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Ten flagship proposals in support of citizen-centred European journalism will be discussed with MEPs

Submitted by on November 1, 2011 – 19:5710 Comments

A col­lec­tive elab­o­ra­tion of con­crete polit­i­cal pro­pos­als:

To review, nearly one year ago, on Decem­ber 1st 2010, the IHECS and its part­ners, jour­nal­ists and Euro­pean civil soci­ety rep­re­sen­ta­tives, met in a Brus­sels work­shop to elab­o­rate together a White Paper in sup­port of civic and social Euro­pean jour­nal­ism. Their goal? To present to the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions, espe­cially the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, polit­i­cal mea­sures that would allow a new gen­er­a­tion of jour­nal­ists to cover Euro­pean mat­ters in close con­nec­tion with regional and local information.

This exer­cise didn’t rep­re­sent any polit­i­cal move­ment or union, and was basi­cally a grass­roots dia­logue. Our reflec­tion fol­lowed three main lines:

- The nec­es­sary polit­i­cal and eco­nomic con­di­tions for pro­duc­ing plu­ral­ist information

- Jour­nal­ism train­ing and the place of Europe in school programmes

- The devel­op­ment of new links between jour­nal­ists and civil soci­ety organisations

All in all 35 pro­pos­als were passed at the end of a series of rich exchanges: a con­crete ini­tial result. Nev­er­the­less, par­tic­i­pants decided to carry on and widen the debate.

Thanks to sup­port from the Charles Leopold Mayer Foun­da­tion for the Progress of Humankind the web­site was born. It pro­vided a blog space to reflect on Euro­pean jour­nal­ism, and an online forum was opened for six months, until July 15th, 2011.

Each week a proposal/question from the White Paper was sub­jected to debate. Spon­ta­neous dis­cus­sions were com­ple­mented by more elab­o­rated inter­views with jour­nal­ists and NGO representatives.

Analysing and bring­ing together those dif­fer­ent points of view led the IHECS and its part­ners to select ten flag­ship pro­pos­als to take to the Mem­bers of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. The debate with MEPs will take place on 8 Novem­ber 2011.

A tri­an­gu­lar debate between three main actors of the polit­i­cal Euro­pean scene:

The debate with MEPs, will be brought by both jour­nal­ists and NGOs’representatives.

The direct part­ners of the ini­tia­tive are the Inter­na­tional Alliance of Jour­nal­ists, the Euro­pean Ini­tia­tive for Media Plu­ral­ism, the French sec­tion of the Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tion of teach­ers (AEDE-Fr), the Per­ma­nent forum of civil soci­ety, and

But some other organ­i­sa­tions like the Euro­pean NGO con­fed­er­a­tion of Relief and Devel­op­ment CONCORD, the Inter­na­tional Press Asso­ci­a­tion and the Euro­pean Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists will inter­vene to dis­cuss the pro­pos­als in front of the MEPs.

With impor­tant new Euro­pean media, such as Café Babel and Les Euros du Vil­lage, the event will gather about 40 participants.

The Green MEP Isabelle Durant will intro­duce the dis­cus­sions by shar­ing her own analy­sis of the document.

The event is hosted by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment Infor­ma­tion Office in Bel­gium and sup­ported by the Charles Léopold Mayer Foun­da­tion for the Progress of Humankind.

The fol­low up of the event on Social Euro­pean Jour­nal­ism:

The event will be recorded and then broad­casted on Every two weeks, one of the 10 pro­pos­als will be intro­duced with the com­men­taries and views that were expressed dur­ing the debate.

Join us and com­ment on them !

Related posts:

  1. March 1st: cit­i­zens rally for a Euro­pean con­sti­tu­tional convention
  2. Cit­i­zen ini­tia­tive for Media Plu­ral­ism: from Brus­sels to Bologna
  3. Work­shop to pro­mote Euro­pean social and civic journalism
  4. The Euro­pean Cit­i­zens’ Agora on poverty: hope and disillusion
  5. Local level Euro­pean jour­nal­ism: a worth­while challenge


  • mathew says:

    Hi Esther,

    I almost didn’t see your com­ment — a bit odd that you didn’t com­ment to my blog post, but over here instead…

    In any case, you haven’t exactly answered my ques­tions, so I’ll sum­marise them here for the ben­e­fit of those who didn’t see my post:

