We are excited to announce that applications are now open for the AU$15 million Facebook Australian News Fund. Interested applicants may apply to the fund at the Walkley Foundation website from today.
The Facebook Australian News Fund will invest in public-interest journalism, and support small, regional and digital newsroom innovation and economic sustainability. The AU$15 million investment will be divided between two funds; the Newsroom Sustainability Fund and the Public Interest Journalism Fund over three years.
The Newsroom Sustainability Fund will allocate AU$2.5 million per year, in grants of up to AU$250,000 to fund newsroom products and revenue-related projects. Priority will be given to entrants that are based in a regional area, or serving local communities, or a digital-only publications.
The Public Interest Journalism Fund will also allocate AU$2.5 million per year, providing grants of up to AU$120,000, to invest in public interest journalism and encourage media diversity. It will support small, regional newsrooms and independent journalists, as well as newsrooms covering under-served communities.
Eligible Australian-based newsrooms and journalists can apply to either or both funds under the Facebook Australian News Fund. The Walkley Foundation will nominate an independent external judging committee to review applications against the funds’ eligibility criteria, which includes whether or not the project contributes to the news organisation’s long-term viability or provides a public benefit.
Applications for the two funds close on November 26, 2021. Winners will be announced before the end of March 2022.
Over the past two years, joint initiatives between the Walkley Foundation and Facebook have supported more than 30 Australian newsrooms through programs such as the reader revenue Accelerator, the AU$1 million COVID-19 relief fund and the most recent Accelerator alumni grants, awarded in August this year.
Publishers and journalists who have applied for the above funding programs in the past three years are still eligible to apply for the Newsroom Sustainability Fund and the Public Interest Journalism Fund. However, organisations that already have a content licensing agreement in place with Facebook are not eligible to apply for these funds.