2023-07-27

BRUSSELS - The LocalMedia4Democracy project is supporting 17 small local media outlets. These outlets aim to serve the public interest in localities and regions where access to information has significantly decreased in the European Union. This grant scheme is operated by Journalismfund Europe and International Media Support (IMS), and co-funded by the European Commission, Porticus and the King Baudouin Foundation.

The 17 media outlets are from Belgium (1), Croatia (1), France (2), Hungary (2), Ireland (1), Italy (1), Latvia (1), Lithuania (1), Poland (4), Portugal (1), Romania (1) and Spain (1). The total amount distributed among the 17 proposals was €524.265. 

Check the list of the granted media outlets and read more about each project: 

The jury selected the aforementioned projects for their sustainability, innovation, diversity, and feasibility. These were four very important aspects that the jury board considered when choosing the winners. Apart from that, the jury valued their ability to demonstrate adherence to core journalism principles: fact-based, accurate, independent, fair, impartial, and accountable. Last but not least, the impact of each project on their local audiences and communities in relation to news desert areas was another pillar for the final assessment. The 17 projects will have a maximum duration of 7 months. 

To reduce the spread of misinformation and the emergence of news deserts, we have provided support for the best projects. I am pleased with the great interest, but I understand that this interest also points to the problems that these grants are addressing. Local media is an invaluable pillar of strengthening democracy in the regions and we are pleased that there are opportunities for such funding. This is support to better reach audiences in a digital environment that is challenging right now. Let projects succeed.”

Juror, Local Media for Democracy grant programme

The jury is anonymous and it is composed by four experienced media experts specialising local media from Europe. The jury decides independently about the granting of the submitted project proposals, based on the grant rules, the assessment criteria, and the available budget.

Local journalism, by definition, reaches a smaller audience than national or global news. This means that the economic basis of local journalism is usually weaker. It's been uplifting to see that, in spite of this, there are strong local publications all over Europe. Publications that show independence, quality and depth in reporting, and can make a good use of technological progress.”

Juror, Local Media for Democracy grant programme

For the first round of applications for the Local Media for Democracy grant programme, Journalismfund Europe received 88 applications from 20 different EU countries. In total 82 legal entities applied and 12 journalists, they are registered/domiciled in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain. The jury had to make some tough choices to choose the best projects to be supported.

The next deadline is Thursday 28th of September 2023 at 1 PM CEST. If you have more questions regarding the fund, book your pre-application session here to increase your chances of getting the grant. 

The Local Media for Democracy project is an 18-month project co-funded by the European Commission, Porticus and the King Baudouin Foundation and launched by a consortium of partners: the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), International Media Support (IMS), and Journalismfund Europe

In addition to the grant programme, these organisations are undertaking a multifaceted programme to help struggling local, regional and community media in the news desert areas in Europe, by providing financial support, organisational capacity building, and conducting a research mapping the situation on the ground.

For more information about the #LocalMedia4Democracy project, click here

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