    - where are the 3 other pro­pos­als? You are pre­sent­ing them to the EP in 4 days! It’s not exactly in tune with your mis­sion (trans­parency, con­nect­ing EU affairs to the pub­lic) to not even share them online.
     – why do you call Blog­ging­por­tal a part­ner? I’m a (lapsed) Blog­ging­por­tal edi­tor. Noone remem­bers agree­ing we were part­ners
     – and, most impor­tantly!, have you done audi­ence research for these pro­pos­als? Does each have a razor-sharp focus on who the audi­ence is, and how each will offer its audi­ence some­thing orig­i­nal? Which they actu­ally need? And what hap­pens when the fund­ing dries up?

    It’s spelt out (and for­mat­ted) bet­ter on my post, but here’ll do fine.

    Because, after all, we don’t need a ded­i­cated plat­form to have this con­ver­sa­tion. Link­ing together what we have is prob­a­bly a bet­ter use of resources.

    • Esther Durin says:

      Hi Mathew
      The pro­pos­als as they were col­lec­tively elab­o­rated will be pre­sented and debated with jour­nal­ists and MEPs on Tues­day the 8th. We decided (I’m not the only one who decide) to post, after the 8th, each pro­posal with all the com­ments and points of views expressed on the 8th, invit­ing read­ers to com­ment, com­plete, pro­pose other ideas. We will share them, with all the start­ing com­ments. I just annouced that. Maybe that was a mis­take to announce them before pub­lish­ing them. There are 10 pro­pos­als. The 8th is a step, as was the first phys­i­cal debate which took place in IHECS on Decem­ber 1st 2010, where was elab­o­rated the White paper in sup­port of civic and social Euro­pean jour­nal­ism. This one focused on the start­ing analy­sis and the 50 par­tic­i­pants agreed on 35 ideas of pro­pos­als ( the ideas, very few devel­oped, actu­ally pre­sented on the web­site. The last year was ded­i­cated to sub­mit those pro­pos­als to other journalists/NGOs and we met many peo­ple. The Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the result of this process. I’m not Social Euro­pean Jour­nal­ism but only a coor­di­na­tor of a dia­logue. The web­site was just refreshed and the White paper which was pre­sented dur­ing one year (1st step) will be replaced by the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion for com­ments. The idea is to progress col­lec­tively on proposals.

      Con­cern­ing the Blog­ging Por­tal, I totally apol­o­gise. The logo was present on the old web­site (cre­ated by another col­league), with oth­ers logos, with­out men­tion of the nature of the link. It appeared on the new theme with our part­ners. Clear that we are not ! Deleted

      Finally, all the par­tic­i­pants built the pro­pos­als shar­ing their expe­ri­ence of their audi­ence. We involved espe­cially young peo­ple, with our aca­d­e­mic net­works. The analy­sis of the White paper, that I will post in a few min­utes in the blog menu, with the tab “start­ing points”, served as basis for the proposals.

      Thanks Mathew. I offer you to com­ment the ten pro­pos­als when they will be pub­lished ( starts the 9th)

      • mathew says:

        Thanks for all these clarifications.

        I guess my ques­tions will have to wait until you pub­lish your pro­pos­als for Com­mon Peo­ple like us to see, once the great and good of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment have had their say. As I said ear­lier, it’s not exactly the most trans­par­ent process I’ve ever seen…

        • Esther Durin says:

          Please read our his­tory and read what I answered to one of the three ways to dis­cuss you have cho­sen in the same time…
          In 2010, first col­lec­tive work of more than 50 per­sons like you and me ( journalists/ students/ NGO rep­re­sen­ta­tives) => the analy­sis of the sit­u­a­tion and first ideas, posted on SEJ. In 2011, the dia­logue con­tinue with those who want. We already were reg­is­tered in Blog­ging por­tal. Forum on our web­site, mails, meet­ings, tel=> all peo­ple who wanted par­tic­i­pated. End of 2011, we have 10 pro­pos­als elab­o­rated. The forum is closed. A nat­ural next step is to present them to MEPs. Because we can elab­o­rate all the pro­pos­als we want. If we don’t shake the Euro­pean insti­tu­tions, noth­ing will hap­pen…
          The project should have stopped here .

