In 2018, democratic societies will need journalism more than ever.
Media freedom and public trust in journalism are at a low ebb across Europe. The challenges this presents are compounded by fundamentally broken revenue models, complicated relationships with dominant technology platforms, and less opportunities for journalists at all levels to learn, grow and share lessons as professionals.
The media is under fire like never before. At the same time, this is what the European media innovation ecosystem looks like right now:
- Engaged journalism enterprises like De Correspondent, CORRECT!V, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism are making waves internationally.
- Innovative storytelling and investigative outfits like Outriders, Society, publish.org, Tvoe Misto, ForSet, Piqd, and Atlatszo are finding new audiences and revenues.
- Startups like Neva Labs, Opinary, Kaleida, Sceenic, and Trint (to name but a few) are ramping up and extending runways with bold ideas and new technology.
- Even the traditional publishers and broadcasters are making significant breakthroughs. Just look at Spiegel Online’s award-winning data projects or Euronews’ progress with immersive storytelling.
I am excited about the prospects for journalism in Europe.
In 2018, to support a wave of new ideas, initiatives and projects, the European Journalism Centre will focus on five things:
- Trust in journalism. We believe that journalism that builds trust with its audience has more chance of success. We will support news organisations and journalists to develop skills, products and processes that achieve this.
- Entrepreneurship. Innovation happening in start-ups, newsrooms and other industries is siloed. Through leadership and innovation training, we will support the people pioneering new ideas in journalism.
- Data. Data is transforming every aspect of the newsroom: newsgathering, storytelling, distribution and audience understanding. We will help journalists understand and capitalise on these changes.
- Philanthropy. Philanthropic funding in Europe has the potential to be a vital source of revenue for media. We will connect stakeholders and catalyse new funding relationships.
- Press freedom. None of the above can happen without an enabling media environment. We will implement and connect press freedom initiatives globally.
Our ultimate goal is that every journalist and news organisation in Europe benefits from a European Journalism Centre programme.
To get there, we’re going to have to take our grants, events, training and media development activities to the next level. Our programme areas for 2018 look like this:
In the past five years, we’ve awarded over five million euros to freelancers, journalists, start-ups and media organisations to create informed communities and improve society. But it’s not just about the money. We build skills, contacts and networks for all our grantees that create sustainable ecosystems, partnerships and careers too. At a time when many media organisations face financial constraints, these grants enable funders and journalists to make a difference. Check out our individual programmes here:
- Innovation in Development Reporting Grants
- European Publisher Long-Term Reporter Grants
- Global Health Grants for France and Germany
- The New Arrivals
- Engaged Journalism Accelerator
For 25 years, the European Journalism Centre has been inspiring journalists and media organisations through events. Whether we’re looking at news innovation, media funding or government policy we build engaging, challenging and collaborative programmes with the right people on stage, and in the room. We gather audiences all over Europe for briefings, seminars, unconferences, award ceremonies and multi-day summits. Stay tuned in 2018 for:
Training & Research
Since 1992, the European Journalism Centre has been informing and educating journalists through background briefings, press trips and hands-on training. Over the last few years we have diversified our activities and moved online with self-led video courses and curricula-defining handbooks created by our in-house production team. This year you can expect to see more from these projects:
- Data Journalism Handbook
- LEARNO Online Courses
- YourDataStories H2020 research project
- REMINDER H2020 research project
Supporting a free press and access to credible information globally has been a core tenet of the European Journalism Centre’s mission from day one. Working beyond Europe’s borders, we develop sustainable projects, knowing the positive/vital impact on citizens’ lives that independent journalism must play. Our entrepreneurial approach, network of trusted local partners, and methodical impact measurement means we can react quickly and innovatively to the evolving issues facing the media, often in unpredictable and harsh landscapes. From news literacy to accountability journalism projects, the European Journalism Centre has decades of experience in Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and beyond.
Stay in touch
We’ll be launching a new version of ejc.net soon with details on all these programmes. In the meantime, the best way to keep up to date is via these channels…
Thanks for all the support in 2017 and Happy New Year!
(To produce this article I borrowed generously from my Nieman Lab Predictions for 2018 article. You can read that here.)