Some common questions about contributing to EHRP.
What is the Economic Hardship Reporting Project?
EHRP is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that produces compelling journalism to raise awareness about income inequality and economic unfairness in America. We help conceptualize articles, films and other kinds of reporting, edit early drafts and, if necessary, place the stories in media outlets. Many of our contributors are low-income journalists.
What kinds of stories do you support?
We commission op-eds, personal essays, investigative reports, rich narrative features, podcasts, nonfiction cartoons, photo essays and documentaries. In other words, we are genre-agnostic.
Do you offer grants to respond to the COVID-19 crisis?
Yes. We are offering assignments to independent journalists for stories on the intersection of the coronavirus and financial suffering in America, with an emphasis on writers and photographers who are themselves experiencing significant economic hardship caused by the pandemic. We generally pay reporters roughly a dollar a word or a $300-$500 day-rate for photojournalists. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and are subject to approval and available funds. To apply for this grant, please send us a brief note of less than 350 words in English or Spanish, explaining your financial situation.
Do you offer financial relief for economic hardship resulting from a loss of work due to COVID-19?
Yes. We are offering a limited number of emergency hardship grants between $500-$1500 to professional journalists based in the United States. To apply, please send us a brief note of less than 350 words in English or Spanish, explaining your financial situation. Mention whether you can afford your rent or your mortgage, whether you have health insurance, whether you have savings to subsist on for four months, and whether you currently face food insecurity. We will prioritize total unemployment over underemployment, single parents and one-income families with young children. Applicants with acute medical needs are prioritized. Applicants with significant savings will be turned down.
EHRP’s Emergency Relief Fund will respond to applicants in dire straits on a first-come first-serve basis until funds are depleted; however, we likely won’t be able to meet every request and appreciate your patience. For specific questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
How much are typical grants?
Grants generally range from $500 for an op-ed to $10,000 for a documentary. We usually pay upon publication but will give advances to low-income reporters.
Do you pay travel expenses?
Often. But please keep receipts.
Do you commission stories about places outside the U.S.?
We focus on this country, but we will consider an international story that also examines inequality in America. For instance, we underwrote a short film about how Immigration and Customs Enforcement broke up one immigrant family from El Salvador.
Can publications apply for grants?
No. Our mission is to support independent journalists.
Can teams apply?
Another nonprofit has already given me a grant. Can I still apply to EHRP?
Yes. We believe in collaboration and partnerships.
Do I need an assignment to get a grant?
We prefer grant applicants to provide us with a letter of commitment from a large media outlet. If that proves difficult, we can potentially help find a co-publisher. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and The Guardian, as well as many other media outlets, have co-published stories by EHRP contributors.
Explain your policy on crediting EHRP.
Nonprofit journalism organizations deserve credit for their support. We ask that our grantees place stories in publications that provide such recognition. A typical credit line reads “This article is supported by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.” Acknowledgement of our effort and support serves as our nonprofit’s lifeblood; we rely on credit lines for fundraising and raising awareness about our mission.
Is there anything else that grantees should be aware of?
We will expect you to support EHRP by
(1) suggesting other journalists we might want to enlist;
(2) helping us promote your published work through radio and other interviews; and
(3) including EHRP in your official bio.
We have more questions. Can we call EHRP’s editors?
We prefer to answer questions by email, but if you’d like to chat please send us your phone number so that we can contact you.
Submit a well-researched but brief pitch of less than 500 words. Include your CV and a proposed budget. But first, please visit EconomicHardship.org to find out what kinds of stories we fund. We tend to award grants to experienced journalists, though we are open to submissions from emerging talents. Photographers should send us low-resolution images (72 dpi) along with a pitch or a query letter attached. All images should include captions in the metadata or an attached caption document. Let us know if other news outlets have covered your story and how your piece will be different.