John S. Knight-Big Local News Data Reporting Grants 2020 (up to $25,000)

John S. Knight-Big Local News Data Reporting Grants 2020 (up to $25,000)

Deadline: September 28, 2020

Applications are open for the John S. Knight-Big Local News Data Reporting Grants 2020. The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University and Big Local News, a project of the Stanford Journalism and Democracy Initiative, will be funding data-driven, replicable stories related to the pandemic. Applications are open to journalists covering these issues in any part of the world.

With support from the Google News Initiative, selected projects will receive funding to cover the costs of data collection, analysis, and reporting. Big Local News will provide a platform for collecting and storing the data and will provide ongoing support for recipients. Once the stories are published, the data will be shared as an Open Project at, along with a guide, or story recipe for how to do a similar story elsewhere. The data may also be archived permanently with Stanford Libraries. They recognize that good journalism takes time, so recipients will have six months to work on their project.


  • They are awarding small- to medium-sized grants. Grants may range from approximately $5,000 to $25,000.


  • Open to journalists in any part of the world.
  • They also welcome proposals from organizations, such as legacy newsrooms or nonprofit news organizations worldwide.
  • They are looking for data-driven stories related to the coronavirus pandemic, which can be replicated elsewhere. Successful ideas could, for example, include coverage of COVID-19 health disparities in communities of color or examine economic sectors that have shut down entirely. The stories could use readily available data combined with new insights, or teams can obtain unique data.
  • They understand there may be people working on data projects who are not traditional journalists. If you have a track record of this work, and the ability to have a significant impact, you may apply for funding.
  • JSK alumni are eligible to apply for grants.

Evaluation Criteria

They will evaluate the proposals based on six criteria:

  • Relevance: Does a proposal address a real opportunity around the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Impact: What is the possibility of having an impact?
  • Plausibility: How doable is a project?
  • Replicability: Does a proposal include a plan for guiding others so they can add to the work, by replicating similar data collection or analysis in a different coverage area?
  • Team: How strong is the team, newsroom or organization? Are they capable of delivering the proposed project?
  • Competition: Is there a team, newsroom or organization that is already doing something similar? Is this a novel or creative idea?


To access the application system, you need to first create an account. You’ll then be asked to take a short quiz that will help determine whether you should be considered for a grant. The deadline to submit applications is Monday, September 28, 2020, at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Data Reporting Grants.