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Spotlight on the first EU-supported Journalism Partnerships

Seven consortia of news organisations will receive EU support for cross-border projects that aim to strengthen the wider news media sector.

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© image by s-cphoto Getty/iStock

In June 2021, the Commission launched its first yearly call for proposals for journalism partnerships under Creative Europe, as part of the NEWS initiative in the Commission’s Media and Audiovisual Action Plan.

Seven projects have been selected by independent experts evaluating 32 proposals from across Europe. Applicants could propose multiple activities, such as the development of common business and editorial standards, testing of new types of newsrooms and new formats, or training programmes.

All projects will receive 80% EU co-financing during two years. Their editorial independence is guaranteed within the grant agreements.

Selected projects

Cross-Border Local

Cross-Border Local aims to stimulate the production of cross-border local investigative journalism across Europe, and make local news media in Europe more resilient. The project is coordinated by (BE) and involves the European Federation of Journalists (BE), the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (LV) and Transitions (CZ). The project will support approx. 60 collaborations (€600.000 foreseen), provide mentoring to selected projects, train journalists (on investigative journalism, safety and risk assessment) and provide a management training for local media outlet managers.

  • Start: 1 March 2022
  • EU support: €1,095,998

Stars4media NEWS

Stars4Media NEWS aims to stimulate new business models and create innovative newsrooms to help Europe’s news media sector become more resilient. It will provide grants and coaching to at least 15 cross-border media projects (€1.320.000 foreseen). Following an open call, an independent jury will first shortlist approx. 15 projects to receive coaching and seed funding. Subsequently, selected projects will scale-up with larger grants. Each collaborative project will include at least two media organisations from two countries. The project is coordinated by the Free University of Brussels (BE) and involves Euractiv Foundation (BE), WAN-IFRA (FR) and the European Journalism Centre (NL). It builds on two earlier editions of Stars4media.

  • Start: 1 Feb 2022
  • EU support: €2,386,403

Media Innovation Europe: Energising the European Media Ecosystem

Media Innovation Europe aims to stimulate and strengthen an innovative, collaborative media ecosystem in Europe, by providing approx. 60 grants (€728.000 foreseen) and trainings to assess journalistic products, business structures, and distribution techniques. The project also foresees mapping of best practices, business consultancy, media incubators, hackathons, grants for audience-engaged journalism, a Europe-wide mentorship programme, information hubs to distribute knowledge and best practices and networking events. The project is coordinated by the International Press Institute (AT) and involves Thomson Media (DE), the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BA) and the Media Development Foundation (UA).

  • Start: 1 June 2022.
  • EU support: €1,661,009

Pix.T for News & Photojournalism

Pix.T aims to address challenges facing photo journalists, including shrinking revenues, copyright violations and outdated licensing models. Building on two years of research and collaboration, it will roll out a blockchain-powered protocol and platform to certify, sell and distribute photographs online. The project is coordinated by Worldcrunch (FR) and involves Photomakers (IT), Noor foundation (NL), Profimedia (CZ), Solwee (CZ), CTK (CZ) and PAP (PL).

  • Start: 1 April 2022
  • EU support: €732,137

The Circle: a European network of media hubs

The Circle aims to create 10 media knowledge & production hubs in European cities outside of capital cities, gathering creatives, journalists and media entrepreneurs, to build bridges between legacy media and millennial-led media organisations and to explore new digital formats. Participants will map the media landscape in their city during one week and then set up a tailored hub according to the local media production needs. Hubs will create a community platform, share knowledge and information with each other, monitor issues and developments in other cities and countries, and organise events and media partnerships. The project is coordinated by Are We Europe (NL) and involves Arty Farty (FR), Hostwriter (DE) and n-ost (DE).

  • Start: 1 April 2022
  • EU support: €675,298

European Excellence Exchange in Journalism (E3J)

The European Excellence Exchange in Journalism (E3J) aims to stimulate cross-border collaboration for better journalism. It will function as a network of networks, providing a knowledge hub for journalists to connect, based on mutual trust and common rules. E3J will help develop journalistic standards to elevate accountability and legitimacy on topics such as migration, climate and public health. The project is coordinated by Reporters Without Borders (FR) and involves Free Press Unlimited (NL), Commit (AT), Community Media Forum Europe (BE) and the Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (IT).

  • Start: 1 April 2022
  • EU support: €982,413

European Focus

European Focus (working title) proposes a multilingual newsletter that is co-produced and jointly curated by 9 media outlets. The common goal is to strengthen European reporting by adding new perspectives to current debates. The project is coordinated by n-Ost (DE) and involves Gazeta Wyborcza (PL), Balkan Insight (BA), Delfi (EE), Tagesspiegel (DE), El Confidencial (ES), Domani (IT), HVG (HU) and Libération (FR). The project aims to address the decreasing resources for foreign reporting and the need for pluralistic and interconnected discourses in Europe beyond daily news coverage.

  • Start: 1 March 2022.
  • EU support: €473,585


2022 call for proposals for Journalism Partnerships

This year’s call for proposals for Journalism Partnerships has been published in February 2022 with a deadline on 7 September 2022, for projects starting early 2023. A webinar for potential applicants will take place on Wednesday 6 April (11h-13h CEST) – login details and recordings will be available here.



Journalism Partnerships are part of the NEWS initiative in the Commission’s Media and Audiovisual Action Plan. As part of this initiative, the Commission has also increased dialogue with the sector, among others through a European News Media Forum. In addition, the European Democracy Action Plan announced a range of actions to strengthen media freedom and media literacy.

For an overview of these and other grants to news media, see updates on this page or the factsheet overview of March 2022.