Jelena Prtorić chosen as Bertha fellow

Our Arena Climate Network project director Jelena Prtorić is chosen as one of the Bertha Challenge fellows for 2022!

The Bertha Challenge is an opportunity for activists and investigative journalists “to spend a year focusing on one pressing social justice issue.” In 2022, the fellows will focus on the question of how the relationship between politics and profit is contributing to the degradation and loss of our freshwater and oceans, and what can be done to ensure equitable access and protection of those finite resources for people and planet?

For her Bertha Challenge Fellowship, Jelena will work on an in-depth, data-driven investigation into the quality of drinking water in Europe together with Luisa Izuzquiza (Open Knowledge Foundation Germany), focusing on the pesticide and fertilizer residues in drinking water. They will look into discrepancies between the ambition of EU legislation and its implementation; learn more about the industry’s ties with policymakers; identify the areas where the levels of these hazardous substances are especially high and ultimately explore their impact on our environment and health.

Jelena Prtorić is a freelance journalist who has reported for a wide variety of publications in English, French, and her native Croatian. Her work has focused on gender and human rights, migration, the environment/climate, and social movements, through an investigative and (often) cross-border lens. As of 2020, Jelena has been part of the Arena for Journalism in Europe team.


Get data help for your climate or energy story!

Are you struggling with a data problem in your reporting? Last hours left in our data mentorship programme! Sign up here for a free consultation from our data journalism trainers!

Are you interested in investigating stories related to the climate crisis, energy transition or environmental wrong-doing and you need some help in making sense of the datasets you’ve come across? Our mentors Adriana Homolova and Jonathan Stoneman will help you question the climate-related datasets of your choice. The tools and knowledge acquired will allow you to continue working on the topic of your choice.

Apply for the data mentorships here.

*Please have in mind that the dataset you’ve been working on /want to work on needs to be related to climate/energy/the environment.

Arena is partner in pioneering crossborder journalism education

Arena for Journalism in Europe is partner in a pioneering education for crossborder journalism with five European journalism schools, and the project has just received €340,000 in support from Erasmus+.

A two-year pilot project will gather journalism master students from the University of Gothenburg, the Centre de Formation des Journalistes in Paris and the University of Leipzig. The project will be followed and documented by researchers from OsloMet and the University of Amsterdam.

Read more

Use our data – investigate housing in your own town

Everyone needs a home, and high demand for rental flats across European  cities has contributed to make housing a very attractive investment. The total investment into residential real estate in Europe increased more than 700 per cent between 2009 and 2020, from 7.9 to 66.9 billion euros, according to data by Real Capital Analytics.

Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How many homes do corporate landlords own, buy and sell in our cities? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes around Europe?

To answer those questions, Arena for Journalism in Europe has since October 2020 hosted and coordinated Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe, a collaborative investigation initially involving journalists and media partners across 16 European countries.

More than 60 stories have so far come out of the investigation and been published by 14 media outlets – but the job is not done.

We are now launching a new website where we share our methodology and approach to data visualisation, and we also make available a data catalogue including all the datasets we have been working with, including those we had to build ourselves from scratch.

Our aim is to help more journalists, and also academic and other researchers, to carry out similar investigations and find relevant data focusing on more cities and on particular corporate landlords.

If we can get more data and make them available, the new Cities for Rent website could become a collaborative research hub for journalists and other investigators.

Because we believe in transparency and in honest collaboration, we also describe the limitations of our methodology and the challenges we have faced to get meaningful and comparable data about different cities.

By explaining our methodology and the difficulties, we believe the Cities for Rent website may also be a useful resource to teach data and collaborative journalism.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to carry out a similar investigation or contribute data about this topic, please get in touch with us.

See the intro video for the “Cities for Rent” project


Kickstart your crossborder journalism

Apply to join the European Collaborative Journalism Programme (ECJP)

The Toepfer Foundation and Arena for Journalism in Europe have joined forces to support collaborative journalism among journalists from all over Europe and call for applications to participate in the European Collaborative Journalism Programme.

