VENEZUELA AFFAIRS UNIT
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
Notice of Funding Opportunity on Access to Information
Funding Opportunity Title: Media Training & Development (MT&D)
Small Grants Program
Program Deadline for Applications: 06/03/2021
CFDA Number: 19.040 – Public Diplomacy Programs
Minimum for Each Award: $10,000
Maximum for Each Award: $100,000
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Venezuela Affairs Unit (VAU) Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce an open competition for applicants to submit proposals to carry out grant projects as part of our Media Training & Development (MT&D) and Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program. Please carefully follow all instructions outlined below in this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
Purpose of Grant: Every means of access to information for Venezuelans has been in decline since 2018. Current efforts by bad actors that employ intimidation and violence to stifle independent media voices, along with a highly active disinformation machine, has resulted in a “media information desert” of more than five million Venezuelans with limited options to access accurate information.
VAU PAS invites proposals to fund projects that will infiltrate that desert with access to accurate information — projects that support the strengthening of the Venezuelan independent press, use accessible technologies to ensure the free flow of non-biased information, and execute on innovative ways to inform, and keep informed, Venezuelan citizens while maintaining their security under an oppressive environment.
Grant projects take any number of forms, including leveraging technological innovations, analog information campaigns, workshops, courses, trainings, public debates, guerilla media, virtual camps, conferences, creative public interventions, think tanks, online projects, or other activities.
For example, a successful project could implement an encrypted and safe new way to create a network and distribute accurate information to journalists and influencers. Another project could identify, train, and provide mobile equipment for citizen journalists to effectively report on what is happening in their communities while maintaining their safety and security. Yet another project could create a mentorship program for the newest generation of journalists that lack the guidance of veterans forced out of Venezuela. A final example could be a project connecting experts with student journalists who will soon have to tackle the problems of Venezuela today.
The best proposals will have significant activities focused on reaching audiences inside Venezuela with news and independently-vetted information, but that does not preclude applicants from considering putting together regionally-focused proposals that include participants or partners from neighboring nations.
Note: In light of social distancing measures, and to limit the spread of COVID-19, we welcome creative proposals that navigate the health and security concerns.
Program Themes: VAU is seeking applications that focus on the following themes:
- REACHING AUDIENCES WHERE THEY ARE: Be that on digital or traditional media, in a gas station queue, on tshirts or television, or via graffiti on a wall, projects should recognize where audiences are and how they might be able – at no cost to them- to consume and distribute information, then propose ways to effectively message in that space.
- JOURNALISM TRAINING & EDUCATION: Projects might aim to: increase the professional skills of professional journalists; strengthen the investigative journalism skills of media professionals; train journalists on new techniques and approaches to make the transition to digital journalism; strengthen university programs for journalism students; organize virtual summer camps for aspiring young journalists; teach individuals how to become citizen journalists; offer mentorship programs for the newest generation; and/or promote regional collaboration among professional journalists and journalism students.
- MANAGING NEWS OUTLETS AND FINANCING: Projects might aim to: strengthen the ability of owners and managers to operate their independent news outlets and deal with the challenges they face in the 21st century media space. A component could include ways to monetize or create revenue at a time when Venezuela is in economic crisis.
- EXPANDING PUBLIC DEBATE: Projects might aim to: increase and deepen reporting on community issues and public policy questions at the local, regional, or national levels; increase reporting, including production of content, on role of U.S. assistance to Venezuela and importance of expanded economic, political, and cultural ties between Venezuela and its neighbors; and/or support reporting projects that examine the evolution of bilateral ties between the U.S. and Venezuela.
- COUNTERING DISINFORMATION: Projects might aim to: educate students, journalists, and other media consumers how to recognize, respond to, and combat disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda in the news and on the internet
- MEDIA FREEDOM / ROLE OF THE FREE PRESS IN A DEMOCRACY: Projects might aim to: build up understanding within Venezuelan society of the importance of freedom of the press, a prerequisite for a future free and democratic Venezuela, a key value shared by Venezuela and the United States.
To download the complete document and learn more click here 2021.04.27 VAU A2I NOFO
For more information, please contact: email@example.com
Project Forms to Download for Application Submission as Referenced Inside the NOFO