From the U.S. State Department:
November 7, 2017
This is the announcement of funding opportunity number DRLA-DRLAQM-18-032
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345
Application Deadline: January 19, 2018
For new application submission instructions, see Section D below.
A. Project Description
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues in Hungary.
DRL’s goal is to support media outlets operating outside the capital in Hungary to produce fact-based reporting and increase their audience and economic sustainability. The program should increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues of public importance, by enhancing local media’s ability to engage a larger audience, including their print, multimedia, and online readership. The program should improve the quality of local traditional and online media and increase the public’s access to reliable and unbiased information. Program activities could include training for journalists and editors and/or media outlets on creative applications of investigative and data journalism, data analysis, and multimedia content production for reaching a wider local audience; providing coaching, training, technical and financial assistance to media outlets; providing national and international exposure to foster local journalists’ professional development; and small grants and tools to help independent local media engage more effectively with their audiences on topics that are important to the community. Activities could also include opportunities for citizens to build their capacities as citizen journalists.
Projects should aim to have impact that leads to democratic reforms, and should have the potential for sustainability beyond DRL resources. DRL’s preference is to avoid duplicating past efforts by supporting new and creative approaches. This does not exclude from consideration projects that improve upon or expand existing successful projects in a new and complementary way.
To maximize the impact and sustainability of the award(s) that result(s) from this NOFO, DRL reserves the right to execute a non-competitive continuation amendment(s). The total duration of any award, including a potential non-competitive continuation amendment(s), shall not exceed 60 months or five years. Any non-competitive continuation is contingent on performance and availability of funds. A non-competitive continuation is not guaranteed; the Department of State reserves the right to exercise or not exercise the option to issue non-competitive continuation amendment(s). …
B. Federal Award Information
DRL anticipates having approximately $700,000 of FY17HRDF available to support approximately one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding. Applicants can submit 1 application in response to the NOFO.
Applicants should not request less than $500,000 and no more than $700,000. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between May 2018 – July 2018 and the period of performance should be between 18-24 months.
Oh, my mistake, Hungary is now Not a Democracy because, while it’s being run by the guys who won the last election, the State Department doesn’t like those guys and wants them to lose the next election. Until such time as the Wrong Guys finally lose an election, Hungary is therefore Not a Democracy.
Anyway, this single State Department contract for Hungarian media is for four or five times what Russia alleged to have spent on Facebook and Google ads, and Hungary has only 10 million people, so the U.S. is spending about 150 times more per capita to influence Hungarians than Russia has been accused of spending to influence Americans. And how many other programs the U.S. or U.S. affiliated NGOs run to influence Hungarian voters, not to mention all the other countries the U.S. mildly meddles in?
My overall take is that most of the time, this kind of thing isn’t a big deal.