This is what the European Journalism Centre will focus on in 2017

Hello you. A News Impact Summit audience in Berlin, last year.

2016 was a year of impressive numbers for the European Journalism Centre.

Over €1,500,000 awarded in grants to innovative reporting. Over 5000 journalists trained. Close to 50 events and seminars organised, benefitting thousands of journalists globally. Millions visited our resource sites (like datadrivenjournalism.net), downloaded our Handbooks, and participated in online video courses via our Learno platform. 2500+ journalists and teachers engaged in our media literacy and development programmes in some of the world’s most challenging media environments.

If the first weeks of 2017 are anything to go by, there’s no time for a breather. We are ready to go again.

Connecting journalists with new ideas

The European Journalism Centre believes in a future for media that is ethical, sustainable and innovative. We are a non-profit that exists to connect journalists and the media industry to the new ideas that will take us there.

Whether we’re funding original storytelling, boosting basic literacy skills, teaching advanced data skills, organising press trips to Chad, or hosting events exploring the worlds of VR and AI, we’re busy every day connecting journalists with new ideas.

Our thematic focuses

These are topics that the European Journalism Centre wants to drive because they are important to journalism and the European Journalism Centre’s future. They give us a framework for making decisions and taking projects on, and they broadcast our mission into the world.

  1. Restoring trust in the media. The media has a lower approval rating than anytime in history, and faces threats from populist and authoritarian governments worldwide. EJC will increase trust in the media through all our core activities (and particularly through our membership of the First Draft Coalition).
  2. European collaboration. European media needs to develop collaborations to create new business models and forms of diverse, impactful and sustainable storytelling. Through our European grants, events and training, the EJC is uniquely placed to continue to help European newsrooms and journalists invent, test, measure and analyse this new journalism.
  3. Philanthropy. Philanthropy for media is increasing as a vital source of income for news organisations. Yet Europe does not have the same openness to this type of funding as in the US. The EJC will map, understand and open up a new landscape for philanthropic funding for media organisations through our Gates Philanthropy grants, events and publications.
  4. Data. Society is set to hit a new wave of ethical, technical and business questions as datasets increase, advertising models shift, and technology companies exert more influence. For 25 years, the EJC has offered an independent, non-profit guiding voice in how new technologies are impacting the media industry through events, training and resources. Today, the EJC runs the world’s leading data journalism platform and initiatives, with over 100k active members.
  5. AI and Algorithms. AI and algorithms will impact journalism on three key levels: workflow automation (speeding up journalists), distribution (think CUI & chatbots), and their continued deployment by social networks who have access to growing datasets. EJC will increase media literacy and criticality through training, events and open dialogue with technology companies.

Our project areas

All these values and interests flow down into our four key project areas. We are structuring our workflows, metrics, financial reporting and strategic thinking with these pillars in mind.

Grants involves things like our Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation innovative reporting awards. Events plays host to our News Impact Summits, supported by Google News Lab. Training & Trips covers everything from European Commission seminars, to digital learning platforms. Media Development is the home of our varied work in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Bolivia and beyond, mostly in partnership with Free Press Unlimited.

A strategy to get started

For maximum impact, and to help us focus our efforts in the right places, we’ve devised a simple vision for 2017.

  1. Focus on core projects. Greater efficiency in delivering our existing grants, events, training and media development programmes. Increase focus by only taking on high-relevance projects.
  2. Experiment with new revenue. Develop new revenue streams through the evolution of successful initiatives like the News Impact Summits, Data Driven Journalism and Learno. Test new ideas!
  3. Improve communications. Better internal communication through Basecamp and overhauled processes. Refresh EJC identity, website and materials to better reflect what we do.
  4. Invest in staff. Staff training, equipment, office improvements and clearer career planning help.

Here’s where you come in…

Our plans for 2017 arrived through an exhaustive 12 week process of talking to our team, funders, board, users, community and the news industry at large. But that doesn’t mean we’re across every challenge that European and global news organisations are facing today.

Our strength is in our network, twenty-five years in the making. In the coming months you will see us announce new initiatives and projects for that network.

Hopefully they’ll meet your needs whether you are a freelancer, local newsroom, national broadcaster, or global news outlet. If they don’t, tell us. Tell us where you need support, expertise and direction. Tell us and if we can’t help directly, we’ll connect you to our community of hundreds of thousands of media professionals. Let’s get started.