As part of our project series, “The Many Faces Fighting Disinformation”, which seeks to understand the achievements and needs of European counter-disinformation actors, we have conducted a mapping of the support available to this community in an effort to bridge the gap between the identitied needs and existing resources.
Tips for applying for funding
Explore funding opportunities
Several funding opportunities exist with different characteristics, supporting multiple activities and requiring varying sizes of consortiums and amounts of effort to prepare an application. For example, the funding programmes of the European Union for research and innovation will be very different to the opportunities from private streams of funding, in terms of the activities they cover, the budget allocated, the partners needed, the complexity of the project, and in many other ways.
Before deciding the funding programme to prepare for, it is worth exploring the opportunities that exist and identify the one, or the few, to follow. To better understand funding programmes, find more information on the projects that have already been funded in previous calls of the same programme. In some cases, especially in EU funding programmes, there are events organised to present the calls for proposals. Attend these events and discuss with the programme officers and talk to organisations that are already participating in previous projects.
Identify the right funding opportunities
Identifying the right funding opportunities is the first important step in the process of finding ways to implement your idea. Each call for proposals has specific guidelines that you will need to study before deciding to apply. You should also consider the competition, or in other words, how many proposals are selected for funding out of the number of proposals submitted.
The deadline for submitting the proposal is another factor to consider and ensure that it does not coincide with deadlines of other calls you are planning to participate, or with periods of high workload in the organisation. In most cases, a good proposal takes time to achieve and the month before the submission deadline is the period that the preparatory work intensifies.
Define the project idea
You probably already have an idea of what you would like to achieve and what activities you would like to be involved in. Make sure that your idea addresses well the objectives of the call for proposals and that the call is applicable for funding your project idea. At this step, it is also advisable to start describing your idea on paper. Write a 1-2 page proposal abstract describing the concept of the proposal, its objectives, expected outputs and a short high-level description of the work plan.
The abstract will help you get informal feedback from others. You can use it to approach the agencies responsible for the work programme and seek informal feedback about how well the proposal fits with the topic of the call. It can also be shared with organisations that will be interested to join you in applying for funding.
Find project partners
In their majority, EU funded projects require collaborative work, but also in other funding streams, the topics that need to be addressed will require multidisciplinary skills, which are unlikely to be available in one organisation. In such cases, a consortium is needed to apply for funding.
Carefully read the call text and identify the contributions and partner types needed. Make sure that the application clearly describes how the consortium meets any partner prerequisites mentioned in the call and also how well it covers the skills needed to carry out the proposal.
To identify partners, start looking within your organisation’s network and you can also look at the consortiums of similar or previously funded projects. In some cases, especially in EU funding programmes, networking events are organised to help acquire further information for the programme but also to find partners.
Develop the project idea and prepare the application
Once you have an innovative idea and a strong consortium, the next step is to elaborate your idea and further develop it into a thoroughly justified proposal. The proposal is focussed on presenting the project’s ambitious objectives and a practical and viable path to achieve them, ensuring all aspects of the project have been carefully considered and planned. The proposal should clearly explain:
- the concept, how the objectives satisfy the requirements of the call and how it contributes to the state-of-the-art
- the impact of the project implementation on all relevant stakeholders, at all possible levels and from all possible perspectives, what the project outputs will enable stakeholders to achieve after the project has been implemented, and possibly how the outputs support the implementation of relevant policies or contribute to greater higher-level benefits
- how the project will be implemented, what tasks will be carried out and by who, what will be delivered and when, how the consortium meets the skills needed and how partners will work together, what effort and budget is needed and how it is shared between the partners and the different types of work
Start working as early as possible on the application and reserve enough time for finalising and submitting it. Make sure from the beginning that you have double checked all the rules and prerequisites described in the call text and that the proposal addresses them adequately.
While preparing the application, it is helpful to think of those who will read and evaluate it. Provide them with clear information, written in simple language and intuitively structured. The aim of the proposal should be described in the beginning, so reviewers can quickly understand what the project is about and what is the outline of the proposal that follows. A conceptual diagram or sketch of the project is very useful to introduce it and help reviewers assimilate it.
