Despite its clear economic advantages and desirable political effects, collaborative cross-border journalism has not so far become a widespread form of foreign reporting – at least not in Europe. Although a range of European news publications, as well as services, collectively aggregate a “European” perspective from existing national news outlets, few European media actually produce content together, in so doing, developing a practice of collaboration and a common understanding of each other.
Although awareness of the need and the potential of more integrated productions and cooperation on European level is growing, regular and institutionalised cooperation between European news media is still too weak and underdeveloped to bring about structural change. The thresholds for many newsrooms to experiment with collaborative cross-border production methods and content formats, and establish permanent and lasting cross-border processes, are still too high.
Considering these challenges, the “European Focus” project is designed to bring together journalists (editors, reporters, correspondents) from ten news media outlets from across Europe to collaboratively create a weekly published newsletter, producing a total of 80 editions over the course of two years.
It will thereby promote a more diverse, independent and pluralistic media environment and foster intercultural dialogue. It aims to showcase and open a path for this “new normal” in European reporting practices in the everyday editorial routines of European newsrooms. The newsletter will be a truly European production, about topics that concern Europeans, written by authors from all over the continent, complementing and differentiating readers’ media consumption with multi-perspective, plural discourses that depict and shed light on a dynamic and integrated European reality.
It will strengthen European reporting by adding original European content to the media’s publication. It will contribute to the build-up of a European public sphere by reaching a European audience using the combined reach and expertise of the media consortium and building awareness of the value of plural and connected European perspectives.
It will also increase the value of journalistic work in the public eye, strengthening its perception as an essential pillar of European civil society.
Finally, the newsletter is a means to creating a resilient network of European media organisations, starting with the initial media partners in the consortium, but with the aim of continually expanding over time, and including more European media. This network will enable cross-border media partnerships and cultivate a new type of European reporting – one where news media work together to create international dialogue.
With its focus on collaborative journalism, the project pursues the following objectives:
- Consolidate a pan-European network of ten European news media and build their capacity to work together on this new method and format of collaborative cross-border European reporting.
- Increase the demand for collaborative cross-border methods, formats and contents of European reporting.
- Publish 80 newsletters with segments in English, with at least 200 segments translated and republished into a minimum of nine languages by journalists from ten-plus countries, on 80 European topics, within 24 months.
- Disseminate the newsletters via at least nine media platforms to reach a minimum of 10,000 subscribers, reaching 200,000 online article views via the newsletter’s website, with 1,000,000 indirectly reached via the republishing of content and 500,000 people reached with promoted newsletter content via the combined social media accounts of the consortium, within 24 months.
- Newsletter production
- Hold European Topic Conference
- Hold European authors’ meeting
- Content production, editorial
- Knowledge transfer
- Organize kick-off meeting
- Hold online roundtable
- Hold workshops
- Dissemination & follow-up
- Produce and publish the weekly newsletter
- Maintain regular communications and project promotion
- External communication of lessons learned
- Secure funding for continuation of the project
- The consortium: Delfi (EST), Domani (ITA), Gazeta Wyborcza (POL), El Confidencial (ESP), hvg (HUN), Libération (FRA), n-ost (GER), Balkan Insight (BiH), Tagesspiegel (GER) and their 80 editors.
- The primary target audience of the newsletter – those all over Europe who are eager to widen their focus on European topics, are curious and open for a plurality of perspectives and are confident in English.
- The secondary target audience consists of the audiences of the media of the partner consortium that will be reached indirectly through the translation, re-use and republication of the newsletter content in the national publications in their respective languages.
N-OST – Netzwerk Fur Osteuropa-Berichterstattung EV (DE)
- Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – Balkan Insight (BiH)
- AS Ekspress Meedia – Delfi (EST),
- Editoriale Domani S.P.A. Domani (ITA),
- SA Agora, Gazeta Wyborcza (POL),
- El Confidencial – Titania Compania Editorial SL (ESP),
- Heti Vilaggazdasag Kiadoi Zartkoruen Mukodo Reszvenytarsasag – HVG Kiado (HUN),
- Libération (FRA),
- Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GMBH – Tagesspiegel (GER).