This new project will help shed light on these areas and identify the ones most at risk across Europe. A comprehensive mapping is to be finalised by the end of 2023 with the aim to increase the knowledge base of organisations and stakeholders active in the field. In addition, the project will offer €1.2 million worth of grants to local, regional and community media, in order to help outlets innovate and become more resilient.
Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said:
Many communities are no longer served with independent information covering topics of direct interest to them, such as local politics, community events or public services. This project will generate crucial data on the issue of news deserts and identify practical solutions and support directly local media with grants.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, said:
To access a plurality of voices and reliable sources of information, Europeans need local and regional media. This project will improve their resilience and support innovative business models for our local media to stay relevant in their territories.
Local and regional media located in identified news deserts will be able to apply for grants around March and July 2023. This project is part of a wider approach of the Commission to boost European media and help maintain European cultural and technological autonomy, as laid out in the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan (MAAP) and the Digital Decade.