The European Fund for Investigative Journalism (Journalismfund.eu for short) has been awarded seed funding from the Fritt Ord Foundation via the Network of European Foundations, with more funders being sought to help fund the start-up phase. The support is being used to set up research stipendia for journalists and a pilot round of applications for has showed immense interest from a number of journalists, several of them of high standing.
The rationale for Journalismfund.eu is that there is a need to create a democratic counterweight in today’s Europe. Politics, business and even crime act across national borders. In contrast, existing media often focus on national audiences and national topics, with the result that coverage of the European public sphere is often poor and democratic debate lacking. Journalismfund.eu will enable cross-border reporting by supporting research of individual stories. Furthermore, it aims to support networks of European journalists, the development of journalistic research methods and the fight for transparency.
From part of the initial funding, Journalismfund.eu has recruited Brigitte Alfter as part time director, to gather a board firmly rooted in the European investigative journalism community, and to run a first round of applications. In addition, further fundraising is being conducted, with a focus currently on foundations and EU institutions.
On Journalismfund.eu: see www.journalismfund.eu