1. Introduction

KINIACADEMY is the training arm of the Malaysiakini group, providing courses in media studies, filmmaking and citizenship studies. Kiniacademy is the administrator of the Funds for Investigative Journalism Initiatives (FIJI).

Gerakan Media Merdeka (GERAMM) is a journalist group that advocates for a free and independent media.

Malaysia Reform Initiative (MARI) is a USAID/OTI program aiming at supporting Malaysians’ aspirations for a more democratic society.

The programme is designed to engage journalists, media organisations, civil society actors and other motivated parties on themes related to Malaysian reform by developing, implementing, and disbursing an investigative journalism fund. 

This is in recognition that it shall result in enhancing the capacity of journalists and media organisations to produce investigative journalism pieces, as evidenced by the publication of a number of quality, hard-hitting investigative journalism pieces by reputable, popular outlets. 

As part of the Funds for Investigative Journalism Initiatives (FIJI), small grants will be provided to allow journalists and freelancers to produce media outputs that fall under the identified areas of reform. Over the course of the project, FIJI will provide grants to media houses, individual journalists, or other motivated individuals to support the successful publication of their stories.

2. Objectives and eligibility

FIJI seeks applications for media projects that identify key reforms in selected areas. Topics covered are: 

  • Corruption (Including GLCs)
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Right to Information
  • Parliamentary Reform
  • Arbitrary Detention & Security Laws
  • Racial Politics
  • Electoral Reform

Grants may support the production of articles, radio stories, short films, photo essays or other media outputs, including those targeting audiences on social media. Both media houses and individual journalists are welcome to apply for media grants.

Outputs should target local audiences in Malaysia. Therefore, FIJI seeks applications for projects that will result in outputs in languages spoken in Malaysia.

3. Grant amounts and outputs

FIJI seeks applications for media projects with budgets up to RM10,000. Applications should clearly describe the number and format of media outputs that will be produced using funds from the grant. 

Applications should also include a legal/self-interest disclosure where applicable. 

Successful recipients will have until March 1 2021 to complete and submit their final outputs, to be edited by a selected panel of editors. All outputs must be published no later than March 31 2021.

Here is a Guide to Rates for use in the development of your budget:

  • Stipend 1 day RM100
  • (including research, phone interviews, writing etc)
  • Mileage RM0.50/km
  • Hotels up to RM150 per night
  • Airfares Budget Airlines only

4. Submission of expressions of interest

Interested individuals or organisations should submit an expression of interest to Geramm by Nov 20. Submissions of interest should be no longer than five pages and can be made in English or Bahasa Malaysia. 

Submissions of interest should include the following in a single PDF document no longer than five pages:

  1. Total number of outputs.
  2. Format of each output. (e.g. article, photo essay, documentary, etc.)
  3. Estimated length or duration of each output.
  4. Topical focus. (A description must be provided for each individual output or for the project as a whole.)
  5. A description of the platform or channels that will be used to publish the output. (e.g., specific websites, journals, social media, etc.)
  6. A description of how the output(s) will help promote reforms in the chosen area of interest as outlined in item 2 above.
  7. Line-item budget. The budget may include fees for the journalist(s) involved in the project. Please refer to the Guide to Rates section above in item 3.

Applicants should also include the CVs or biographies of all journalists that will contribute to the projects.

Applicants should submit proposals with the subject FIJI INITIATIVE GRANT to Alyaa Alhadjri, Geramm representative at geramm.media@gmail.com and FIJIgrants@gmail.com

Approved applicants will be working closely with FIJI editors throughout the development and production of the stories. There will be reporting requirements at regular milestones as set forth in the project plan.