EFJ joins Cross-border Local project to support investigative journalism in Europe
Four European organisations are joining forces to strengthen cross-border, local investigative journalism in Europe through the “Cross-border Local” project. With financial support from the European Commission (Creative Europe), Transitions (Czech Republic), SSE Riga Centre for Media Studies (Latvia), the European Federation of Journalists (Belgium), and Journalismfund.eu (Belgium) will undertake a multifaceted, 1.3 million € programme that will impact the journalism profession in Europe.
This project will target journalists and news outlets from all Creative Europe participating countries (EU and non-EU). Cross-Border Local will revolve around three main support mechanisms:
A grant programme
Addressing the shortage of local independent journalism in many countries, this initiative will award grants to local investigative journalistic projects. A key area will be cross-border collaboration, which will allow participating journalists and/or media outlets to explore possible solutions that might be working in towns and cities in other parts of Europe. That approach will spur more critical thinking about society’s pressing problems, increase the level of debate, and foster civic engagement. The resulting stories will create awareness among local journalists and citizens that local or regional items often also have an international dimension, and vice versa, that European topics have repercussions down to the local level.
A training programmes
Since local journalists often have little resources or experience with cross-border investigative journalism, this project also foresees a training programme in various aspects of investigative journalism, local audience engagement, and safety/security. The trainings will be organised by experienced partners with a solid position in the field and a vast reach.
A mini-MBA for local news media
The need for innovative sustainable business and management models for local news media will be addressed by organising a mini-MBA for local news media.
In particular, the EFJ will be responsible for conducting a safety programme for investigative journalists: “Investigative journalism plays an important role in holding powerful people, corporations and governments accountable for their actions. However, investigative journalists are exposing themselves to various dangers and threats by doing their jobs. In the project, the EFJ will rightly address the particular safety issues facing investigative journalists by offering them safety training and advice while promoting collaboration and innovation in investigative reporting,” said EFJ Project Officer Yuklan Wong.