Applying for Journalism Grants: most common mistakes that we made

“Nothing is for free, if you want to win 50,000 dollars, you have to do it, do it properly” says Wilfried Rutten, director of European Journalism Centre.

The presentation was given by Wilfried Ruttten, it started with the topic“ Assessing Funding Opportunities, Basic premises to contend with”. Basically, in order to win the grants, applicants shouldn’t be rush, they should learn how to communicate with colleagues, how to read the introduction and analyze its content. For instance, understand what the funders need, who gives money, and what do they want would be a very necessary step.

The first most common mistake: Concept Phase.

At the beginning of application, not reading and understanding the terms and conditions would be the obstacle. And being off-topic is another main problem. For those applicants who failed in the session would probably because the reason “not being specific enough”, which means they didn’t even figure out what the funders were offering, just apply for the grants casually.

The second most common mistake: Approach.

In this part, applicants should be aware of the “Assuming Entitlement”. Which means they should be aware of the risks. Don’t think that you are a scientific journalist and you will win the grants in this field for sure. Most importantly, suggest that you are “grant-eating”, please do not apply the grants only for money. Then applicants should also be aware of “not explaining themselves properly”, and especially do not ask for it desperately.   In this part, Wilfried Rutten also mentioned that when the applicants write their application, try to avoid some words like” I hope” and “I will”. Instead, they should write something like” I know what i want, i can deliver it.”

The third most common mistake: Practical.

There are two components in this part:“Misunderstanding donor lingo and forms” and “Submitting a budget that lacks credibility and/or reason” Basically, applicants should understand what the donors want, integrate the language and try to avoid lavishing praise on himself too much. Applicants should also pay attention to the deadline, it is better that everything set well one day before deadline, because you will never know what would happen, like computer problems, internet problems and so on.

There is a large competition in applying the grants, it’s a very competitive society, don’t take it for granted, be humble. At the same time, even if you failed for the first time, don’t be disappointed and try it again. Don’t be afraid of asking for help, try to get connections with the previous winners, ask them what they did, what made them successful, and what were the tricks and tips.

For those who want to get more information:

Lai Jeji