DEADLINE: Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE) Services and Grants

Event Date: 
May 15, 2021

FIRE (Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors), formerly Project Word, is a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE). The FIRE program, which launched in 2016, provides two basic services to unaffiliated reporters:

  1. The Editorial Consultancy provides up to an hour of help, on a one-time basis. This can consist of basic editorial feedback, funding tips, and referrals for independent reporters, including those new to freelancing or whose project may be in development or preliminary stages.
  2. The Virtual Newsroom provides in-depth services to freelancers that newsrooms traditionally make available to their staff. This can include research assistance, legal review, professional trainings, and access to experienced freelance editors. In some cases it includes stipends.

FIRE currently has applications open for Virtual Newsroom services and grants of up to $12,500 to assist freelance reporters working on investigative stories. To apply, reporters should visit the program's Guidelines page. Rolling deadline.

New grants in early 2021 to FIRE have enabled the organization to:

  • expand our pilot project, extend today’s deadline for FIRE’s contract-related legal services, and accept applications indefinitely by rolling deadlines, effective today
  • award five Virtual Newsroom grants, up to $12,500 each, to eligible reporters accepted for the legal services by June 1, 2021
  • reactivate the legal-services survey, which has proved invaluable in designing the service. Any reporters may take the 5-7-minute survey

The legal service is anonymous and confidential. Eligible reporters don’t need a contract in hand. For an investigation, you may apply for FIRE's legal assistance, reporting assistance—or both services. You may also receive support from another journalism organization.

You may apply at any time. But to qualify for the June 1 selection deadline and the $12,500 story grants, we advise you to submit an inquiry no later than May 15 for the contract-related legal assistance. We do our best to communicate decisions within two weeks.

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