OPC To Launch Third Round of Pandemic Relief Grants to Freelancers, Thanks to a New Grant from the Ford Foundation

NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 25, 2021) – The Overseas Press Club of America announced today that it has received a substantial grant from the Ford Foundation that will allow it to launch a third round of micro-grants for freelance journalists around the world who have worked for American news organizations and whose careers have been disrupted by COVID-19.

“We are honored that the Ford Foundation chose to give the Overseas Press Club such a generous award,” said OPC President Paula Dwyer. “And we are doubly honored to use it to help freelancers in need. In these perilous times, I can’t think of a more worthy cause.”

The grant will allow the OPC to provide more than 90 micro-grants of $1,000 each. The deadline for applying for the first round of giving is Feb. 15, 2021. The club anticipates that the grants will be given in multiple stages.

The OPC granted nearly 50 micro-grants of $750 to OPC members around the world in two rounds of giving in 2020. In their applications for the grants, freelancers described how COVID-19 travel restrictions have hobbled them, how some news organizations they depended on have collapsed and how surviving news organizations have dramatically cut their freelance budgets and delayed payments.

In many cases, freelancers have been forced to dig deep into their savings or to max out their credit cards. “Because of COVID-19, an entire way of life is at stake,” said Dwyer. “And with freelancers in such peril, news organizations that depend on them for solid coverage of difficult stories in many difficult countries are simply not getting the news.” Having cut back their own bureau networks of staff members over many years, U.S. news organizations depend on thousands of freelancers and independent journalists of many nationalities.

All freelancers who have worked for any American news organization in any medium within the past 12 months are eligible for this third round of grants. They do not have to be members of the OPC. All nationalities are eligible if they worked for a U.S. news outlet. To apply, click HERE.

The OPC is the nation’s oldest and largest association of journalists engaged in international news with nearly 400 members. Each year, it awards prestigious prizes devoted exclusively to international news coverage. The club’s mission is to uphold the highest standards in news reporting, advance press freedom and promote good fellowship among colleagues while educating a new generation of journalists. Another major initiative has been issuing press credentials to journalists in the United States and around the world who must navigate military checkpoints, government restrictions, terrorist attacks and civil unrest.

CONTACT: Executive Director Patricia Kranz at patricia@opcofamerica.org.