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Introducing the Engaged Journalism in Europe database, a list of…
Introducing the Engaged Journalism in Europe database, a list of community-driven news organisations
189 European news organisations, from Belgium to Ukraine, that will inspire your community engagement work
posted on 20 January 2021
The Engaged Journalism Accelerator's mission is to support, connect and inspire engaged journalism practitioners, both in Europe and abroad.
At the start of the programme, that wasn't easy. Our initial research found that people leading or working for news organisations that focused on serving a distinct community often weren't aware of the existence of organisations like theirs. In many cases, their frame of reference was narrow and sometimes they didn't even know about similar publishers in the same country or city. This made learning from one another difficult.
That's why we have created the Engaged Journalism in Europe Database, a regularly updated list of news organisations from across Europe that involve their community – geographical or topical – in one or a combination of five areas: ownership, reporting, distribution, impact or revenue.
Launched in August 2018, the Database now counts 189 news organisations doing community-driven journalism. Our hope is that the database will give practitioners and organisations interested in engaged journalism a better idea of the publishers across Europe doing a more participative kind of journalism.
You can explore it below.
Using the Database
The Database has been created using Airtable, a powerful cloud-based spreadsheet app with lots of nice visual features (including the coloured tags we're using). You can find out more here.
Initially, we expected people to use this resource to:
Sort - you can filter columns to find news organisations that you're interested in (for example, you might want to look at organisational structures that are non-profit)
Search - you can look for a particular organisation that you know is working closely with its community (try Perspective Daily or Republik for starters) or look for specific terms to see where they crop up (for example, 'podcast' or 'Facebook')
Scan - you can browse when you have some downtime and see what you find!
Bookmark - you may not need it now but it'll come in handy in the future.
Some of the ways we have used the database in the last two years include connecting other event organisers at the EJC and elsewhere with publications from the Database that could showcase their work or share community driven journalism expertise at workshops and conferences, using the Database to inspire regular case studies featured in the Engagement Explained newsletter and inviting organisations in the Database to participate in Accelerator events.
How it came to be and what has changed
Back in August 2018, I researched and published the first version of a Database with 70+ organisations from across Europe. Since then, my colleague Ben Whitelaw, and I, have kept it up-to-date, adding new publications approximately once a year. In 2020, we received support from OSF and Anna Merryfield joined the team to help us expand the Database and produce the Engagement Explained newsletter and case studies, with a special focus on Central and Eastern Europe organisations. There are currently 189 organisations from 35 countries represented.
Some organisations feature in both databases, and the two resources can be used complementary - did you come across a publication that interests you in the Engaged Journalism in Europe Database? Check the column 'featured in the Engaged Journalism Experiments Directory?' to see if they shared more information about the ways in which they collaborate, co-create or engage with their users, and learn how you can replicate or learn from their experiments.
Until February 2020, the Engaged Journalism in Europe Database also used to have a column titled 'is the team diverse and representative?'. It highlighted how many male and female staff members an organisation had. Gender diversity is crucial, but it is not the only way to assess whether a news organisation is truly inclusive and representative of those it serves - so we have temporarily removed this column while we explore the best way to visualise this important aspect.
Since it launched, the Accelerator team has come across dozens of news organisations working with their communities in different ways.
For the purpose of transparency and to make it easier to see what's new, we'll list the organisations we've added since August 2018 below.
In 2020, we were proud to produce and develop the Engagement Explained newsletter, the case studies, reports and the Engaged Journalism in Europe Database, thanks to support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
As a result of the one-year grant from OSF, the Accelerator was able to continue to develop and continue our knowledge-sharing activities and content production. We were also able to focus more on Central and Eastern Europe, through our case studies and the additions to our Database.
Out of the 42 organisations we added to the database, 18 were from CEE or South Caucasus. The Database also now features organisations from five new countries based in CEE: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia.
How to get involved
The Database is a work-in-progress and we welcome suggestions of news organisations that meaningfully and regularly involve users in the reporting process or who have community engagement at their core.
We invite you to make use of this Database in all of the ways mentioned above, and if you have used it for anything that we haven't mentioned, please let us know - we would love to hear how we can make this resource more useful for you.