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Media sector calls - EU support to Media Freedom and Pluralism

The Commission has been providing support to the principles of media freedom and media pluralism through a wide range of pilots and preparatory actions.

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In the period 2021-2027, actions that monitor and assess risks to media pluralism and freedom are supported through the Creative Europe programme.

Currently, there are 15 projects dedicated to media freedom and pluralism, either ongoing or in preparation, representing over €12 million in EU funding.

OPEN CALLS

1.    Media freedom and investigative journalism

A call for proposals was published on 16 September 2021 for the following two Preparatory Actions:

Action 1 - A Europe-wide response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom

This project is expected to support the activities of one consortium of organisations working together to uphold media freedom and safety of journalists in the EU and Candidate Countries.

Action 2 - Emergency support fund for investigative journalists and media organisations to ensure media freedom in the EU

The aim of this preparatory action is to create an emergency support fund for investigative journalists and media organisations to improve press and media freedom and to prevent violations thereof by supporting the production of quality independent journalistic content in the public interest, including through cross-border cooperation.

Deadline: 29 October 2021
Budget: Action 1 €1,950,000, Action 2 €1,800,000  

 

CALLS UNDER EVALUATION

1.    Media Councils in the digital age 

A call for proposals was published on 10 June 2021. The objective of this Preparatory Action is to further support the activities of the media self-regulation bodies and to promote the importance of the journalistic standards in the modern media environment.

Deadline: 27 August 2021
Budget: €500,000

 

ONGOING PROJECTS

1.   Media ownership monitor 

The project will provide a country-based database containing information on media ownership and a systematic assessment of both relevant legal frameworks and risks to media ownership transparency. The project started in September 2021 and is run by a consortium led by the Paris-Lodron Universität Salzburg (PLUS).

EU support: up to €1,000,000

 

2.   Study on media plurality and diversity online

The main objective of this study is to provide the Commission, Member States and national regulators with elements to support the analysis of media plurality and diversity issues as well as the suitability of the current media-specific rules to safeguard media freedom and pluralism.The study will focus essentially on two, potentially inter-related, aspects:

  • Prominence and findability/discoverability of general interest content and services
  • Measures concerning the concentration of economic resources to ensure media plurality online

The project started in July 2021 and is run by a consortium led by the European University Institute.

EU support: up to €370,000

 

3.    A Europe-wide response mechanism for violation of press and media freedom

The Europe-wide rapid response mechanism for violations of press and media freedom encompasses fact-finding, advocacy, monitoring, and awareness raising. It will bring violations to the forefront, and provide practical help to journalists under threat. The project started on 4 May 2021 and it is run by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.

EU support: up to €1,380,000

 

4.    Cross border investigative journalism fund

The action funds grants support investigative journalism involving journalists from at least two countries covered by the action. Its aim is to highlight issues of common interest to citizens of several Member States. The project started on 11 May 2021 ant it is run by a consortium led by the International Press Institute (IPI).

EU support: up to €1,500,000

 

5.    Media4Change - Future Investigative Story Lab

This project aims at creating a media lab within the National Institute for Social Integration in Lithuania that would provide support to independent, collaborative, local and investigative journalism across several Member States. The project started on 1 June 2020 and is run by a consortium led by Nacionalinis Socialinės Integracijos Institutas – NSII / NISI (the National Institute for Social Integration).

EU support: up to €218,000

 

6.    Fostering qualitative media by rewarding reliable sources (Journalism Trust initiative)

The planned activities support the implementation of the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) in Member States. These include the design, testing and launch of a self-assessment tool for media outlets online. The project started on 1 July 2020 and is run by a consortium led by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

EU support: up to  €422,000

 

7.    The European Fourth Estate/ Fourth Power - protecting democracy through investigative journalism and actions against Fake News

This project will organise public debates, workshops for journalists and training for young journalists, to showcase the importance of the media in preserving our European democracy to the general public. This project started on 1 September 2020 and is run by a consortium jointly led by the Bund Europäischer Jugend / Junge Europäische Föderalisten (BEJ/JEF).

EU support: up to €60,000

 

8.    Enhancing Audience-Supported Collaborations for Empowered Media and Societies

This project aims to help raise awareness among the general public across the European Union of the importance of media freedom and ethical journalism for democracy, as well as encourage independent collaborative journalism and support to its practitioners in the European Union. This project started on 1 September 2020 and is run by a consortium led by Free Press Unlimited (FPU).

EU support: up to €279,000

 

9.    Exposing the Invisible – Building capacity for journalists and other media actors to conduct safe cross-border, cross discipline integrated online and offline investigations.

This project will support investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU by organising activities through which independent investigative journalists, other media actors (including news media actors) and civil society investigators and researchers from EU countries will receive capacity building and new skills. This project started on 1 September 2020 and is run by a consortium led by Tactical Tech.

EU support: up to €294,000

 

10.    Monitoring media pluralism in the digital age

The Media Pluralism Monitor, a scientific tool designed to identify potential risks to media pluralism, has been extended for an additional year. The 2021 report was published on 20 July 2021. The project is led by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom.

EU support: up to €1,000,000

 

10.    Media councils in the digital age

This project supports cross-border cooperation between media professionals and self-regulatory bodies, as well as supporting the transition of media self-regulatory bodies to the online world. The project started on 1 January 2021. It is run by a consortium led by European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

EU support: up to €350,000

 

11.    Internship opportunities for minority language media

This project will provide media professionals working at minority language media outlets across Europe with the opportunity to undertake internships with European media houses. The project started on 1 February 2021 and is run by a consortium led by the International Press Institute (IPI).

EU support: up to €700,000

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