Scattergood-WHYY reporting initiative call for proposals

The Scattergood Foundation and WHYY/NewsWorks are accepting proposals for multimedia reporting projects to foster greater public insight into how issues of behavioral health affect all aspects of community life.

Small grants (roughly from $500 to $2,500, depending on the scope of the project) will be awarded to enable journalists to produce such reports within no later than six months of the grant award.

The program is open both to independent journalists and ones employed by journalism outlets other than WHYY. Journalists at outlets that have formal partnerships with WHYY are eligible. WHYY full- and part-time staffers are not eligible, but journalists who do or have done work for WHYY on a freelance or independent contractor basis are eligible.

All work produced under this initiative will be presented on one or more of the information platforms of WHYY Inc., the public media service for the Philadelphia region, Delaware and South Jersey. It will also be published on the website of the Scattergood Foundation. Preference will be given to proposals that will also be presented in at least one other significant journalistic or academic outlet. Deadline for proposals in the first round is Sept. 30, 2012. Proposals should be emailed by then to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Proposals should spell out:

  • The topic: The goal is reporting that explores in depth, and with accuracy, detail and strong story-telling, how behavioral health issues come into play in diverse realms of daily life: workplace, family, health care, civic issues, education, politics, culture etc.
  • The media: The reporting can be presented in one of more of the following media: text, photographs, audio, video, information graphics, illustrations, animation, games. The proposal should be as specific as possible as to which media, and which media formats, will be used for the finished work. The reporting plan: How will the story be reported, using what types of sources? Will any travel be required? Are there any particular obstacles or legal issues involved in the reporting that will need to be overcome?
  • A timetable: Provide a realistic estimate of how much effort and time will be needed to complete a first draft of the project.
  • Other publication venues: Where else might this work be presented? Do you have an agreement in place from this outlet or these outlets to present the work? What is the reach/circulation/audience of the outlet(s)?
  • Social media/promotion plan: What steps might you take to spread the word about publication of the work done under this mini-grant? Regarding social media, be specific about the reach of your channels (e.g. number of Twitter followers, monthly unique visitors to a blog etc.)
  • Experience and credentials: Provide an up-to-date resume and links to at least three pieces of work done entirely or substantially by the applicant. Proposal will be judged by a panel consisting of at least three journalists from WHYY and two representatives of the Scattergood Foundation, which is providing the funds for this initiative.

Once a grant award is made, the following steps will occur: The grantee will sign a contract awarding joint first use rights to the work to WHYY and the Scattergood Foundation. This contract will include a timetable for updates on reporting, completion of an acceptable draft, and publication/broadcast of the work.

Payment of the award will be executed as follows: Half on signing of the agreement, a quarter upon submission of an acceptable draft for editing, a quarter upon completion of the work.

The grantee will take part, in person or electronically, in at least one mid-project update conference that will include a representative of the Scattergood Foundation.

The grantee will make him/herself (selves) available to WHYY editors on a timely and convenient basis for editing of the work. The grantee agrees to participate in at least one community event to promote awareness of the work.

The grantee agrees to appear on at least one WHYY program (including but not limited to NewsWorks Tonight, Voices in the Family, Radio Times or First) to talk about the results of the reporting project.

With prior consultation with and approval from WHYY, the grantee may seek to raise supplemental funds for the reporting project on a project fund- raising site such as

WHYY would have the right to edit any descriptions of the project posted on such a site. The grantee has full right to retain any funds attained through this method.

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