate for greater respect for freedom of expression and press freedom in the Republic of Moldova?
  • Partnerships and engagement – does the applicant plan to develop strategic partnerships with the media, civil society organizations, the human rights community, or government agencies?
  • Audience and reach – does the applicant have a regional or local focus, as well as a clear idea of its current and/or desired audience and how to engage and serve the needs of that audience?
  • Non-discrimination and human rights – does the applicant take into account how nationality, ethnicity, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical/mental abilities and other distinguishing human characteristics are portrayed in the media and articulate strategies for supporting non-discrimination and inclusiveness? Does the project reach marginalized communities or populations? Does their project demonstrate a commitment to and emphasis on human rights?
  • Organizational development readiness – does the application clearly demonstrate the capacity to implement the proposed initiative?
  • Feasibility under COVID-19 restrictions – are activities feasible to implement under COVID-19 restrictions? Does the application describe contingency plans to alter activities as necessary to ensure the safety of project implementers and beneficiaries?

Priority will be given to Moldovan regional- and local-level initiatives and campaigns, especially those that focus on Russian-speaking communities within the Republic of Moldova. Applications to this announcement should demonstrate an understanding of main organizational and/or campaign needs and a desire to address them with the support of Freedom House.


Only non-commercial organizations, associations, initiatives, and foundations active in the Republic of Moldova, the European Union, or the Eastern Partnership are eligible for participation in this program. Individuals and government, quasi-government, or commercial agencies and bodies are not eligible for funding.


The selection decisions will be made by February 1, 2022. Freedom House intend to fund projects beginning in February 2021. Projects may cost up to $10,000. The distribution of funds will follow entry into an agreement with advocacy partners (if any) and Freedom House.


  • Applications will be accepted until the closing date noted above;
  • Applications must be submitted electronically in Romanian, Russian, or English using the application form provided;
  • Budgets AND budget notes must be submitted electronically in Romanian, Russian, or English using the provided templates;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Each application requires a complete application proposal form, budget and budgetary notes.

APPLICATION DOCUMENTS can be downloaded here:

Program information

This activity is part of the project, “Media Enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova” (MEDIA-M) funded by USAID and the British Embassy in Chisinau and implemented by Internews in Moldova and Freedom House, which aims to promote the development of an independent, professional media, and to create a media sector that is more resilient to political and financial pressures.

Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and others, Freedom House is the oldest non-profit, nongovernmental organization in the United States dedicated to promoting and defending democracy and freedom worldwide. Freedom House supports the global expansion of freedom through its advocacy activities, monitoring, and in-depth research on the state of freedom, and direct support of democratic reformers throughout the world.