Grants for Photo/Video Stories on Poverty

Steve Liss sent along an email with information about’s new grant competition. Highlights are below, but I love the working premise here – In Our Own Backyard. So many times visual journalists believe they must go oversees to document the issues facing all of humanity. They don’t – there are problems everywhere, including your backyard, too.


Who is Eligible Student Summer Grants are open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students under the age of 26, any student under age 26 who will graduate in the winter or spring of 2010, or any photographer or filmmaker under the age of 23 who is neither employed fulltime as a staff photographer/video/multimedia journalist or deriving significant income as a freelancer in those fields. Two persons, e.g., a writer and photographer or a videographer and broadcast journalist, can apply as a team but only one grant will be awarded, to be split by both applicants.

Still photography

A grant of $3000 to produce the proposed project during the summer of 2010

In the richest and most powerful nation the world has ever known, millions of poor people face problems so basic they seem totally out-of-place in the twenty-first century. For decades the plight of Americans living in deep poverty has remained largely undocumented by the mainstream media and unseen by the public at large. These are the persistently poor: ignored during the prosperity of the 1990s, ignored in the current recession and likely to be ignored again when the recovery takes place.

Applicants in the still photography category are asked to propose a project that would demonstrate the urgent need for poverty alleviation, document the lives of individuals or families coping with deep or severe poverty, or identify and dispel negative stereotypes and prejudices that Americans have about poor people.


A grant of $3000 to produce the proposed project during the summer of 2010

Simply reawakening Americans to the suffering of the disadvantaged, no matter how poignantly done, is not enough. Unless people believe that things really can improve, they will not be motivated to work toward change.

Applicants for the video/multimedia grant are asked to identify specific examples of hope and progress – success stories about real people that will inspire viewers, or coverage of innovative organizations that help the poor within their own communities and could lead the way toward improving millions of lives.

Mark E. Johnson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment