UNESCO will provide grants in the framework of the World Campaign for Media Freedom

UNESCO is donating a total of US $500,000 to nonprofit organizations, including media associations and/or journalists, with projects that improve legal protections for journalists, as well as those that support investigative journalism aimed at fighting impunity.

In this way, the First Call for Proposals is open to organizations with “innovative projects” that serve the objectives of the Global Media Defense Fund.

Civil society organizations, media associations, human rights organizations, rule of law initiatives, investigative journalism networks and academic institutions can participate in this call that will be open until May 10.

“The launch of the Global Media Defense Fund constitutes yet another initiative in UNESCO's work to encourage and promote freedom of expression and the safety of journalists around the world,” Guilherme Canela, head of the section for Freedom of Expression and Security of Journalists at UNESCO, told the Knight Center. “We hope that a large number of organizations around the world will be encouraged to share their projects with us and decide to become part of this great effort to contribute to the objectives of this Fund at the local level.”

Participating entities must submit their proposal in English or French, and must request between a minimum of US $15,000 and a maximum of US $60,000.

The grants will be assigned by UNESCO in its capacity as administrator of the Global Media Defense Fund, according to Canela. This was created under the initiative of the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada within the framework of the Global Campaign for Media Freedom.

The fund seeks to enhance “media protection and improve the access of journalists to specialized legal assistance,” according to the organization release. In addition to strengthening the legal defense mechanisms for journalists, the fund also helps investigative journalism that seeks to combat impunity in crimes committed against press workers.

Over the years, it has received support from the Czech Republic, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Along with other UNESCO actions, the fund aims to implement the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

For more information on the call, including the application form, click here.