ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announcements on CIJI

CIJI provides a range of opportunities and offers, including funding, capacity building and networking. It aims at equipping independent media outlets and individual journalists with resources, infrastructure and standards-based methods that enable them to practice high-quality, and ethical and accountable, collaborative and investigative journalism. Follow the latest news below.


Ten cross-border investigative teams win reporting grants

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Small Production Grants - accepting applications

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Advanced Collaborative Journalism Course

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First Networking Meeting

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Announcements of Hubs

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Call for Applications – Closed

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Ten cross-border investigative teams win reporting grants under the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative

Amsterdam, 25 July 2022   

Ten cross-border investigative journalism teams have been awarded a combined total of 50 000 Euros within the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI). 

An independent jury representing The Baltic Centre for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica (Latvia), OBC Transeuropa (Italy) and Fundacja Reporterow (Poland) selected the winning projects covering topics such as exploitation of Ukrainian war refugees; disinformation campaigns against humanitarian activists at the Polish-Lithuanian-Belorussian border; public figures in Europe pushing Russian propaganda; the hidden network of far-right ideologies and the spiritual world in Europe; social and economic dynamics of illegal fishing in Italy and Greece and more.  

Winning teams will be paired with a mentor who will provide individual guidance in the course of the project. The stories are expected to be published in August-September 2022. 

Run in partnership by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and Tactical Tech (TT), CIJI aims to equip independent media outlets and individual journalists with resources, innovative networking infrastructure and standards-based methods that enable them to practise high-quality, ethical and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism. 

These are the winning projects: 


“How public figures are pushing Russian propaganda” 

This investigation will expose universal patterns of far-right and far-left pundits and propagandists in five European countries Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. What might seem as local isolated “propaganda incidents”, are in fact part of the much bigger misinformation campaign targeted to wider audiences and using similar patterns. Carried out by an international team of journalists, the results will be published by leading media outlets in the five target countries. 


“Investigating Czech and Slovak companies registered in tax havens”

"This investigation will explore Czech and Slovak companies registered in tax havens. It will use a follow-the-money approach to track their dividends and subsequent investments. The project is a collaboration between two media in the two respective states. Deník Referendum (DR) is a Czech online daily with a strong focus on social and environmental issues and investigative reporting. Investigatívne centrum Jána Kuciaka (ICJK), a member of the OCCRP, investigates corruption, money laundering, arms and narcotics dealing, and other aspects of organised crime. The team is comprised of Lukáš Diko who is the editor-in-chief of ICJK, Gaby Khazalová, a reporter and editor at DR who received the European Press Prize Innovation Award 2022, Lucie Čejková, a reporter and former climate journalist at DR, and Daniel Kotecký who is an analyst of the investigative team at DR."

“Polish and Lithuanian governmental officials and border guards spreading disinformation about human rights activists providing humanitarian aid to migrants at the Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian border.” 

Two freelance journalists - one Lithuanian and one Polish - joined the effort to investigate obstacles that were faced by countries' activists providing humanitarian help to migrants stuck at the EU border with Belarus. The particular focus is on disinformation campaigns that the volunteers have to constantly counter. At the end of the project the story will be published in leading media channels in both countries - Gazeta Wyborcza and NARA.    


“Extremist and conspiratorial: the hidden network of far-right ideologies and the world of contemporary spirituality in Europe”

As today we can sense the presence of a dangerous rapprochement between conspiracy, contemporary spirituality, and extremist ideologies, the collaborative investigation would delve into the world of ‘conspirituality’ to frame the propagation of ideologies linked to extreme far-right groups. Focusing on Italy and the Czech Republic, the project unveils the hidden cross-border network and dynamics fueling - and benefitting from - mass disinformation in Europe, from understanding the role of spiritual influencers to gathering insights from academic experts. The investigation will be conducted by Sofia Cherici, a freelance multimedia journalist and investigative reporter from Italy, and Jan Žabka, an investigative journalist from Czech Republic. They will coordinate with various European media partners and publications, including Irpi Media, Transitions, and HlídacíPes.org. 

“Fish Chain Tracking”

The investigation aims to reveal the social and economic dynamics behind illegal fishing in Greece and Italy, where a mix of unlawful fishing techniques and violation of protected areas are threatening the sustainability of Mediterranean ecosystems, while traditional fishermen struggle to stay in the business. 

“In the hands of the church” 

This investigation aims to explore the role of the Pentecostal churches in human trafficking of Nigerian women in Italy, Spain and Greece. Pentecostal churches are playing a singular and pervasive role in the African communities in Europe: they support their newly arrived members’ search for housing, jobs, and residency permits. In church people socialise, pray, eat, and spend their free time together. In some cases, these places can also become a hub for illegal trafficking. The investigation will be conducted by Alice Facchini, journalist based in Bologna (Italy) and specialised in social issues and human rights, Kostas Koukoumakas, journalist based in Athens (Greece) covering politics and organised crime, and Elena Ledda, journalist based in Barcelona (Spain), specialised in gender issues and women's rights. The story will be published on IRPI media, News247 and El Pais. 

 

“Two systems, one EU: the reception of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary and Italy”

This project aims to investigate the Hungarian and Italian approaches to the reception of refugees, starting from Ukrainians, to then encompass all nationalities. The team wants to shed light on the critical issues of these countries’ general reception regulations, the differences and similarities between them and the systemic weakness of the European Union on this matter. The project will make use of an innovative method that mixes data journalism techniques with field research, in order to create a data-driven journalistic investigation. Fondazione Openpolis will work mainly on the data side, thanks to its consolidated team of data analysts, scientists and journalists, who have been dealing with migration issues for years. On the other hand, the freelance contributors have a consolidated experience with field investigations and with Hungarian politics and its dynamics.


“EU Green Fuel Fueling Deforestation”
The team, consisting of freelance journalist Stefano Valentino and Voxeurop staff editor Gianpaolo Accardo, will track the supply chain of palm oil from deforestation areas in Indonesia to gas stations in Europe where "fake" green fuel is sold to car drivers. 


“I love you” 

I LOVE YOU is an investigation analysing probably the most controversial form of fraud - „romance“ scamming. Scammers use fake accounts and stolen data, create  „characters“ and go the extra mile to build romantic relationships with a survivor. Even though survivors usually lose a great amount of money in the end and their lives are broken, most cases are discontinued in both Lithuania and Slovakia. The team of three journalists - Lenka Hanikova, Mantas Jusis and Irma Bogdanovičiūtė - unravel the mystery around the most common schemes of the „romance“ scam and the reasons for the justice system failing to safeguard the survivors.

“Cheap Ukrainians”
Two journalists from brotherly countries unite their skills in the fight against human exploitation and illegal workers trade. Miglė Kranceviciute from Lithuania and Yanina Korniienko from Ukraine will investigate and showcase how one organisation with purpose to gain financial benefit for itself, tricks Ukrainian refugees into illegal work schemes with less pay and longer work hours, sometimes making people live in poor conditions with no social care. Investigation includes Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland and Germany where reporters know for sure, people are being deceived. Two reporters strongly believe that their investigation should make both local and global changes - lawsuits for unfair business and change of regulations, that in the past, as reporters saw, have been successfully bypassed. 

 

Note for editors:

 

The calls for applications ran between May - June 2022 and were open to journalists residing or publishing for media targeting audiences in the Baltic countries, Visegrád Four and Southern Europe, as well as journalists from Ukraine, Belarus or Russia who are currently legally residing in the EU and and had to leave their own countries as a result of the war in Ukraine and/or related to it imposed media censorship in Belarus and Russia. 

Story pitches were accepted within the following thematic areas: Human rights and migration; Disinformation; Environmental crime; Corruption and money laundering. 

The criteria used to select the projects include editorial quality, story relevance, reach and impact, project feasibility and applicants’ experience, while ensuring country representation and theme balance. 


For any questions, please contact Diana Lungu (lungu@freepressunlimited.org) and Yevgeniya Plakhina (zhenya@fpee.eu).  For project background, visit ciji.eu


Small Production Grants for Cross-Border Stories - accepting applications until 15 June 2022 

Journalists residing in the Baltic countries, Visegrád Four and Southern Europe are invited to apply for small production grants for cross-border stories as part of the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative. We expect to award up to five grants, each worth up to 5000 EUR. We particularly welcome applications from journalists from Ukraine, Belarus or Russia who are currently legally residing in the EU and and had to leave their own countries as a result of the war in Ukraine and/or related to it imposed media censorship in Belarus and Russia. 

Who is eligible to apply? 

Staff or freelance journalists from or residing in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Spain. Ukrainian, Belarusian or Russian journalists working in the above mentioned countries.  

Which stories will be selected? 

  • The story should cover one of the following thematic areas:  
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  • The proposed story should be of relevance to at least two EU member states, at least one of which is a target country for this project (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy or Spain). Alternatively, it may be relevant to one of the target EU countries and Ukraine, Belarus or Russia.  
  • The proposed story should be published by at least one media outlet directly targeting audiences in one of the ten target countries of the project. 
  • Members of the team working on the story should be at least from two EU member states, at least one of which is a target country of the project. 
  •  
  • Media organisations that are state owned and/or editorially controlled by state authorities are not eligible for funding. 

How to apply & next steps

  • You should fill in the application form by June 15, 2022, 23:59 CEST, following the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7NDK8WH. Please use this budget template to submit a project budget: https://cloud.exposingtheinvisible.org/s/L6Fs58G6KtPoJ5b Only applications received through this online form will be considered. All applications need to be submitted in English. The applications will not be judged based on the level of the English language, but on the quality of the  proposed content.  
  • On June 17 (10:00-12:00 TBC) shortlisted applicants will be invited to the online pitching session where experienced journalists will hear your story pitches, ask you important questions and after that will select the winners of the small grants competition (by June 24). 
  • Your presentation at the pitching session should follow the structure of your application form. You will have approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Winning teams will be paired with a mentor who will provide you with individual guidance in the course of your project. Mentors will come from CIJI’s regional media hubs: OBC Transeuropa (Southern Europe), Fundacja Reporterow (V4), The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica (Baltic states). You will have several check-ins with the mentors where you have the chance to address your questions and concerns: at the beginning of the project, mid-way and at the end. We will facilitate these connections.

You can join Q&A session on June 10, 10:00-11:00 CET following the link https://us06web.zoom.us/j/5954372445.

Please, find more details following the link


ADVANCED COLLABORATIVE JOURNALISM COURSE (2 editions)

First Edition: 22 April - 29 April 2022 (online and in Prague, Czech Republic)

Second Edition: 9 May - 18 May 2022 (online and in Prague, Czech Republic) 


The world of disinformation and distrust to public institutions we all live in is more than ever in need of journalists ready to investigate controversial topics. International teams of dedicated journalists have made in recent years big breakthroughs in uncovering corruption, crime, human rights violations and bringing these to the front pages of the world media. 

This free hybrid interactive course in English will offer lectures and practical exercises geared at teaching the necessary skills to organise and coordinate an international team of journalists, to safely and securely collaborate on cross-border stories and to carry out impactful investigations. 

What does the course cover?

  • Collaborative Journalism: network building, workflow and editorial planning.
  • Investigative Journalism: data safety and security, OSINT, collaboration with international investigative networks.
  • Coordinated Disinformation and Propaganda, SLAPP and Smear Campaigns against Journalists.
  • Physical Security, Surveillance and Contra-Surveillance. 

The course will consist of 2 interactive webinars, a 3-day on-site programme and an online collaborative story pitching session. Participants attending the course will have the chance to apply for production funding for up to 5000 EUR as well as benefit from mentoring from award-winning journalists in the region. 

The course will be delivered by experienced journalists and trainers, coming from leading journalism and training organisations such as The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re: Baltica, OCCRP, OBC Transeuropa and others.  

Small production Grants for cross-border stories and Mentoring 

Following completion of the course, participants are expected to apply for small production grants for cross-border stories that cover one of the following topics:

  • Corruption and money laundering
  • Disinformation 
  • Environmental crime
  • Human Rights and Migration

Successful teams will receive mentoring support from award winning journalists from Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. More detailed guidelines around the application and selection process and criteria will be provided to the journalists selected to attend the course.  

When?

First Edition: 22 - 29 April 2022

Second Edition: 9 - 18 May, 2022

Where? 

First Edition

22 April and 25 April - online (2 x 1,5 hours webinars)

27 - 29 April - offline course in Prague, Czech Republic 

Second Edition

9 May and 12 May - online (2 x 1,5 hours webinars)

16 - 18 May - offline course in Prague, Czech Republic

Who can apply? 

Journalists working for media targeting audiences in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Italy and Spain. The course is designed for staff and freelance journalists who are interested in learning about collaborative and investigative journalism techniques.   

How to apply?

To participate in the selection process you will need to fill in a questionnaire. Please make sure to indicate for which course you are available. Please note you need to be available for the entire duration of the course, including participation in the small production grants for cross-border stories. 

What is the deadline? 

15 April 2022; 20:00 CEST 

Please note that the selection will take place on a rolling basis, we thus encourage early applications.

Costs

Participation is free and the organisers will cover economy travel, accommodation and meals for the duration of the 3-day onsite programme.


First Networking Meeting

How journalists can achieve better impact through regional collaborations

 

by Diana Lungu, Free Press Unlimited

Journalists around the world are increasingly facing hostile environments to get their work done. Online harassment, violence, legal threats, smear campaigns, lack of public trust and cyber threats are some of the most pressing challenges faced by journalists globally. In Europe too this trend is on the rise. Hungary and Poland are losing serious ground in the press freedom index. And while there is no easy fix to improving this gloomy reality, the journalists themselves find strength in the power of collaboration.

 The deterioration of independent journalism prompted the need for more collaboration in journalism than ever before. The era of competition is a bygone one. Journalists need to find allies in each other and also across sectors, engaging NGOs, academics and other professions that can extend specific expertise and skills to improve the quality, reach and impact of journalism. Trust among the journalistic community and also the public is crucial in order to give journalism the credibility it needs to bring about social change.

These were some of the discussions that prevailed at the first face to face meeting of the members of the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) who came together in Trento on 18 February 2022 to share ideas of how a regional network could aid journalists to make a stronger impact with their work.  

“The way the synergies appeared at the meeting, be it through coming up with ideas of investigative stories, or sharing resources on monetisation, have proved once again that the real networks are built when people can meet informally. I believe that these professional-to-professional contacts will help bring all the journalists from CIJI even closer.” - said Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach, Senior Team Lead Europe and Central Asia at Free Press Unlimited. 

“A regional perspective is underrated but very important. This way we are more powerful and much stronger.” - mentioned Anna Gielewska, Vice-Chairwoman and Head of Partnerships and Investigations at Fundacja Reporterów. Anna’s organisation has already been building regional collaborations through the Vsquare platform by bringing together cross-border journalism from the Visegrád 4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia). To further support journalists in the V4 region, Fundacja Reporterów is also engaged as a CIJI regional media hub for the V4 space. Alongside Fundacja Reporterów are The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica, which acts as a regional media hub for the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), and OBC Transeuropa taking on the role as a media hub for Southern Europe covering Greece, Italy and Spain. 

 These organisations did not only bring to the discussions extensive journalistic experience, solid knowledge of media reality on the ground or diverse voices from their vast journalism networks, first and foremost they brought a mindset to share. Thinking jointly around issues such as: 

 What does it take to support collaborative and investigative journalism at the local level and in Europe? Who needs support most stringently? What is unique that we can share with others? How can we build more trust with our public and communicate the value of investigative journalism?

  

Good quality investigative journalism

“While the Baltics are doing quite well in terms of press freedom, there is a great need for increasing the skills of journalists to be able to produce in-depth quality investigative reporting. The public demands good journalism and media who once relied on click bait content are now understanding the need for serious reporting, but they need support to train their journalists.” - mentioned Inga Spriņģe from The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica.  

“There is the same need in Southern Europe, where safety, support and skills are three areas that need interventions the most.” said Federico Caruso, CIJI Project Manager at OBC Transeuropa. He added that as far as skills and training are concerned, both basic and advanced offers are needed around collaborative and investigative journalism.

“At the same time, the journalism ecosystem can no longer only be composed of journalists. We need a combination of skills in newsrooms, i.e. data expertise, to ensure we are capable of analysis of massive databases. Having such expertise on staff is extremely important, while also supporting the rest of the team with basic training.” - said Martina Zaghi from Openpolis. 

To really uncover the entire spectrum of society, participants agreed on the need to engage local journalists and also support them with skills training, resources and connections.

“On an editorial level, we also need to raise awareness of what quality investigative journalism means. We need to inspire by showing good products and also outcomes and impact.” - emphasized Inga Spriņģe from Re:Baltica. “We need our journalism to become like a cross-promotion engine that supports regional syndication and republishing, so that we can amplify our voices and have a bigger impact with our stories” - concluded Anna Gielewska from Fundacja Reporterów.

 Trust

To support trustworthy journalism, CIJI offers an underlying component called the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) run by Reporters Without Borders. Built on a set of criteria for trustworthiness, JTI is a transparency and accountability tool for journalism. It allows for media outlets of all sizes to self-evaluate their compliance, to publish their Transparency Reports, and to get independently audited and certified if they so choose to. “This also allows citizens to use the Journalism Trust Initiative to make an informed decision around their news consumption.” - mentioned Lea Auffarth, who coordinates this initiative at Reporters Without Borders. Lea Auffarth also added that currently under development is a new JTI component called the JTI campus which will extend to individual journalists, not only media outlets. This will create a community of media outlets and individual journalists that know each other and can trust each other. The product will be first rolled out to members of CIJI in the coming months.  

 Online harassment

“What we don’t need is another handbook on how to deal with legal challenges. It already exists.” - said Sanita Jemberga, Executive Director at the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism. “What we do need are blueprints from colleagues in similar situations. For example, online harassment is rather new for law enforcement but it became endemic during the pandemic. So, how do you help law enforcement officers to help journalists when dealing with online harassment? We want to see those case studies.” - continued Sanita Jemberga.   

“We can contribute to extending and enriching existing databases of organisations that offer legal support to journalists, including identifying lawyers with country based expertise and lawyers networks that support journalists. On top of that, we can think about a legal support fund for journalists.” - added Chiara Sighele, Projects Director at OBC Transeuropa. 

“In cases of online harassment, journalists need to be able to rely on a community that has a set of standards with interventions. This can be as simple as having access to a checklist of actions or knowing how to engage other organisations to stand with you.” - added Veronika Divišová from the Czech investigation.cz

“Online harassment has an impact offline. We often treat online threats as if they were disconnected from what happens offline, but it is the same thing. What can you do? Get behind a network, don’t face it alone and know what interventions you can do.” - said Laura Ranca, Project Lead Exposing the Invisible at Tactical Tech.

“Additionally, we need to train ourselves on how to investigate and expose the infrastructure of online harassment most effectively. It demands specific skills and we need to discuss this, understand and address our limitations” - concluded Anna Gielewska.

 Mental health

“Psychological help is really important for investigative journalists, as it can take a huge toll on journalists’ mental health. Journalists are not rich members of society and often don’t have access to expensive therapy. This is a real problem in Slovakia. We are now working on how to change that and how we could support journalists to access this much needed therapy and to cover those costs.” - said investigative journalist Tomáš Madleňák of the Investigative Center of Jan Kuciak (ICJK) from Slovakia.

 Fact checking

“In Poland we don’t have a fact checking tradition. The media still need to embrace fact checking. This means we need to catch up and offer this type of training to many traditional media in order to share the idea and the necessary skills.” - said Urszula Kiefer, editor of frontstory.pl, a new initiative of Fundacja Reporterów. 

“A good way to fact check your story is to run it by your lawyer. A lawyer can be your ally before your story goes public.” - added Tomáš Madleňák.

 Opportunities  

So what does the Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative offer for the ten countries in the Baltics, Southern Europe and Visegrád 4? These opportunities are currently open or upcoming:

  • Journalism Trust Initiative - ongoing
  • Training of Trainers - Call launched! (DL 15 March 2022).
  • Two courses on Advanced Collaborative Journalism - coming up (April - June)
  • Two rounds of Reporting Grants for Cross-Border Journalism (May - July)
  • Networking meeting bringing together regional media hubs, media organisations and journalists from the Baltics, Southern Europe and Visegrád 4 (June).
  • Webinars, audio-visual resources and translation of materials into local languages - upcoming (April - August) 

 Useful links:

Ciji.eu

Fundacja Reporterów

https://vsquare.org/ 

https://en.rebaltica.lv/

https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/eng 

Exposing the Invisible 

Journalism Trust Initiative


Announcements of Hubs

CIJI awards 75,000 EUR to three regional media hubs to support ‘Collaborative and Investigative Journalism in Europe’

Amsterdam/Berlin/Paris, 6 December 2021

OBC Transeuropa from Italy, the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica from Latvia, and Fundacja Reporterow (FR) from Poland 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.

The grants are part of the “Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative” (CIJI), which 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, ethical and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism.

Run in partnership by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Free Press Unlimited (FPU) and Tactical Tech (TT), CIJI will offer a collaborative environment across borders and serve as a single access point to a variety of tools and resources.

“We believe in the power of collaboration and strong networks in journalism. With these grants we recognise media innovators which can inspire and empower a new culture of collaborative and investigative journalism in the region. This does not only benefit the journalism community, but the public at large, as accountable journalism is essential to drive positive change in society.”, said Leon Willems, FPU Director Policy and Programmes.

