Connecting the Dots

Grant programme for journalists from Russia and Belarus


The programme provides short-term grants for journalistic investigations, reporting, and content production. Applications are accepted from editorial offices and freelance journalists from Belarus and Russia on topics such as Russia’s invasion and war crimes in Ukraine, social, cultural, historical, and other issues. The projects created or published in cooperation with German media are given special consideration.

About the programme

Independent journalism in Belarus and Russia faced a serious crisis after the outbreak of Russia’s full-scale imperialist war against Ukraine, the introduction of military censorship, and increased repression against civil society and independent media. Since the emergency relocation and (re)launch of media outlets in exile, raising resources for content creation, investigative journalism and reporting remains one of the main challenges. Connecting the Dots programme was launched in 2022 with the aim of promoting joint investigations and cooperation between journalists from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and German media. In 2023, with the war still ongoing, the programme continues to support cross-border media projects and expands opportunities for individual media projects, investigative reporting, and content production for editorial offices and journalists.

Journalist in Need Network invites Belarusian and Russian media workers to apply with a wide range of topics, including Russia’s invasion and war crimes in Ukraine, German and EU politics, social, cultural, historical issues, and the like. Using innovative approaches, such as big data analysis, working with archives, publishing, and promoting publications in multimedia and interactive formats will increase the chances of receiving grant support.

Conditions and extent of support

The programme provides grant support from 3,000 to 12,000 euros. The application must be submitted through an online form and be designed as a short-term media project. It is possible to co-finance an existing project in the final stages of its realisation. The support can thus be provided for the full realisation or completion of the project, promotion, increase in the number of publications, translation, or content repacking.

Grant funds can be used to cover the salaries of the staff involved in the project, honoraria, equipment rental, and travel expenses. This grant cannot cover the costs of purchasing hardware/equipment.

Project reporting

Reporting must be submitted after the implementation of the project until the end of January 2024 as a short description of the project results and main activities, with links to the final publications. Reports and investigations can be published after the end of the project but not later than April 2024. In this case, a draft version of the publication indicating the expected date and format of publication, the expected audience reach and the promotion plan must be attached to the report.

Application deadline

Application deadline: 27 November, 2023, 23:59 CET. The deadline can be extended by a few days under exceptional circumstances. To do so, please send a request to

Applications are no longer accepted.

Eligibility criteria

Media in exile and independent journalists and investigators from Belarus and Russia are invited to participate.

Applicants must be active journalists or researchers who can demonstrate their media products published in the last six months.

Applicants must not be affiliated with a political party, political institution, or businesses and individuals sanctioned by the EU.

Projects should be related to current topics, for example, German and European politics, the situation in Ukraine during the war, resistance, and life of the Ukrainian people in the occupied territories, and analysis of the current situation in Russian or Belarusian politics, society, and culture, or study of the socio-political situation after the suppression of Belarusian democratic movement, and the like.

Projects connected with Germany or implemented jointly with German media have a priority. However, the absence of such connections is not a criterion for eliminating an application from the competition.

Using innovative methods of data analysis and investigations, as well as publishing stories and media projects using modern formats that allow for increased audience coverage, will strengthen the application.


Financial support

The program is an initiative of jinn funded by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM) in cooperation with JX Fund.

Contact us: