EU supports cross-border journalism with €8 million

EU supports cross-border journalism with €8 million

Seven consortia of news organisations will receive EU support for cross-border projects that aim to strengthen the news media sector. The projects have been selected following the first call for proposals for Journalism Partnerships in 2021, as part of the NEWS initiative announced in the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. The first cross-border projects have started, including training and grants for local investigative journalists, grants for media innovation, news hubs in cities outside of national capitals and the use of blockchain to help improve revenues for photo journalists. The remaining grant agreements are currently being concluded. Projects will notably focus on collaboration, co-producing multilingual content and on developing journalistic standards and networks. The project beneficiaries operate with full editorial independence.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “From training on safety to grants for local media, these projects aim to support journalists with a focus on cross-border cooperation. It is the first time ever that the EU supports such journalism partnerships. And it is not the last time. We want to invest at least €75 million euros in similar projects by 2027. We are stepping up action, both in terms of funding and legislation, to support media freedom and pluralism, because this is about the health of our democracies.

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “The media face unprecedented challenges including falling revenues, accelerated digital transition, as well as threats to media pluralism and independence. With the EU support of € 8 million announced today, we are fostering collaboration among journalists and media outlets to help them innovate, test new formats, build new skills and thus strengthen their resilience.

The seven journalism partnership projects will be funded by Creative Europe. Their overall aim is to address structural challenges that the news media sector is facing, and help media become stronger in the face of digital transition and increased competition. They bring together multiple news media organisations to establish sector-wide networks for media professionals and focus on collaborative business transformation and/or collaborative journalistic projects. The winners were selected by independent experts evaluating 32 proposals from across Europe. Applicants could propose multiple activities, such as the development of common technical and editorial standards, testing of new types of newsrooms and formats, original reporting or training programmes.

The consortia of the projects which have already started are coordinated by Journalismfund.eu, Worldcrunch, the Free University of Brussels and Are We Europe. They will benefit media and journalists across the EU and beyond. More details on the projects can be found here.

Background

Journalism Partnerships are part of the NEWS initiative in the Commission’s Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. The next call for proposals for Journalism Partnerships has been published in February 2022 with a deadline in September 2022, for projects starting early 2023. A webinar for potential applicants took place today and recordings will soon be available here.

As part of this initiative, the Commission has also strengthened dialogue with the sector, among others through a European News Media Forum. In addition, the European Democracy Action Plan announced a range of actions to support media freedom and pluralism. The Commission adopted last year a Recommendation on the safety of journalists. It is now preparing a legislative initiative and a Recommendation to tackle abusive litigation against journalists (so-called SLAPP) to be presented in the coming weeks, as well as the Media Freedom Act.

Under Creative Europe, yearly calls for proposals are launched to fund two-year projects. In parallel, the Commission implements multiple pilot projects for news media with the support of the European Parliament (see overview here).

Source: EU supports cross-border journalism with €8 million (europa.eu)

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