European funding to help Herald’s Covid coverage

European funding to help Herald’s Covid coverage


The European Journalism Centre (EJC), in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP), has confirmed that 68 more news organisations and freelance journalists will receive grants through Wave 2 of the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund.

Among them are two Irish freelance journalists including Pat Flynn/The Clare Herald who has been awarded €5,000 from the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund to help the Herald to continue to provide up to date and factual information as it relates to Co Clare and Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Clare Herald, established in 2007, has provided daily coverage of the Covid-19 crisis in Clare since March 5th as well as publishing almost 400 other Covid-related stories. Set up in 2007 by former Clare FM news editor Mark Dunphy, The Clare Herald soon became the foremost online news resource for Co Clare.

From the outset The Clare Herald has been fortunate to have been supported by a number of journalists, photographers and other contributors. Ownership of the Herald changed hands in 2016 and work is underway to further develop the site and establish an advertising platform.

The Clare Herald’s Pat Flynn said: “The Clare Herald was established by Mark Dunphy in 2007 as a news blog but soon became very popular. Mark later further developed the blog into an even busier and more popular website before expanding to other platforms including Facebook and Twitter.”

Also a previous news editor at Clare FM, Flynn left in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance reporter but always maintained links with the award winning radio station. He joined the Herald in 2012 and the following year, Mark launched a new website. Since then, the Herald has published almost 11,000 articles of which 4,700 were written by Pat Flynn, all without even being paid.

“Covid-19 has proven to be a challenge for everyone but it was also challenged the media who have a responsibility to deliver prompt and factual information on the pandemic to the public. We’ve provided an update on the crisis as it pertains to Co Clare in particular every day, without fail, since our first story on March 5th last when a school in the county was forced to close following a suspected case of the virus being discovered,” he added.

This money from the European Journalism COVID-19 Fund will help the Herald continue to provide information to communities about Covid-19 and how it’s impacting the county. The Herald has also been supporting local businesses by providing information about who has continued to trade through the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We are very grateful to the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund for this grant which will cover future costs of allowing The Clare Herald to provide ongoing coverage of the Covid-19 crisis in Clare; provide information to communities as it emerges and assist local businesses get their message out there and help them get through these unprecedented and difficult times,” Flynn added.


The European Journalism Centre (EJC), in partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP), is pleased to announce 68 more news organisations and freelance journalists receiving grants through Wave 2 of the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund.

Wave 1, launched in April 2020, saw €1,530,000 awarded to 94 news organisations and freelancers. In Wave 2, grantees are serving local and regional communities and communities of interest across 28 European countries. This includes countries previously represented in Wave 1, as well as 7 new countries: Albania, Czech Republic, Latvia, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden.

“We are absolutely thrilled by this news. The whole Marsactu team is beyond grateful for this amazing support that is given to us through this funding. Not only is it really good and relieving news for our finances, but it is also a mark of recognition of our work that we profoundly appreciate.” Marsactu, France (Wave 2 grantee)

A particular focus for Wave 2 of the Fund were journalists and publications serving underreported and/or underrepresented groups and communities. Grantees in this round of funding are working with, and serving the information needs of, geographical and communities of interest including: marginalised communities in Northern Ireland (people experiencing homelessness, and those living on low incomes); people disadvantaged through poverty, lack of education and training, unemployment, physical and mental illness and disability; asylum seekers and migrants; Roma female key workers; the LGBTIQ+ community and sex workers; senior citizens over the age of 65; BAME communities (women and non-binary people of colour) living in the UK, and more.


Through the Emergency Fund, 30 news organisations and 24 freelancers/ groups of freelance journalists are being awarded grants of €5,000, €10,000 or €25,000 to address immediate and critical business needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used, for example, to replace revenue from the making and distribution of printed publications or from donations / subscriptions / membership; to supplement or replace lost advertising revenue or revenue from complementary business activities, such as events; and to engage communities and their conversations within short-term COVID-19-related initiatives, such as newsletters, community groups or online events.

“The offer of support from the EJC is still sinking in and I feel really emotional. When I decided to go it alone almost ten years ago and take on Caerphilly Observer as a full-time job, I knew it would be difficult. The last seven months though has been the most challenging period of my career, but at the same time it has been one of the most rewarding. I’m often told by readers that they value what we do and this gave us the confidence to try new things with our membership programme. The funding will go a long way to help us continue our work.” Caerphilly Observer, Wales, United Kingdom (Wave 2 grantee)

Through the Endurance Fund, 14 news organisations are receiving grants of €10,000 or €25,000 for specific initiatives related to pivoting their business model during the COVID-19 crisis. These grants will be used, for example, to invest in resources (including technology, toolkits, people, and experts) to: build resilience within teams and leadership, facilitate effective cross-team collaboration and sharing of knowledge, create more/better pathways for community participation in the work of the news organisation, execute user-focused product development, or develop or launch reader-revenue models.

For Wave 2 of the Fund, the EJC followed the same independent judging process used in Wave 1. The process involves three steps: an eligibility check, an appraisal from qualified experts and EJC team members, and a due diligence check. We received 842 applications for Wave 2, of which 608 were for the Emergency Fund.

Through Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund, the EJC has awarded, to date, 162 core funding grants to news organisations and freelancers in 35 countries in Europe. Since the Fund launched in April, our team has reviewed 2,699 applications across both waves of funding, and in the coming months we will publish more detailed learnings about how journalists in Europe are responding to the impact of the pandemic and adapting to serve their communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis.