How to finance independent Journalism Education, Platforms, Business Models

8th – 14th September, 2017, Potsdam
(7th arrival, 15th departure)

Titled “How to finance independent journalism – education, platforms, business models”, the M100 Young European Journalists Workshop (M100YEJ) is inviting 15 journalists from the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia between the ages of 18 and 27 to Potsdam and Berlin, Germany.

1.    The Topic
The financing of independent journalistic projects in transformation societies and autocracies is a key concern that impedes or at least hinders democratic processes and developments. This is especially true in the Eastern Partnership countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, as well as in Russia, where journalists who wish to report independently of state media have a very difficult time. The Ukraine-Russia conflict also weighs on relations with Western Europe and democratisation processes in Eastern Partnership countries. Enforced conformity of the media, suppression of non-state, independent journalism and massive propaganda amount to a severe restriction of freedom of the press and expression, and a setback for democratisation processes. It is therefore crucial not only to impart journalistic tools of the trade and ethical standards, but also to provide young journalists from this region with information about the financing options available and which models are suitable for their ideas and potential readers, enabling them to realise their journalistic projects and support democratic processes.

2.    The Workshop
This is the third time that the M100YEJ is inviting participants from Eastern Partnership countries. Participants in this year’s M100YEJ will be introduced to various financing options and opportunities, which will be considered together on the basis of concrete examples. This also includes analysing which models work in the specific conditions of individual countries, and which do not.
The workshop is being organised and prepared in cooperation with the journalist association Netzwerk Recherche e.V., an M100 partner organisation that launched a founding initiative in the area of non-profit journalism in 2016 and is currently planning further training opportunities for initiators of journalistic projects. The cooperation includes the provision of suitable lecturers, knowledge transfer and exchange of experience, networking with research journalists and consulting future founders of journalistic initiatives. The focus will be, among other things, on securing journalistic independence for the founders and developing sustainable financing models. Workshop participants can also train to be trainers themselves, so that they can teach what they have learned to those seeking journalistic education and ongoing training in their home countries. The workshop will be held in English.
A number of M100 alumni have gone on to work for successful independent media organisations across Europe, such as De Correspondent in the Netherlands, for example, or Hromadske.TV in the Ukraine, or have even founded their own media organisations such as Daniel Drepper the investigative Netzwerk Correct!v and Jakub Górnicki the reportage platform Outriders.

We have invited them, as well as founders of other German media start-ups to introduce participants to the various financing concepts and offer helpful tips for financing and conducting independent journalism. With this information and an experienced founder as a contact person, participants conclude the workshop by creating their own concept for establishing an independent (online) medium.

3.    The Outcome
The aim of the workshop is to initiate a cross-border journalistic platform for the Eastern Partnership countries, along the lines of Correct!v or, for example.
To this end, we also put participants in contact with organisations such as and journalism-promoting foundations that provide young journalists with the prerequisites for funding and support and, in some cases, could serve as financing partners.
The workshop also includes a two-day stay as a guest student in various editorial offices and journalistic start-ups in Berlin.

The week ends on 14 September with participation in the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. Held shortly before the German Bundestag elections, this year’s colloquium will present some 70 high-level representatives from the fields of politics, science, media, and relevant companies and institutions. Titled “Democracy or Despotism? The Renaissance of Dark Powers”, the event explores the impact of current political developments in Europe, the world situation after Trump’s first nine months in office, as well as the future and responsibility of the media.

The annual M100 YEJ, ongoing since 2005, has created a tight network of young journalists from all over Europe, a large part of which is connected via an M100 alumni group and other social networks. Participants in past workshops have realised collaborative, cross-border projects in the form of blogs, platforms, films or reports, and several of them have been award-winning.