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Special Call: Funding for media defence centres in sub-Saharan Africa

Special Call: Funding for media defence centres in sub-Saharan Africa

We are offering four grants to support the delivery of media defence centres in sub-Saharan Africa

Background

Media Defence is a charity, based in London, which provides legal help to journalists, citizen journalists and independent media across the world. Our vision is a world where journalists no longer face legal challenges that threaten their ability to report freely and independently on issues of public interest, allowing citizens to be better informed, able to hold those in power to account. Our mission is to ensure legal protection of journalists and media workers under threat for reporting on issues of public interest, in the belief that freedom of expression is essential.

As part of our work to help build a strong global legal defence network for independent media, we provide financial assistance to organisations that have or wish to establish legal aid units or media defence centres. Currently, we can only fund a small number of organisations. Our aim is to expand this network and achieve better local-level access to legal assistance for independent media outlets, journalists and bloggers who lack the financial means to access legal support at commercial rates. Given its conditions for media freedom, we are prioritising funding media defence centres in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Summary

We would like to partner with four NGOs or law centres. The partnership would be for the provision of quality legal support for media outlets, journalists and bloggers facing legal threats because of their reporting in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Organisations interested in applying must either have, or wish to establish, a media defence centre to provide free, high quality legal support in that field.

Objectives

We are offering four grants of up to USD 23,000 (for up to 18 months) to organisations with backgrounds in defending and supporting the right to freedom of expression. The grants can be used to set up a media legal defence centre to provide pro bono legal support to (citizen) journalists and independent media. Equally, they can be used to coordinate networks of lawyers to do the same. The grant funds cannot be applied for strategic litigation.

We are available to provide legal mentoring, capacity building, and other forms of non-financial organisational support.

Eligibility[1]

To be considered, organisations must meet the following criteria:

  • The grant is open to NGOs and law centres registered in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • The organisation must have a background or demonstrable interest in litigation and/or provision of legal support;
  • The organisation should have previous experience in the advancement and protection of freedom of expression in the country or region where it operates; and
  • The organisation must have sufficient administrative and financial capacity to comply with Media Defence’s reporting requirements.

How to apply

Interested organisations are encouraged to complete the concept note form below and send it to the email Emmanuel.vargas@mediadefence.org.

The deadline to send the concept note is Tuesday 14 December 2021, 23h59 (GMT).

National Media Defence – Concept Note

Timeline

Shortlisted organisations will receive notification that their grant/application will be considered for approval by our board in March 2022. The grant will start in spring 2022.

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Emmanuel Vargas Penagos, Legal and Grants Officer at emmanuel.vargas@mediadefence.org.

 

To find out more about our funded partners, click here.

[1] This project is donor-funded. All activities are contingent on a continuation of funding as expected.

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