European Commission’s Journalism Partnerships – Collaborations Program

European Commission’s Journalism Partnerships – Collaborations Program


The European news media sectors play a crucial and valuable role in Europe. Yet, they are facing multiple challenges. Partially as a result of the digital shift, with readers shifting to online sources and traditional news outlets losing advertising revenues, the economic sustainability of professional journalism has come under pressure.

Many media at the local level as well as those putting their public interest mission before profits, have had to close down, weakening media pluralism and posing risks for the good functioning of democracy.

Topic 1. “Journalism Partnerships - Collaborations” aims to help the wider European news media sector become more sustainable and resilient, specifically by supporting cross-border media collaborations. This support shall foster media transformation, trustworthy reporting and skills for news media professionals, for instance by developing media production standards and new business models.

Expected results

  • 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 media collaboration.

  • Sector-wide networks for the exchange of best practices among news media professionals;

  • Knowledge-hubs for sub-sectors around technical formats (written/online press, radio/podcasts, TV, etc.) and/or journalistic genres (data journalism, general topics, specialised journalism, etc.);

  • Acquisition and improvement of professional skills by journalists as well as media business professionals.

    Activities that can be funded

    This topic seeks to help the wider European news media sector become more sustainable and resilient, including small media. Support is foreseen for collaborative projects in and between any news media (sub)sector and/or genre that aim to enhance cooperation, help media adapt to new economic and consumption realities and instil systemic change across that sector.

    The proposed activities should be clearly justified and based on the needs of the chosen (sub)sector(s).

    Activities can be diverse, as long as their relevance is backed up by a solid needs analysis of the targeted sector/s, and helping the chosen (sub)sector(s) address identified challenges.

    Projects must focus on ways to develop collaborative transformation, from a business, technological and/or content point of view.

    Projects can aim to develop, inter alia, better revenue and monetisation models, new approaches to audience development, community-building and marketing, development of common professional/technical standards, new types of newsrooms, syndication networks or other models to exchange content/data between news media across the EU, or provide assistance to small media organisations. Content-wise, they can aim to increase efficiency and the quality of reporting through innovative journalistic collaborations.

    Projects can test innovative production methods and formats, or contribute to high-quality media production standards in other collaborative ways. Projects can aim to increase exchanges of best practices among journalists and optimise workflows
    for those journalism genres requiring more time and resources.

    Proposals may address one or more of the priorities outlined above, if relevant and based on the needs analysis.

    To this end, projects can include events, online trainings and workshops for media professionals, exchange programmes, mentoring schemes, mapping of best practices, sector-wide development of technical standards, development of guidelines and editorial standards, production of practical guidebooks, development and testing of platforms and technical solutions to exchange ideas and best practices, promotional activities, or other activities that aim to uphold the viability of the sector.

    Sharing of best practices between operators in media markets/countries/regions with different and diverse characteristics (in terms of languages, production volumes, sizes, digitalisation levels etc.) is encouraged, to promote mutual learning. Applicants are encouraged to consider activities supporting media sectors lacking the means of adapting to the digital environment.

    Financial support to third parties will be accepted in projects which foresee exchange programmes for journalists and other media professionals, support to attend trainings or events, support to journalists and media outlets for collaborative journalistic projects, support for legal advice, support for the acquisition, development or maintenance of technical tools for collaborative journalism, support for events in these fields and/or prizes for collaboration or innovation.

    In such cases, applicants must define the terms under which this financial support to third parties would take place and ensure a fair and transparent process.

    In all, cases, projects 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 should be indicated in the proposal and confirmed with a signed Declaration on Standards & Independence (Annexed to the Application form). Partnerships involving editorial work must 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.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; European Commission’s Journalism Partnerships – Collaborations Program

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