Wining funding for your proposal
Having a proposal selected for funding requires a good project idea, a strong consortium and a well written proposal. There will be many applications with good ideas but only a few will have a strong consortium and a well written proposal. Therefore, the first priority is to find partners with previous proven experience and leading the state of the art in their fields of expertise. The second priority is to work with your partners in describing the project idea and its benefits in simple terms. Make sure the proposal transforms its key points into key messages for the reviewers.
Funding opportunities & programmes
1 EU funding
1.1 Horizon Europe
Horizon Europe is the funding programme of the EU for research and innovation activities. It is the continuation of the Horizon 2020 programme and the Framework Programmes for research and technological development (FP1 – FP7).
Horizon Europe started in 2021 and the calls for proposals will be available until 2027. It has a total budget of €95.5 billion and approximately 50% of this budget is allocated to partnership projects addressing different topics. The research topics and the call for proposals are divided in six clusters, under Pillar II of Horizon Europe.
The main tool for searching for funding opportunities is the Funding and Tenders Portal.
1.1.2 Politics and the impact of online social networks and new media
Topic ID: HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01-07
Proposals should aim to:
- understand the changes wrought on democratic processes by new technologies
- produce evidence-based recommendations to address the opportunities and challenges for political behaviour and democratic engagement presented by social platforms and new media
- study the extent to which the resulting impacts of information offered by platforms and new media, such as the “echo-chambers” effect, affects political attitudes in Europe
- examine the extent to which platforms and new media actually help democratise political systems and offer avenues of active engagement, or hinder participation for some
- investigate how audiences of different ages, different genders and different socio-economic and ethnolinguistic groups receive and assess information on digital platforms, and how political actors use these platforms to shape political behaviour
- propose and design regulatory innovations in response to the covert use of social platforms for political goals
- develop evidence-based approaches and methods for enhancing capacities for digital citizenship, including media education, media competences, and digital literacy
1.1.3 Disinformation and fake news are combated and trust in the digital world is raised
Topic ID: HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-03
Proposals should aim to:
- provide Police Authorities, media organisations (including social media), and other practitioners with tools and training materials to tackle disinformation and fake news, which are considered crime activities or could lead to a crime activity
- focus on understanding of the cultural and societal aspects of disinformation and fake news, as well as on the key challenges related to combating it
- follow an interdisciplinary approach to research both the societal capabilities to withstand such a threat and on the technological means of fighting against it
- deliver tools and (forensic) capabilities that, e.g., enable the assessment of the origin, veracity, and trustworthiness of digital content by identifying altered or fake generated information
- provide means to: identify non-human originated content via origin and activity, detect machine-generated text in various languages, verify the authenticity of data with a high accuracy (better than human), fastly analyse large amounts of data to pre-filter for faked and/or manipulated content
1.1.4 Online identity theft is countered
Topic ID: HORIZON-CL3-2021-FCT-01-12
Proposals should aim to:
- provide Police Authorities with tools and training curricula to prevent, detect and investigate online identity theft, and lawfully collect crime evidence across borders
- ensure in their activities the legal and ethical rules of operation, privacy and protection of personal data
- strengthen the ability of security practitioners to identify online identity theft at an early stage and discover its new forms
- research the modus operandi and new trends in identity theft, including deepfakes
- focus on understanding the societal aspects and impacts of identity theft
- enhance the citizen perception about Europe being an area of freedom, justice and security
- carry out innovative awareness-raising campaigns explaining the key and evolving mechanisms of identity theft and how to protect against them
- provide guidance on shaping and implementing regulation related to the fight against identity theft
- address both the technological and societal dimensions of online identity theft in a balanced way
1.1.5 AI to fight disinformation (RIA)
Topic ID: HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01-27
Proposals prepared for this call should concentrate on developing solutions with AI capabilities against disinformation techniques either for media professionals or for citizens.
Proposals should aim to:
- develop AI based solutions for media professionals
- for securing a trustworthy online environment and respond to disinformation techniques using AI.