          But we decided that 2012 will be a third step to dis­cuss again the pro­pos­als and make them progress. So we will use the same trans­parency.
          Thanks Mathew.

        • Esther Durin says:

          For an overview of one of our 2010 big meet­ings (in French) :

          • mathew says:

            Hi, I just reacted to your com­ment on my post, and now see this.

            Totally agree to not have two con­ver­sa­tions in 2 places (wasn’t my idea). Given that we are dis­cussing this project, the right place is here, so I’ll forego the traf­fic and com­ments on my blog ;-(

            As I said on my com­ment:
             – thanks for the clar­i­fi­ca­tions
             – best of luck with the pre­sen­ta­tion to the EP
             – pre­pare a thicker skin! ;-)

            Now let’s con­tinue the con­ver­a­tion here!

          • Esther Durin says:

            Thanks Mathew !
            No prob­lem ;-)

  • mathew says:

    Start­ing a new thread, and a very brief one — just a few sug­ges­tions to get your site into shape in time for the EP pre­sen­ta­tion, in case you really are inter­ested in hav­ing an online con­ver­sa­tion here about the proposals.

    Add the ‘sub­scribe to com­ments by email’ func­tion to this site, wher­ever you pro­vide a com­ment func­tion. If you’re using Word­Press or Dru­pal, this should be the eas­i­est thing in the world to add.

    This allows any­one — par­tic­u­larly those who make com­ments — to be informed by email when­ever any­one else adds a com­ment (e.g., a reply) to the same post (sub­scrip­tions are post-specific).

    It really is prob­a­bly the best way of sup­port­ing a con­ver­sa­tion — cur­rently, for exam­ple, I have had to check in on this site man­u­ally to find out if you’ve responded to my lat­est comment.

    And if you’re seri­ous about encour­ag­ing a con­ver­sa­tion, then incor­po­rat­ing ‘recent com­ments’ and/or ‘most com­mented’ widget(s) into all pages is very use­ful — how are peo­ple sup­posed to know where the con­ver­sa­tion is if you don’t show them?

    A com­ments RSS feed is also a good idea, if a bit geeky.

    With over 500 fol­low­ers on Twit­ter, a Twit­ter feed would seem obvi­ous, prefer­ably based on both your user­name and a hash­tag. I wouldn’t bother with a Fbook feed, though, unless you intend doing some­thing on FB next week.

    Good luck

    • Esther Durin says:

      Thanks for those advices Mathew. You noticed I’m novice in social media. But we really want to widen again the debate, as far as pos­si­ble.
      I will fix this tonight. I apre­ci­ate your help.

  • Esther Durin says:

    Hi Mathew and thanks ! I agree with you.
    Our first gen­eral goal, with SEJ, is to develop and strenghten the Euro­pean pub­lic debate, to inform cit­i­zens about Euro­pean poli­cies, not only in spe­cialised press or as for­reign affair, but in a inte­gra­tive way, in close link with local and regional infor­ma­tion.
    Right that for that, we need first more sus­tain­able EU media. The ten pro­pos­als cho­sen will first fol­low this goal: cre­ate politic, eco­nomic and legal con­di­tions to pro­tect plu­ral­ism, not only plu­ral­ity of own­ers but a real politic and cul­tural plu­ral­ity . But beside that, that’s right that we decided to focus also on the links between jour­nal­ists and NGOs. Right that NGOs are stake­hold­ers but know­ing that, they rep­re­sent a great alter­na­tive source of Euro­pean infor­ma­tion, esp­ceially on the con­crete impact of the Euro­pean decisions/policies. A plat­form where jour­nal­ists and NGO rep­re­sen­ta­tives is for us an inter­est­ing tool.
    But I under­stand your views because many EU plat­form (dif­fer­ent) already exist, with­out real impact. And they don’t really change the con­di­tions of work of the journalists.

    We devel­oped for that a few pro­pos­als ( they are not on the web­site for the moment) like
     – make “infor­ma­tion for cit­i­zens” and not only broad­cast­ing as it is, a Ser­vice of Gen­eral Inter­est
    –Cre­ate a bal­ance between pub­lic ser­vice media, com­mer­cial media and community-based media ( as Argentina did)
    –Cre­ate a new employe­ment statute for Euro­pean cor­re­spon­dents

    The other pro­pos­als con­cerns also the training

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