Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative

The “Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative” (CIJI) aims to equip independent media outlets and individual journalists with resources, innovative networking infrastructure and standards-based methods that enable them to practice high-quality, and ethical and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism. It aims at providing enabling environments for individual journalists and existing news media outlets to excel, and for start-ups to emerge and succeed.

This Initiative currently covers the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Visegrád Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) and Southern Europe (Greece, Italy and Spain).

CIJI is carried out in partnership by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and Tactical Tech (TT) and aims to become a network-based initiative that promotes ethical standards, offers training and capacity building opportunities and a forum for collaboration and peer-support.

This project is co-funded by the European Commission under the Pilot Project: Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU (DG CONNECT).

What does the programme offer?

CIJI will award grants worth up to 30,000 EUR to established local/regional media organisations to support their capacity to act as local/regional hubs for the community of cross-border, collaborative & investigative journalists.

CIJI will operate an accelerator for small and medium newsrooms and individual journalists, which will give small production grants (up to 7,000 EUR) and facilitate crowdfunding opportunities.

CIJI will offer training opportunities on topics like advanced collaborative journalism, digital investigation skills and safety.

CIJI will serve as a single access point to a variety of tools and resources. It will support exchange among its members and share best practices and case studies.

CIJI will provide a global, value-based framework of ethical standards, based on the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI). This instrument allows participants to self-evaluate their processes and practices, upgrade them if needed, and to make the results visible in order to enhance trust both externally vis-à-vis audiences, and internally when collaborating with each other.

CIJI will provide a collaborative environment across borders and facilitate a regional network for collaboration and peer-support. Members will have opportunities to engage with fellow colleagues in their own countries, but also on a regional level.


A collection of resources on safety, ethics, investigation methods, tools and best practices for journalists, media organisations and other civil society members using investigation as a means to expose issues in their communities or across borders.

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Advanced Collaborative Journalism Course

Open for applications. The course offers 2 interactive webinars, a 3-day on-site programme and an online collaborative story pitching session. Graduates will be able to apply for production funding worth 5000 EUR & benefit from mentoring from award-winning journalists in the region. 

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CIJI ornament

Announcements of Hubs

CIJI awards three regional media hubs to enhance collaborative and investigative journalism in Europe

Three media organisations have been awarded a combined total of 75,000 EUR to enhance collaborative and investigative journalism in the Baltic States, Visegrád Four and Southern Europe.

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What is JTI?

The Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) by Reporters Without Borders is a transparency and accountability tool for journalism. It is built on a set of criteria for trustworthiness, that allow for media outlets of all sizes and stripes to self-evaluate their compliance and to get independently audited and certified if they chose to.

To JTI Standards