The Journalism Value Survey: Mapping Public Interest Journalism in Europe

How can independent public interest journalism convert its public value into financial value? With the Journalism Value Project, we aim to find that out. 

Why? Because as journalists ourselves, we know how hard it is to be a founder, CEO and editor-in-chief all in one. And we know how crucial knowledge transfer can be for media start-ups to thrive in challenging environments.

This two-year project is a joint collaboration between three independent European newsrooms, and two major journalism networks: Átlátszó Erdély, Fumaça, Investigate Europe, Netzwerk Recherche, and the Reference Circle, part of Arena for Journalism in Europe. 

Together we aim to support European public interest media to become financially sustainable through better monetising the value they provide to society. 

We begin this project today with the most in-depth survey to-date on the state of independent public interest media in Europe, to get a clear and comprehensive understanding of the landscape in Europe. With this we aim to better understand how these media organisations are currently financed, what business models work in which context and how funders can better support the sector.

This research builds upon Netzwerk Recherche’s The New Sector Report (2022), the work of the Institute for Nonprofit News in the US and PINF in the UK. It also tries to add up to Project Oasis’s recent report.

But in order to learn about revenue streams, correlations between audience engagement and sustainability, and the value of these outlets for society and democracy we need your help! So we’re inviting every European news outlet from the growing sector of nonprofit and for-profit media organisations, filling the gaps that struggling legacy media has left behind, to take part, and share the survey widely.

Please fill out our online survey (it takes approximately 30-45 minutes), and help us map the European independent public interest media’s status, significance, and its key challenges.

And if you need even more reasons to jump aboard: Survey participants can win tickets to next year’s Dataharvest conference (30. May to 2. June 2024)!

In return for your contribution, we also will provide a comprehensive report that showcases business tactics in different regional or political contexts which can be used as blueprints by everyone in the field. The survey results will also feed into a series of podcasts that will provide deep dives into the most important non-editorial issues small to mid-sized newsrooms struggle with all around the world.

In addition we will use the data to publicly pinpoint the importance of independent public interest journalism for our democracies in times of rampant populism and diminishing trust in media and advocate to stakeholders like funders and politicians for more effective support schemes.

With a deeper understanding and stronger evidence of successful business models and powerful value indicators in hand, we aim to kindle a new era of resilient, thriving public interest media in Europe.

So please, help us, help you, and take part today!

The project is co-funded by the European Commission. The research is supported by the Journalism Funders Forum. If you’re unsure whether your newsroom fits the criteria for participation, check out our FAQ.

This post originally appeared on the Reference Circle website.