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€800k of European grants awarded for innovative development reporting

Press release
The European Journalism Centre
Maastricht, September 27, 2017

The European Journalism Centre is pleased to announce that European Publishers Reporting Grants, aiming to foster an innovative approach to global development coverage, have been awarded to Society (France), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), de Volkskrant (the Netherlands), VPRO (the Netherlands), CNN (UK), ELLE UK (UK) and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK).

Adam Thomas, Director of the European Journalism Centre, said “the scope, quality and volume of applications for this round of publisher grants was unprecedented. From globally-renowned media to emerging startups, seven winners demonstrated an innovative and impactful approach to the storytelling topics and technology. This reporting will inform communities throughout our target countries, proving them with data and information about global issues of employment, health, food and gender that affect all of us.”

Over the course of next year, the seven media organisations will be granted around €120k each to create news verticals on selected United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using distinctive storytelling ideas, new engaging content forms and emerging data journalism techniques.

  • Society will look at development issues through the lens of the jobs of exemplary individuals in some of the least developed countries, as well as into the wider framework conditions under which these jobs take place.

  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will have a comparative and frequent view of two villages, one in Germany and another in a developing country, on their challenging race to increase food production.

  • de Volkskrant will report on food corridors as a solution to fight poverty and hunger in Africa, by way of approaching the topic from a sociological, economic, environmental as well as a political perspective.

  • VPRO, through their subsite Metropolis, will engage their audience with an international network of local reporters through global and yet individual and bespoke everyday stories of people living in the world’s least developed countries.

  • CNN will present critical issues of gender equality and women’s health and well being in the world's least developed countries as more than just sets of overwhelming and academic statistics from far away places.

  • ELLE UK will produce ground-breaking multimedia feature stories on women’s rights and gender equality from nine developing countries, with a particular focus on local “heroines”, women finding solutions to everyday problems in their communities.

  • The Bureau of Investigative Journalism will investigate how the growth of drug-resistant infections can threaten strong and resilient health systems, reporting from some of the world’s poorest and wealthiest countries.

Brieux Férot, head of development of So Press, said: "Launching Good Job! by Society thanks to the European Journalism Centre is a tremendous and thrilling opportunity that has triggered a lot of excitement among our small and passionate team. As a media group recently created with a new generation of editors, reporters, artistic directors and photographers, we are strongly attached to reinvent, as far as we can, independent journalism. In our daily lives, we believe in hope, we believe in change and we believe in young - but not only - talent to succeed in solving the formula storytelling x journalism."

Mathias Müller von Blumencron, editor-in-chief of Digital Media at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, said: "We are grateful to be selected for this grant. It will inspire us to carry out this great new project about one of the most urgent tasks of the next decades: how to feed the world."

Kustaw Bessems, digital editor at De Volkskrant, said: "In a time of information overload and fake news, it is our job to distinguish ourselves with expertise, by being where it matters and with in-depth research. But it also matters more than ever that we get our stories to the audience it deserves. With a truly cross medial approach and smart online distribution. We are delighted that this grant allows us to report in precisely this spirit and over a longer period of time on a topic close to our hearts: food corridors as a solution to fight hunger and poverty in Africa. Or to put it more bluntly: how to feed 9 billion people by 2050?"

Stan van Engelen, editor-in-chief TV at VPRO, said: "We are very happy with the support of the European Journalism Centre. Metropolis is all about telling remarkable personal stories of everyday life, meanwhile raising awareness for the biggest global challenges, embodied in the SDG's. Our international video reporters are thrilled to create new stories from around the world. This grant gives us the opportunity to change the tv format into an online only format, introduce story threads and innovate our storytelling and distribution strategies. For VPRO this is a chance to continue with an important form of journalism, in which a truly authentic, personal, non-western perspective shows our world literally from 'the other side."

Blathnaid Healy, senior editor at CNN Digital, said: "Gender equality is an increasingly well covered topic in the developed world, but less so in the world's least developed countries. CNN is honored to be selected as a recipient of the European Journalism Centre’s Journalism Grants and excited that we can expand our reporting of this under covered topic and bring it to new audiences around the globe. This grant will enable CNN to tell challenging, insightful and heartening human stories about gender equality in the world's least developed countries in highly engaging and thought-provoking ways."

Natasha Bird, digital editor of ELLE UK, said: "We're extremely delighted to be receiving this grant from the European Journalism Centre, and for a project that's so important to ELLE. Though perceptibly a fashion and lifestyle publication, feminism and the furthering of women's rights has long been a part of ELLE's core DNA and we look forward to shining further light on the issue in nine countries across the developing world. We've admired the work of The Fuller Project, a journalism nonprofit that produces hard-hitting reporting on under-covered issues impacting women globally. It's an honor to partner with them and work with their journalists to deliver a multi-media, 360 approach over the next year."

Rachel Oldroyd, managing editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, said: "The Bureau of Investigative Journalism is absolutely delighted to have received a grant from the European Journalism Centre. The funds will allow us to dig deep into how the rise of superbugs could seriously undermine the world's ability to deliver several of the SDGs. This is an area the Bureau has been investigating for some time, and we are grateful to have considerable added resource to allow our reporters to undertake crucial on-the-ground reporting and apply some innovative production resources to help our storytelling."

All seven awarded projects will be freely accessible to a national or global online audience without any access barriers or registration.

For more information about this grant, please click here or contact [email protected]


About the European Journalism Centre and the grants

The European Journalism Centre is an international non-profit that connects journalists with new ideas. Through grants, events, training and media development the European Journalism Centre has been building a sustainable, ethical and innovative future for journalism since 1992.

The European Publishers Longterm Reporting Grant is a special edition of the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme (IDR), a media-funding project operated by the European Journalism Centre that aims to enable a better coverage of international development issues. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and since 2013, €4m has been awarded, with over 140 projects funded involving 365 grantees and 230 media partners.



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