Last month, Grist and the Center for Rural Strategies launched the Rural Newswire, a website to support the rural U.S. news ecosystem. As part of this effort, both organizations will award $100,000 in reporting grants for stories that focus on and serve rural communities in the United States.

Interested newsrooms and freelancers may apply using this form until June 9, 2023. 

Applicants can request up to $5,000 per project for freelancers and up to $10,000 per project for newsrooms. Decisions will be sent by July 1, 2023, and reporting must be completed by December 31, 2023.

See the FAQ below. If you have additional questions, please reach out to Rachel Glickhouse, Grist’s partnerships manager

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of stories are you looking for?

Stories must focus on rural communities in the United States, but can be about any topic.

What kind of newsrooms are eligible?

National, regional, local, and hyperlocal newsrooms are all welcome to apply. Non-English language newsrooms are welcome to apply as long as stories will also be published in English.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Can freelancers apply?

Freelancers are welcome to apply. They must either have a commitment from a newsroom to publish their story, or the story will be considered for publication in the Daily Yonder.

Can more than one newsroom apply for a single grant?

Yes, two or more newsrooms are welcome to apply together on a single project as a collaborative effort.

What kind of story format or medium are you looking for?

Newsrooms can publish stories in any format — including in print newspapers and over broadcast radio or television — as long as the story is published somewhere (with associated headline, short description, and author byline) and any multimedia content (such as audio or video) is able to be embedded and shared online.

Can newsrooms apply for multiple grants?

Applicants may apply multiple times if they have more than one project idea, but each person/newsroom is eligible for only one grant.

How much funding can I request?

Individual applicants can request up to $5,000 per project. Organizational applicants can request up to $10,000 per project.

What is the application deadline?

The deadline to apply is June 9, 2023, and decisions will be sent by July 1.

Is there a reporting deadline?

Yes, stories must be finished and published (in print, broadcast, or online) by December 31, 2023.

Are there other grant reporting requirements?

Grant recipients must agree to have their story included on the Rural News Wire and made available for other news organizations to republish. 

Beyond that, staff at Grist or the Center for Rural Strategies may request occasional check in meetings to track progress on projects. Grant recipients may also be asked to fill out a short evaluation form at the conclusion of their project to provide feedback on the grant program. 

How do you define “rural” reporting?

Various government agencies use different definitions for rural, and none of them are perfect or clear cut. In its rural data reporting, the Daily Yonder uses the federal Office of Management and Budget’s definition for “nonmetropolitan” — counties where no city is larger than 50,000 residents or where a county that is smaller than that does not have strong economic ties to an adjoining metropolitan county — as a starting point for identifying rural regions. To see how your area fits into this definition, you can reference the Daily Yonder’s map of counties by metropolitan and nonmetropolitan status. It’s OK if your project doesn’t strictly meet this definition or uses a different one, but be prepared to articulate how you define the rural identity or status of the area and communities you are covering.

Grist is a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future.

The Center for Rural Strategies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving economic and social conditions in the countryside through creative and innovative use of media and communications. The center is the publisher of the Daily Yonder, a leading national news  platform for news and information about rural people, places, and issues.