European Federation of Journalists

Czech Republic: EFJ organises conference on local journalism in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is organising the Local Journalism Festival at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, on 17 – 18 June, as part of the Local Media for Democracy (LM4D) project.

In light of the upcoming EU elections, the role of local media is ever more important to keep local communities informed and encourage their political participation in elections. Ultimately, how can we support local media in these emerging news deserts and how to prevent it from spreading all over Europe? The Local Journalism Festival will highlight success stories of vibrant, resilient local journalism and media as a result of this project.

42 grantees took part in the LM4D Media Funding Scheme that helped to improve local and regional media’s capacity to reach and serve their communities and audiences. The funding was coupled with technical assistance and mentorship. 

This was done against the backdrop of the first-ever comprehensive research on news deserts in the 27 EU Member States. The research investigated the situation for local and community media, focusing on their granularity and their capacity of guaranteeing the right to be informed to small communities offering quality and independent news. 

Please find the agenda below.

Monday 17 June 2024

09:00 – 09:45: Opening speeches


Maja Sever,President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ)

Eva Hrnčířová, Member of Cabinet of Vice-Commissioner Vera Jourova 

Iveta Jansová, Head of Department of Media Studies and Journalism at Masaryk University


09:45 – 11:00: Local journalism for democracy: countering far right and illiberal trends

This panel will discuss the important role of local journalism especially in countering extreme rights and fighting disinformation. We will look at how the decline of local journalism and news desertification could have an impact on our democracy.

Karin Kovary Solymos, Journalist at the Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak (ICJK)

Erwan Chartier, Editor-in-chief at Le Poher, France

Antal Józing, Journalist at

Moderator: Renate Schroeder, Director of EFJ


11:30 – 13:00: How to revive local journalism in Europe? Good practices and findings

This panel will share the concrete results of the LM4D project using the data from the news desert mapping research to develop better policy and support system for local media support. Good practices and experiences will be shared from the grantees.

Sofia Verza, Head of Research at CMPF

Paola Condemayta, Project Coordinator at Journalismfund Europe

Iryna Vidanava, Business Viability Advisor at IMS

Moderator: Yuk Lan Wong, Head of Projects at EFJ


14:00 – 15:00: Workshops 1 & 2

Workshop 1: Advocacy and support for local media outlets

How to make a successful pitch and application to donors?

Leads: Ides Debruyne, Journalismfund Europe and Tijana Blagojev, Researcher at CMPF

Workshop 2: Content distribution

Sharing experiences on developing a practical and successful content marketing strategy

Lead: Iryna Vidanava, Business Viability Advisor at IMS


15:30 – 16:30: Workshops 3 & 4

Workshop 3: Audience engagement and community-building

Best practices and automated solutions for audience engagement, crowdsourcing and community building by LM4D grantees

Lead: Iryna Vidanava, Business Viability Advisor at IMS

Workshop 4: Sustainable business and revenue models

Monetisation Myth Busting: Understanding what works and what doesn’t, through an open knowledge sharing discussion

Lead: Clare Cook, Head of Journalism and Media Viability at IMS


16:30 – 17:00: Reporting back and discussion


Tuesday 18 June 2024

9:30 – 10:45: News deserts in the region: CEE local media landscape (modern vs traditional)

This panel explores the situation for local media in Central Eastern Europe and discusses the different experiences of modern and traditional media, taking a hard look at their similarities and differences.

Martina Hilbertová, Analyst at Transparency International Slovensko

Nikoleta Daskalova, Researcher at Foundation Media Democracy

Lucie Sykarova, Association of regional journalists, Association of online publishers, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

Moderator: Lenka Waschková Císařová, Department of Media Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University in Brno


10:45 – 12:00: Advocacy and tailored support for local media in the EU

Clare Cook, Head of Journalism and Media Viability at IMS

Ides Debruyne, Founder of Journalismfund Europe

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, Danish Union of Journalists

Moderator: Rebecca Bonello Ghio, Projects & Policy Officer at EFJ


12:00 – 12:30: Closing remarks

Nayla Glaise, President of Eurocadres