Building resilience into journalism: our focus for 2019

Key themes: freedom, funding, leadership, storytelling and digital.

In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will focus on building more resilience into journalism.

The challenges that journalism faces are economic, technological and political. Google, Facebook and Amazon control 61.9 per cent of the digital ad market, worth $111 billion. The internet has rendered much of journalism as an inferior product in the face of infinite competition. Attacks on journalists, like the ones witnessed in Serbia over the past year, show a worrying trend across the continent.

These economic, technological and political threats are conspiring. Together they endanger journalism, the cornerstone of informed societies and democratic principles.

Yet pioneers from print, digital, radio and TV are showing us that new forms of resilience can yield new revenue models, deeper relationships with audiences and quality, impactful journalism. Their approaches question and reinvent the fundamentals of how we deal with power, generate income, build teams, tell stories and leverage powerful new technologies.

To build journalism’s resilience, we need to take the best of these efforts, distil the key ideas, and share them across networks.

The European Journalism Centre’s mission is present in our new statues.

The EJC is a non-profit international foundation with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media in the interest of a functioning democratic public sphere.

This year, to achieve this mission, we will focus on five complementary areas.

Freedom

Without an enabling media environment, journalism will not survive. We believe there is much to gain from looking outside Europe, as well as within. In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will implement and connect press freedom initiatives globally.

Funding

The uncertain economics of journalism makes it easier to co-opt news organisations and silence journalists. We urgently need to help journalism discover new means of sustainability. In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will support the testing and development of new funding models.

Leadership

Leadership and diversity are required to reinvent and reimagine journalism. Our industry does not invest enough in the skills, diversity and wellbeing of those who will lead journalism into a new era. In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will support new journalism leaders, freelancers and cultural change.

Storytelling

Certain types of journalism — namely investigative journalism, science journalism and development reporting — have suffered as news organisations cut back. In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will support new forms of storytelling, especially on underreported topics.

  • New European grants programme (details soon!)
  • Jacobs Foundation Fellowships for education and health journalists.

Digital

The value and potential of digital skills and data journalism are huge. Video, data and social networks affect every aspect of our global lives. In 2019, the European Journalism Centre will connect and train a global community of students and journalists in digital and data skills.

Some of these programmes are already active, others will be announced over the coming weeks. All of them, we believe, will play a vital role in building the resilience of journalism in Europe, and the world.

The best way to keep up with the latest in all these programmes is via our newsletters.