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News Journalism Partnerships - Pluralism


4pm Irish time

This call is now closed

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Topic 2 Journalism Partnerships - Pluralism Call recognises that independent media play a crucial role in societies and contribute to upholding the essential principles of media freedom and pluralism.

This funding support seeks to protect news media sectors of special relevance to democracy and civic participation. These include local and regional media, community media, investigative journalism and organisations delivering public interest news.

Topic 1 Journalism Partnerships - Collaborations Call aims to help the wider European news media sector become more sustainable and resilient by supporting cross-border media collaborations.

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  • This topic covers media sectors that are particularly relevant for democracy. Certain sectors having an important role for democratic debate lack the means to adapt to the digital environment, and phenomena such as shrinking newsrooms or media deserts can lead to a deterioration of pluralism. Support is thus needed for them to improve their position, adapt their methods, continue providing a first-hand source of original reporting to citizens, help keep decision-makers accountable and ultimately contribute to a more diverse and independent sector. Proposals must put in place funding schemes for news media entities and independent journalism.
  • Accompanying activities may be proposed. Applicant organisations should be in a position to set up funding schemes (support to third parties) targeting news media outlets, organisations and, if needed, professionals, and in ways that enhance pluralistic media landscapes across the European Union.
  • Non-profit and civil society organisations are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Increased innovation and creativity in business models, journalistic production processes and distribution processes;
  • Increased interest in journalism, among various social groups, language groups and age groups;
  • Increased viability of professionally produced journalistic content.
  • Increased resilience, pluralism and editorial independence of media sectors at European level, such as local, regional and community media, investigative media or media specialised in public interest topics.
  • Increased resilience of organisations active in the news media sectors and protection of the news media landscape.
    Improved uptake of new technologies across the targeted media sectors in as much this contributes to media pluralism and a diverse media landscape.
  • Fostering repositories of knowledge about media sectors delivering public interest news (e.g. by detecting areas with low provision of high-quality content and/or in which media pluralism is strained).

  • Proposals must be submitted either by single applicants or by a consortium of at least two applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities).
  • The call is open to organisations which are active in the news media sector including media associations, NGOs, non-profit organisations, civil society organisations, public authorities, international organisations, universities, research centres, journalistic funds and training organisations focusing on media professionals, profitmaking entities, and foundations.
  • Non-profit and civil society organisations are particularly encouraged to apply.

  • The proposed activities must focus on news media sectors of special relevance to democracy and civic participation, i.e. the role they play in enhancing democracy, shaping the public debate and bringing benefits to their audiences and communities, instead of focusing just on profit. For the purpose of this call, these sectors are in particular:
    • Local and regional media
    • Independent and investigative journalism
    • Organisations delivering public interest news/public service journalism (such as community, legal and civic journalism and media, news increasing transparency about the media)
  • Applicants must present, develop and implement a fund for independent media and organisations primarily active in one or more of these sectors. The funding schemes shall take the form of financial support to third parties. They will cover as many areas and news media organisations as possible.
  • They shall focus on activities that contribute to sustaining, improving or transforming the work of the targeted parties. Activities can among others consist of:
    • Innovations in editorial production (e.g. formats, content), coverage and revenue models
    • The improvement of distribution and dissemination of news
    • The development and engagement of audiences and community-building strategies
    • The development of technical tools applying to the above topics
    • Training on the above topics
  • In addition to funding schemes, accompanying activities to the fund can be proposed e.g. development of governance standards, budgetary readiness, development of criteria and indicators framing their support, repositories of knowledge, legal advice or trainings.
  • While putting in place a fund is compulsory, accompanying activities are optional, if relevant and based on the needs analysis.
  • A majority of the budget must be spent in the European union and activities must take place in a minimum of 4 European Union countries. Proposals should focus on areas with low provision of the specific news described above or in media markets where media pluralism is strained. The needs of smaller newsrooms may also be addressed.
  • Activities must include concrete deliverables and set clear, objectively verifiable and quantifiable performance indicators for the mid-term and the end of the project. The estimated reach must be more precise than the sum of available distribution channels, and should be substantiated by a detailed outreach plan as well as proof of interest from the target groups.
  • All projects need to respect widely accepted professional media standards. The chosen standards and criteria should be indicated in the proposal and confirmed with a signed Declaration on Standards & Independence (Annexed to the Application form). In cases of support given to editorial work, third parties need to operate with full editorial independence.
  • All Partnerships should consider the ecological footprint of the activities they propose, and where relevant, describe the strategies to ensure a more sustainable and environmentally-respectful media sectors.