“Trust of audiences is the reward of ethical journalism, but it is also a condition to work together in the first place. This is especially the case for investigative projects and across borders. For that reason we have put a values-based approach at the heart of the CIJI.”, said Christophe Deloire, RSF’s Director General. ”Through our Journalism Trust Initiative we can provide a framework for media outlets and for individual journalists to commit to shared professional norms, to collaborate on these grounds and to make that visible.”

"Collaboration is what drives positive change. Collaboration between investigative journalists, researchers, citizens is essential and exchanges of best practices, tools and methods are fundamental. This is what CIJI is about.", mentioned Christy Lange, Programme Director, Tactical Tech.

An independent jury, consisting of renowned media professionals and academics, chose the winning organisations, based on their track record in regional collaborative and/or investigative journalism training, capacity building as well as their potential to engage a vast array of media actors on a regional level.

These are the grant recipients:

OBC Transeuropa Logo


OBC Transeuropa will act as regional media hub for Southern Europe (Greece, Italy and Spain)


OBC Transeuropa (OBCT) is a think-tank based in Trento, Italy. By running the news site balcanicaucaso.org, it has a strong focus on South-East Europe but also covers European issues more in general. Its core mission is to strengthen the transnational public sphere in Europe, by letting unheard stories emerge, favouring cross-border journalism, and defending media freedom. Its target audience is a transnational community of actors primarily based in the Adriatic-Ionian region. It offers content in Italian, English and BCHS, drawing an average of 210,000 monthly page views.

“We believe it is critical to empower independent organisations which produce quality journalism in Southern Europe, and to improve the media ecosystem in the region. This award will enable us to contribute further to the emergence of a European public sphere – transnational collaborations can be just so effective for journalism.", said Luisa Chiodi, OBCT’s Director.

Re:Baltica Logo


The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica will act as CIJI regional media hub for the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)


The Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica is a non-profit organisation that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Founded in August 2011, it focuses on socially important issues in the Baltic region, such as corruption, domestic violence, social inequality, human rights, transparency and disinformation. Re:Baltica is based in Riga, but work all over Baltics and beyond. It publishes in Latvian, English and Russian.

"We are known as a team which regularly trains and brings together various Baltic media outlets into joint investigations of regional importance, be it China's influence attempts, building of large EU infrastructure objects or disinformation patterns. This grant will allow more local media have experience of joint investigations and hopefully form lasting ties.", said Sanita Jemberga, Executive Director and Editor of Re:Baltica.

Fundacja Reporterow Logo


Fundacja Reporterow (FR) will act as regional media hub for Visegrád Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia)


Fundacja Reporterow is a Warsaw-based nonprofit journalistic organisation focused on independent, investigative, cross-border journalism in Poland and Central Europe. The organisation’s mission is the development of investigative journalism and publishing of high-quality stories in the public interest. Fundacja runs vsquare.org, a regional platform providing cross-border stories from the Visegrád region. “We believe that a joint effort of journalists from different media organisations and countries of the region can better serve our societies. The award will help FR and its V4 partners to strengthen collaboration between journalists from the Visegrád region”, said Anna Gielewska, FR’s vice-chairman and Vsquare’s Head of investigations and partnerships.

The three media hubs will act as an informal “network of networks” and will support ethical, collaborative and investigative journalism by promoting and implementing a common set of ethical codes, professional principles and guidelines in line with the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI).

Along with funds, the winning organisations will benefit from training, resource sharing and exchange of best practices, collaborations, access to innovative methods and techniques - all following established journalism standards. The hubs’ networks will have access to an accelerator for start-ups, including the availability of seed financing and micro grants to explore innovative ideas in the field.

The call for applications to select regional media hubs ran between 1-15 November 2021.


Call for Applications – Closed

> There are currently no events or open calls. Check back in 2022 for more opportunities.

Call for applications to select regional collaborative and investigative media hubs in Europe

Amsterdam, 1 November 2021

Free Press Unlimited (FPU), jointly with Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Tactical Tech (TT), is launching an open call for applications for selection of three regional media hubs in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the Visegrád Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia), and Southern Europe (Greece, Italy and Spain), as part of a broader initiative aimed at enabling and enhancing independent collaborative and investigative journalism across Europe.

The call is open to media organisations that have a proven track record and an established media network in the field of collaborative and investigative journalism in their respective regions (Baltic States, Visegrád Four, Southern Europe). The programme’s guiding principle is regional engagement and empowering existing regional initiatives as opposed to creating new ones.

Selected institutions will benefit from financial support, training, resource sharing and exchange of best practices, collaborations, access to innovative methods and techniques - all following established journalism standards.