- Based on quantitative and semi-supervised AI, network science driven tools of least same level of sophistication
- capable of detecting deep-fakes and tampered content and to understand how and where such content spreads online
- develop AI based solutions for citizens
- for securing a trustworthy online environment
- foster citizens’ ability to identify, verify and combat disinformation
- include the analysis and tracing of various forms of content, correlation/comparison of various sources of information, exploitation of contextual information
- address efficient and intuitive mechanisms to convey the information regarding quality/veracity of information
- empower citizens and provide transparency and human oversight over the employed AI mechanisms
- develop tools exploring approaches to AI for detection, elaboration of confidence levels, contradiction trade-offs, pattern identification in a field of heterogeneous sources and media formats, and for decision support
- involve multidisciplinary teams, transdisciplinary research and team up with European companies, which are part of the media ecosystem
- consider the expectations of the Media Action Plan and the European Democracy Action Plan
1.2 Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme
The Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme aims to sustain and develop open, rights-based, democratic, equal and inclusive societies based on the rule of law, by supporting active civil society organisations. The programme is based on four strands with the second one focussing on Citizens’ engagement and participation in the democratic life of the Union, promoting exchanges between citizens of different Member States, and raising awareness of the common European history.
The programme started in 2021 and the call for proposals will be available until 2027, with a total budget of €1.56 billion. The main tool for searching for funding opportunities is the Funding and Tenders Portal.
1.2.1 Citizens’ engagement and participation
Topic ID: CERV-2022-CITIZENS-CIV
Proposals should aim to:
- focus on the 2024 European Parliament elections and the promotion of citizen participation in the elections
- contribute to the implementation of the European democracy action plan and the EU Citizenship Report 2020
- explore how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the democratic debate and the enjoyment of fundamental rights
- focus on innovative democratic approaches and tools to help citizens make their voices heard and publicly exchange views on all areas of EU action
- counter disinformation, empowering citizens to make informed decisions by helping them identify disinformation and promote media literacy
- ensure a practical link with the policy-making process
- include events such as debates, conferences, seminars, campaigns, workshops and cultural activities
- reach large numbers of people through events, information material, and (social) media, making best use of new technologies and strengthening media literacy
- reach those citizens not active in civic participation in their everyday life
- make it possible for members of the EU public to communicate their main concerns to the Commission so that these can be addressed through political commitment.
2 Private and international funding sources
2.1 Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Brussels
- Scholarships for student and doctoral students
2.2 Heinrich-Böll Foundation
- Scholarships for undergraduates, graduates, and doctoral students
2.3 Konrad Adenauer Foundation
- Funding guidelines that could cover different kinds of proposals, for example, aiming to develop, strengthen, and consolidate democracy in South Africa
- Several calls for proposals funding topics in specific countries
2.4 Robert Bosch Foundation GmbH
- Provides funding and support to project ideas aligned with the foundation’s strategic and funding principles
- A predefined process exists to apply for funding by submitting a funding request for your project idea
- Supports projects in three main areas, health, education, and global issues, including climate change, democracy, immigration society, inequality, migration, peace
- Calls for proposal are also published and can be found in the open calls page
2.5 The Open Society Foundation Information Programme
- Gives grants to groups and individuals who promote the foundations’ values
- The Information Program supports those who seek new methods to understand and respond to the technological changes that affect people’s basic rights under three main areas of work:
- Supporting a resilient public sphere, supporting efforts to make major platforms more accountable to the public, and study new ways of using technology and data for evidence and advocacy
- Defending rights and freedoms in the digital environment, supporting efforts to curb surveillance powers and strengthen personal security in cyberspace, and expose problems caused by algorithmic decision-making, which risks creating new forms of discrimination
- Ensuring access to knowledge, supporting a global movement to make knowledge more accessible by combatting regressive intellectual property laws, protecting user rights, and campaigning for public access to publicly funded knowledge resources
2.6 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF)
- Cross UK government fund which supports and delivers activity to prevent instability and conflicts that threaten UK interests
- Launched in 2015, it has provided over £1.2 billion in funding from 2019 to 2020
- Enables 14 UK government departments and agencies to address security priorities in a collaborative way
- It has a broad geographic and thematic reach
2.7 Civitates philanthropic initiative
- Provides funding for civil society actors to come together, revitalise public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard
- Supports cross-sectoral coalitions that strengthen the resilience of the civil society sector, initiatives that push for a healthy digital public sphere, as well as independent, public interest journalism in Europe.
- The Funding Plus component provides capacity development and networking opportunities to its grantees, to improve their skills and expertise and facilitate networking so that they have what it takes to tackle the many challenges they are up against
- Grounded in the values of the European Union: respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights and the rights of persons belonging to minorities
2.8 Reset Tech
- Accepts a wide range of project ideas in an effort to help create a more open, inclusive, and equitable global society
- Supports individuals, organisations, and communities working around the world to address the damage inflicted by surveillance capitalism on human rights, democracy, and open societies
- Helps enable new ideas to surface and flourish by providing funding to projects operating within the core areas of work
- Develops technology-focused interventions to help change the way information spreads online and enable the internet to serve the public good over corporate interests once again
- Activities focus on ensuring that technology works for democracy rather than against it
- Supports technology-focused interventions with clear human-centred benefits for those negatively affected by surveillance capitalism
- Provides the article “Introduction to Open Calls” as a resource for those interested in learning more about the open call objectives, when, how to apply, and a deep-dive on these topics
2.9 Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, European Media and Information Fund
- Supports fact-checking, multidisciplinary investigations on disinformation, media literacy initiatives, and research into media, disinformation and information literacy
- Provides grants, on a competitive basis, to researchers, fact-checkers, not-for-profits and other public interest-oriented organisations addressing the phenomenon of online disinformation
- Supports collaborative efforts to debunk disinformation, amplify independent fact-checking and enable targeted research and innovation tools designed to strengthen resilience, and the ecosystems response to disinformation
- Funds organisations based in European countries, including namely the EU, EFTA and UK
- Currently available between 2021 and 2026
- Indicative calendar with expected launch of calls for proposals is available
2.10 Omidyar Network
- Has three focus areas: responsible technology, reimagining capitalism, and pluralism
- Works on fighting disinformation and dangerous speech and on making encrypted messaging platforms safer, healthier and more trustworthy
- Fund ballot initiatives, referendum, and issue advocacy campaigns, as well as the narratives that can shape public discourse on the economy beyond Election Day
- Receive funding proposals from organisations in their network of partners and contacts
2.11 Craig Newmark Philanthropies
- Funds organisations that help further four priorities: trustworthy journalism, voter protection, women in technology, veterans and military families
- Focussed on organisations based in the United States but it is not listed as a mandatory criterion
2.12 IRI, International Republican Institute workshops, trainings, resources, and play a convening role.
- Publishes calls for proposals focussed on services sought and other studies or activities needed in specific countries and regions.
No funding opportunities identified.
2.13 Investigative Journalism for Europe
IJ4EU supports cross-border investigative journalism in Europe. In 2021, IJ4EU will provide €1.1 million in direct funding to collaborative projects through two grant schemes:
- The freelancer support scheme provides teams of journalists working outside of newsroom structures with grants of up to €20,000. The fund is open to investigative projects of any topic and provides tailored assistance for training, mentoring and networking opportunities.
- The investigation support scheme provides grants of up to €50,000 to cross-border journalistic teams of any kind. The fund is dedicated to supporting a diverse range of topics and teams across Europe. Projects focusing on underreported issues and teams working in countries where investigative journalism is under pressure are especially encouraged to apply.
2.14 NED, the National Endowment for Democracy
- Funds NGOs worldwide working to advance democratic goals and strengthen democratic institutions
- Funds are available to NGOs only, including civic organizations, associations, independent media, and other similar organizations
- The grants are available for proposals addressing a wide range of subjects, including supporting freedom of information and independent media, strengthening democratic ideas and values, promoting accountability and transparency, strengthening civil society organizations and many other
2.15 Helsingin Sanomat Foundation
- The purpose of the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation is to secure the future of Finnish media and quality journalism, as well as to support freedom of speech. It follows a two-stage proposal submission. At the first stage a concept paper of maximum three pages is submitted. After the selection of the most promising proposals, a detailed grant application follows at the second stage.
- Concept papers related to research on media, communications, and freedom of speech are expected.
- The Foundation awards fellowships to Finnish mid-career journalists to enable them to study at top universities abroad.
2.16 Fondation Hirondelle
could not identify any funding opportunities
2.17 Dutch postcode lottery
Provides funding to several charities and also has a scheme of one-time donations for the existing beneficiaries. Don’t think it is relevant.
2.18 Foundation Nicolas Puech
- Funding is provided to associations, collectives, institutions, or other foundations. The Foundation does not support academic projects and does not grant direct support to individuals
- Proposals should correspond to and address the priority theme of the foundation, which is the encouragement of informed public debate, based on reliable and rigorous information
- The Foundation also supports organizations whose mission is to provide key players in such debate with assistance and protection from the considerable risks they are exposed to
2.19 Mozilla Foundation
- Supports partners and activities building a more open, inclusive internet and more trustworthy AI
- Provides fellowships and awards to support people and bold ideas that can shape a more human-centred internet
- These leaders build new technology, develop toolkits and curricula, run campaigns, prototype solutions, and influence policy around the globe to protect and empower individuals and communities online; develop, deploy, and manage the technologies that make up the web; and rebalance power online, shifting it back to individuals and communities
2.20 Ford Foundation
- Supports organizations that address the underlying drivers of inequality and align with the programmatic work around the world, under the theme that justice begins where inequality ends, which is the main belief of the foundation
- Grants are provided to institutions with transformative ideas and scalable solutions
- A limited number of grants is given to individuals through our fellowships
- The foundation welcomes proposals responding to the available funding programs, while unsolicited grant proposals are not accepted
2.21 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Dedicated to furthering strategies with specific program goals, unsolicited proposals are not accepted
- Open call for proposals to advance specific program goals are available on the website
- The Journalism & Media Grant Guidelines cover the funding of journalism organizations that pursue explanatory, investigative, and/or international reporting primarily for American audiences; organizations that work to protect press freedom and address the safety and security challenges facing journalists; and organizations, and activities that support the infrastructure for and contribute to learning and innovation in the field of non-profit journalism
2.22 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (US grantees mostly)
- Supports the crucial role of journalism in a democracy to inform the community
- Mostly in the United States
- Supports efforts to safeguard press freedom and champion free speech
- Invests in models and methods that advance the practice of journalism, build trust, reach new and diverse audiences, and generate revenue solutions to ensure a sustainable future
- Promotes the application of technology that responds to the changing ways people consume news and information
- Invests in efforts that combat misinformation and increase access to accurate, reliable information in a rapidly changing media ecosystem
2.23 Children’s Investment fund
Cannot see any direct relevance
2.24 Gates Foundation
- Publishes requests for proposals on specific subjects and welcomes dedicated applications
- Looks for the kinds of changes that will help people live healthier and more productive lives, and to understand the world’s inequities
2.25 Hewlett Foundation
- Provides grants to a broad range of institutions covering several subjects including democracy, disinformation, social media impact in democracy, communities countering influence operations
2.26 Internet Society
- Provides grants and awards to efforts that support the Internet and the positive difference it can make to people everywhere
- Supports multiple efforts through different grants, chapters and special interest groups with activities about digital-skills, education, community programs, public policy, networking, online safety, internet of things and other subjects
2.27 Oak Foundation: evolution to come from the International Human rights programme:
- Partners with organisations that work to advance the foundation’s overall mission and the strategic goals within programmes, addressing issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged
- Applications are by invitation-only, but welcomes a letter of enquiry with an idea or work that fit well within the foundation’s programme strategies
- Activities funded depend on programme criteria and in the past grants they have included countering disinformation, media literacy and improving platform regulations
2.28 The European Endowment for Democracy (EED)
- Supports civil society organisations, movements, independent media, and individual activists working towards a pluralistic democratic political system
- Supports newly created or non-registered organisations, informal platforms, youth groups and individuals, particularly those that cannot be supported by other donors and existing EU instruments
- Supports activities that foster and encourage democratisation, and deep and sustainable democracy in countries facing democratic transitions or democracy deficits in the European Neighbourhood region and beyond
- Accepts requests for support at any time
- Funds operational costs (salaries, office and related costs, communications costs)
2.29 Luminate Group
- Funds and supports non-profit and for-profit organisations and advocates for policies and actions that can drive change
- Actions are invited in relation to four connected areas that underpin strong societies: Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media
- Invests in investigative journalism, fact-checking organisations, and financial models able to support news outlets free from vested interests
- Facilitates investigative, cross-border and independent journalism in order to promote democracy in Europe by connecting donors and journalists without endangering the journalists’ independence. Provides several grant programmes
- Provides several funding programmes with applications accepted in rounds based on each programme criteria
2.31 Media Defence
- Provides support to those you face legal threats because of their journalism
- Supports citizen journalists, bloggers, broadcasters, photojournalists, cartoonists or fact-checkers – and news outlets when they are confronted with legal action as a result of their reporting
2.32 The EEA and Norway Grants
- Funds projects in 15 countries in Europe: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
- Provides funding for Youth Employment accepts projects with partners from Ireland, Italy and Spain and for Regional Cooperation accepting projects from Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine
- Funds projects in variety of topics prioritised per country, such as youth employment, innovation, education, competitiveness, social inclusion, poverty reduction, civil society, good governance, fundamental rights and freedoms
2.33 European AI Fund
- Philanthropic initiative to shape the direction of AI in Europe, aiming to promote an ecosystem of European public interest and civil society organisations working on policy and technology
- Announced in September 2020 and launched an open call for proposals and a funding stream dedicated to tech and COVID-19
- The open call aims to strengthening organisational capacity around policy and advocacy, enabling civil society organisations build expertise on AI
- The tech and Covid grants aim to help organisations that have been monitoring Europe’s tech response over the past few months continue their crucial work. There is also a special focus on having enough research and evidence about the role that data, automated decision-making, and technology more broadly has played and continues to play in Europe’s tech response to the pandemic
2.34 The Research Council of Norway
- Funds research activities of public, industrial and research organisations
- Calls invite proposals in several topics including democracy, industry and services, humanities and social sciences, enabling technologies and many more
- Some calls for proposals are restricted to Norwegian entities, other calls require a certain number of partners from Norway
- Conditions are specific to each call for proposals
2.35 Skoll Foundation
Gives awards but could not find something on funding. Cannot see any direct relevance
2.36 Ashoka Foundation
- Identifies and supports the social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an “everyone a changemaker world”
- Provides fellowships to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, following five criteria against which candidates are evaluated during the selection process
- Provides a programme as an impact accelerator for entrepreneurs who want to scale their impact in the field of climate change and circular economy, guiding programme participants in systems thinking and change, leadership, business modelling, raising finance and investment and scaling
2.37 Meta (Facebook) Journalism Project
- Works with publishers to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It offers trainings, programs, and partnerships
- The Accelerator is a global community of publishers, industry experts and Facebook working together to find solutions for the challenges facing publishers. The program provides workshops with hands-on exercises, coaching with world-class experts, and grants for executing projects
- The Meta Journalism Project Community Network grant program supports people and organizations aiming to build community through local news. It offers grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 and accepts applications three times a year
- The Grants for news organisations program supports journalists and newsrooms covering the coronavirus health crisis. The grants aim to support the news industry during the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to providing inclusive programs and partnerships to journalists around the world
- The Third-Party Fact-Checking Program works with independent IFCN-certified fact-checkers who identify, review and rate viral misinformation across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp
2.38 Google News Initiative
- Aims to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help build a stronger future of news and media
- Supports newsrooms by offering digital tools, training and resources
- Offers programs and products that support strategic growth, scaling and revenue sustainability of publishers of all sizes
- Has funded initiatives working on fact-checking including fact-checking before elections, fighting misinformation including COVID-19 misinformation, and media literacy projects