European Federation of Journalists

17 local media outlets awarded funds to mitigate news deserts in the EU

The LocalMedia4Democracy project is supporting 17 small local media outlets. These outlets aim to serve the public interest in localities and regions where access to information has significantly decreased in the European Union. This grant scheme is operated by Journalismfund Europe and International Media Support (IMS), and co-funded by the European Commission. 

The 17 media outlets are from Belgium (1), Croatia (1), France (2), Hungary (2), Ireland (1), Italy (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1), Poland (4), Portugal (1), Romania (1) and Spain (1). The total amount distributed among the 17 proposals was €524.265. 

Check the list of the granted media outlets and read more about each project: 

  1. Apache (De Werktitel) – Belgium 
  2. Chayka (DAMedia) – Latvia
  3. Context (Asociația Jurnaliștilor De Investigații Context) – Romania
  4. Debreciner (Együtt Debrecenért Egyesület) – Hungary
  5. Dublin InQuirer (Dublin Inquirer Limited) – Ireland 
  6. InfoGift (Compass) – Poland
  7. IRPIMEDIA (Investigative Reporting Project Italy) – Italy 
  8. Jaworznicki Portal Spolecznosciowy (Wydawnictwo) –  Poland
  9. (Oficyna Wydawnicza Nowy Łowiczanin Waligórscy) – Poland
  10. La Torre de Ciempozuelos (Asociación La Torre de Ciempozuelos) – Spain
  11. LIKA CLUB (Prilika Group) – Croatia
  12. Marsactu (Marsactu) – France
  13. Mensagem de Lisboa (Mensagem D’A Brasileira) – Portugal
  14. (West Media and World Wide Web) – Hungary
  15. Presselib (PresseLib Édition) – France
  16. Radio”FM99” (Alytaus radijas) – Lithuania
  17. TUŁÓDŹ.PL (TUŁÓDŹ) – Poland

The jury selected the aforementioned projects for their sustainability, innovation, diversity, and feasibility. These were four very important aspects that the jury board considered when choosing the winners. The impact of each project on their local audiences and communities in relation to news desert areas was a key pillar for the final assessment. The 17 projects will have a maximum duration of 7 months. 

The jury’s decision-making is based on research by CMPF on news deserts, which will be published early next year.

“Local media is an invaluable pillar of strengthening democracy in the regions and we are pleased that there are opportunities for such funding”

I am pleased with the great interest, but I understand that this interest also points to the problems that these grants are addressing. Local media is an invaluable pillar of strengthening democracy in the regions and we are pleased that there are opportunities for such funding,” said one juror from the Local Media for Democracy grant programme. “This is support to better reach audiences in a digital environment that is challenging right now”

The anonymous jury was composed of four experienced media experts specialising in local media in Europe. The jury independently decided which project were successful based on the grant rules, the assessment criteria, and the available budget. One other juror commented that “local journalism, by definition, reaches a smaller audience than national or global news. This means that the economic basis of local journalism is usually weaker. It’s been uplifting to see that, in spite of this, there are strong local publications all over Europe.” 

For the first round of applications for the Local Media for Democracy grant programme, Journalismfund Europe received 88 applications from 20 different EU countries. In total 82 legal entities applied and 12 journalists, they are registered/domiciled in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. The jury had to make some tough choices to choose the best projects to be supported.

Deadline for the second round of applications: 28 September 2023 

The next deadline is Thursday 28th of September 2023 at 1 PM CEST. If you have more questions regarding the fund, book your pre-application session here to increase your chances of getting the grant. 

The Local Media for Democracy project is an 18-month project co-funded by the European Union and launched by a consortium of partners: the Journalismfund Europe, the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), International Media Support (IMS), and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

In addition to the grant programme, these organisations are undertaking a multifaceted programme to help struggling local, regional and community media in the news desert areas in Europe, by providing financial support, organisational capacity building, and conducting a research mapping the situation on the ground.

For more information about the #LocalMedia4Democracy project, click here