Digital transformation is putting the media system under pressure. This affects the quality and diversity of the media but also hampers more resource-demanding investigative journalism and in-depth research. At the same time, cross-border stories have become more prevalent such as in the fields of migration, organized crime, pollution or consumer protection. Collaborative journalism provides the means to maintain investigations despite declining resources. It allows to pool resources and expertise, to analyse facts and data jointly and to also publish in several media at the same time.

Continue reading “Kickstart your crossborder journalism”

Data dilemmas: Dealing with data and investigating the consequences

How do we track surveillance and deal with cybersecurity? How do we investigate abuse of personal data? How can we assess the lobbying power of big tech? These are questions of acute importance for all journalists – here is a chance to get closer to some answers!

Join us for a series of three half-day seminars in a cooperation between the Panelfit Consortium, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, European Data Journalism Network and Arena for Journalism in Europe. The seminars are aimed at journalists, academics, and NGOs. They are open for all and free of charge.

Read more and register

Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe

Everyone needs a home, and even more during a pandemic.

High demand for rental flats across European cities has contributed to make housing a very attractive investment. At at time when many people can’t find an affordable and decent flat to live, reports of a huge increase in investment flows into housing across Europe go hand in hand with stories of abusive practices by ‘corporate landlords’, companies that buy and rent out housing for profit.

Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes in European cities? Continue reading “Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe”

Join the new European network for journalistic non-profits

A new generation of news organisations is rising all across Europe – one that is strongly committed to serve its audience through public interest journalism and is eagerly trying to build up new, sustainable business models for our profession. In a joint effort Netzwerk Recherche and Arena for Journalism in Europe together with partners from academia (HBI, ZeMKI) and philanthropy (Schöpflin Stiftung) will – for the first time – bring together this emerging scene of journalistic entrepreneurs that we call The New Sector.

We identified close to a hundred news outlets all over Europe that are part of this journalistic evolution. We will soon create an online map and a searchable database of Europe’s vivid scene of journopreneurs in which we want to display the agility, versatility and creativity found among its members. Continue reading “Join the new European network for journalistic non-profits”

The Climate Networks reaches out at BETD

On Thursday, March 18 (10.30-11.30 CET), Arena for Journalism in Europe will be at Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) Media Fellows – Connecting Journalists Conference to present the Arena Climate Network. Our network coordinator, Jelena Prtorić, will discuss the benefits and importance of networking, will introduce different elements and features of the Arena Climate Network and will talk about the future of network development and climate journalism in Europe (and beyond).

Here you can find the program for the day (constantly updated) and here you’ll find more information about the BETD conference.

If you haven’t done so already, join the Arena Climate Network / and follow us on Twitter. 

The Arena Housing Project is flying

The Arena Housing Project has recently experienced some of its busiest weeks as it has launched more tools and resources for journalists and researchers working on housing across Europe.

We have welcomed Jelena Prtorić as a Community Coordinator at Arena, and it’s in a big part thanks to hear that you can now follow the Arena Housing Project on Twitter, where we keep you updated about housing issues from a journalistic perspective and share collaborative resources.

We have also launched the Arena Housing Knowledge Base, a repository of useful and actionable data and information about housing. There you’ll find different kinds of resources (data sources and sets, media and other reports, policy and court cases, housing initiatives…) classified into seven topics: access to housing, big landlords, empty homes, homelessness, land ownership, short-term rentals, and social and public housing.

As cooperation among our network members becomes tighter and cross-border investigations start being discussed, we are now providing the network with a fully-fledged online collaborative environment: cloud and office tools, a wiki application, and a chat server. Now cross-border teams have ready the necessary online infrastructure to launch and and work on collaborative projects.

Of course, it all began with the Arena Housing List launched shortly after Dataharvest 2019, where the Arena Housing Project was born, and which now has now over 200 members, the big majority of them journalists interested in housing and spread all over Europe, and also academic researchers, policy experts and people from advocacy organisations and activist groups.

So many resources and web pages, so many links. But don’t despair, as there’s only one easy link you need to save or remember to find the Housing Project of Arena for Journalism in Europe: