Sixteen European news agencies have agreed to set up a joint newsroom focusing on European affairs and the European Union, with the newsroom set to be officially established in January. Shared facilities for foreign correspondents should open around mid-May.
“I strongly believe that by working together across borders, media are stronger. We have seen the incredible results of cross-border investigations, such as the recent Pandora papers. I also believe that such networks and solidarity make it more difficult for states to interfere,“ said the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová.
The Pandora Papers, which accused former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of tax fraud, were widely credited with playing a role in his surprise loss in this year’s elections.
The European Commission supported the establishment of the international newsroom with €1.76 million.
AFP (France), ANSA (Italy), Agerpres (Romania), APA (Austria), ATA (Albania), Belga (Belgium), BTA (Bulgaria), DPA (Germany), EFE (Spain), Europa Press (Spain), FENA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), HINA (Croatia), MIA (Macedonia), STA (Slovenia), Tanjug (Serbia) and TASR (Slovakia) have joined the project.
Many of the news organizations are state owned and seen as leaning left-liberal in their reporting. They will benefit with sharing information, approaching personalities for interviews, or cross-border cooperation. The joint editorial staff are also expected to produce reports on the European Union in more languages, published on a shared web. According to AFP, training seminars on digital technologies or fact-finding are also planned.