2024-02-16

BRUSSELS/PRAGUE - The PluPro project will distribute 2,230,000 euros among journalists and media (national and local) in Europe  to set up transnational investigations together. At the same time, journalists and media can receive newsroom training, scholarships and mentoring in addition to financial support.

Corporate and political power is shifting to the international and local level. The PluPro project (from “Pluralism Prodemos” Latin for "we want to promote pluralism") aims to give journalists and (local and national) media a push to set up transnational investigations together. The budget has grown substantially (€2,230,000 in grants), with thanks to the donors. In addition to financial support, journalists and media can receive newsroom training, scholarships and mentoring.

The PluPro project is co-funded by the European Commission (Creative Europe), Limelight Foundation and Vereniging Veronica. The programme is managed by two organisations led by Journalismfund Europe (Belgium) in collaboration with Transitions (Czech Republic).

What is it?

It is the continuation of Journalismfund's award-winning European Cross-border grant programme that has been running since 2009 and the continuation of Journalismfund's European Local Cross-Border grant programme. On top of the existing grants, mentoring and scholarships, it now includes an additional programme for training of newsrooms and journalists.

The programme will consist of:

  • A grant, mentoring and scholarships programme for European cross-border investigative journalism which has been running since 2009 (ECB)
  • A grant, mentoring and scholarships programme for European cross-border LOCAL investigative journalism which has been running since 2022 (CBLocal)
  • Newsroom training, subgrants for two cohorts of newsrooms with mentoring
  • A cross-border investigative journalism (online) training programme for professional journalists
  • A follow-up and a wide dissemination of the supported stories among the European public, and of the learnings and knowledge among the journalistic community across Europe.

In more detail:

  1. Grant programmes

European Cross-border Grants (ECB)

This grant programme aims to address the shortage of independent journalism by providing grants to investigative journalism projects in Europe and encouraging cross-border collaboration. It supports cross-border teams of professional journalists and/or news outlets who have good ideas for cross-border investigations and for research on European topics. The stories must be relevant to European target groups. Next to a grant, teams can also apply for a mentor to provide assistance with either the focus of the investigation or the need for competences in a specific skill. They can also apply for scholarships to share their investigations with their colleagues.

European Local Cross-border Grants

This grant programme aims at addressing the shortage of local independent journalism by administering grants to local investigative journalistic projects in Europe and stimulating cross-border collaboration. It stimulates local journalists and (small) news outlets to conduct investigative journalism and learn from colleagues in other countries, creating a European network of local (investigative) journalists in the long run. At the same time, it encourages local journalists and news outlets to compare with other regions and cities in other countries that face similar problems or challenges, which are eminently European issues. Also in this programme, teams can apply for mentoring and scholarships.

  1. Newsroom training

The project aims to empower 50 local independent media outlets, fostering resilience and viability through capacity-building activities, design-learning innovation, and a repository of case studies and best practices. It will encourage a culture of innovation at the local level through introducing media personnel to a design-learning approach focused on audience research, prototyping, and testing new products and services. This initiative will include a small grants programme plus mentoring, as well as a kick-off online meeting with the selected grantees, and two, in person workshops for media representatives. By the end of the project, it will have accumulated a vast set of case studies and best practices that can then be shared with other newsrooms across Europe, in countries suffering from a lack of plurality and beyond. All project outputs will be freely accessible, fostering ongoing professional development beyond the programme's duration.

  1. A cross-border investigative journalism (online) training programme

As a first step, we will explore the needs of the journalism community in European countries where media plurality is under threat, starting with a comprehensive online survey, complemented by a series of in-depth interviews with the target audience. An opening webinar to introduce the project will also serve as a gathering point for additional information. The topics highlighted through this research will be packaged into a series of 10 live workshops of 90 minutes each (5 per year). These online sessions will be the primary vehicle to introduce participants to the expert mentors and the given topic. Simultaneously, as the live workshops’ series progresses, we will develop interactive, self-directed online learning modules that will deliver practical skills via simulations and interactive exercises based on the participants' needs identified during the live workshops. These modules will be also widely promoted to journalists who did not enrol in the workshop series, as these outputs should serve as a useful interactive resource for any journalist interested in the topics. After the completion of each standalone module, the users will be offered a live mentoring session with an expert.

For whom?

Teams of journalists and/or independent media preferably from two European countries are eligible to apply. At least 80% of your requested budget should go to journalists/media from EU countries. As of tradition, Journalismfund offers "matchmaking assistance" to journalists  and media looking for a partner in another country. Journalismfund has a database of nearly 11,000 journalists and 2,800 media companies.

Budget

The total budget of this two-year project is about 3,3 million euro with 90% supported by the EU under the Creative Europe Programme (CREA). Limelight Foundation and Vereniging Veronica will cover the remainder of the budget.

Deadlines

The first deadline for applications for the European Cross-border Grant Programme and the CB Local Programme is 25th of April 2024 at 1PM. .
We’re always happy to discuss your project and help you with your application before. So don’t hesitate to book a pre-application meeting with the grant coordinator here.

You can submit an application through our application platform.

Consortium members

Journalismfund Europe

Journalismfund Europe, the coordinator and leading partner in this project, is a non-profit intermediary based in Brussels. Its mission is to strengthen democracy by advancing independent cross-border investigative journalism in Europe. Journalismfund Europe is already an established name in the European investigative journalism community, and even beyond. For its existing grant programmes, in 2023 it received 865 applications from 1,682 applicants (journalists and media) from 84 different countries, demonstrating a vast geographical reach.

Journalismfund is the only intermediary in Europe set up for this purpose.

To find out more about all Journalismfund's other grant programmes, visit the website: www.journalismfund.eu/grants

  • More info: www.journalismfund.eu
  • Contact: Ides Debruyne (managing director), plupro [at] journalismfund.eu (plupro[at]journalismfund[dot]eu)

Transitions

Transitions is a non-profit organisation based in Prague, with a mission of supporting high-quality, independent journalism and an informed and engaged public. Transitions runs a wide variety of journalism and media training programmes, and publishes Transitions, an online magazine that focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, as well as solutions journalism. In this project, Transitions will be responsible for the workshops and training for the newsrooms.

  • More info: transitionsmedia.org
  • Contact: Jeremy Druker (executive director), Jeremy.druker [at] tol.org (Jeremy[dot]druker[at]tol[dot]org)
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PluPro Project
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