Frequently Asked Questions
What is the European Newsroom?
The European Newsroom (enr) is a cooperation project involving 19 European news agencies. Within this framework, the agencies seek to network and exchange information, thereby enlivening and enriching their reporting on Europe and the EU. Journalists who cover “Europe” need good working conditions in Brussels. This is one of the reasons why we run the enr. The journalists’ reporting on “Europe” is essential. In Brussels, regulations are set in motion that directly affect many millions of people. When 19 European news agencies, each with their own national perspective on Europe, use a common newsroom in Brussels, everyone benefits from the diversity of perspectives. Thanks to this networking, journalistic quality increases.
Which agencies are involved in the enr?
20 news agencies are participating in this cooperation. They are: dpa, AFP, AGERPRES, AMNA, ANP, ANSA, APA, ATA, Belga, BTA, EFE, Europa Press, FENA, HINA, MIA, PAP, STA, Tanjug, TASR and UKRINFORM.
Who is eligible to participate?
It is crucial for participation that interested agencies and media commit themselves to free and independent journalism. Part of the participation agreement is a binding statute for all partners, which requires factual and independent reporting.
Further requirements for participation in the enr:
- The agency must offer a general news service with contributions from its politics, business and panorama/human interest news desks.
- The news agency guarantees that its employees in the enr are independent of third-party influence. This journalistic independence must be lived in practice and must also be recognizable in the content produced. The agency journalists commit themselves to the values and quality standards of the enr. These include verification, journalistic diligence and transparency.
- Participating news agencies must be registered in an EU member state or in a state that is in the process of applying to join the EU. The latter group includes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. News agencies registered in Switzerland or Norway may also participate.
What does the enr report on?
The agencies are tasked with providing comprehensive coverage of important events. Brussels is a place where highly relevant decisions for Europe are negotiated. That’s why all the agencies offer continuous reporting from Brussels, in order to provide their respective media clients with a rich and multifaceted range of journalistic content. The enr agencies exchange ideas and develop journalistic content for the enr’s joint website, which provides an overview of the most important developments in each agency‘s European and EU coverage from the perspective of the respective country. The website offers content from the participating agencies in German, English and French. Further languages will be added at a later stage. The enr-website will display abbreviated and selected content that has been distributed on the individual agency wires before. In addition, a newsletter is being developed.
How is collaboration between the agencies organized?
Content will be produced at the Brussels newsroom from June 2022. Should the pandemic render it necessary, temporary virtual or hybrid collaboration are also possible On site, the agency journalists can work alongside each other and exchange and network directly. A core service of the enr will be training opportunities and events. In the start-up phase, these will take place virtually or in hybrid form. The working language of the enr is English.
Apart from the close collaboration, a further advantage of the enr will be the shared technological and news feed infrastructure, which will foster reliable, critical and factual reporting from Brussels. When it comes to securing interview partners, the strength of the network should not be underestimated. This opens up new collaboration opportunities between the agencies. It will be a cooperation at eye level.
Who benefits from this?
There is a crucial juncture in the project where the interests of the EU and the news agencies converge. The agencies have the task of providing comprehensive coverage of important events. Brussels is a place where highly relevant decisions for Europe are negotiated. That’s why all the agencies report from Brussels continuously, in order to provide their media customers with a rich and multifaceted offering. The European Newsroom makes a contribution toward equal access to information. Ultimately, all the media outlets that use agency services benefit from the optimal equipment and networking of correspondents in Brussels.
How does the enr counter the spread of fake news and disinformation?
Quality journalism acts as an immune system against disinformation. In this regard, news agencies and the EU have similar interests. The agencies pledge to report factually and independently. There are large and small agencies in Europe with very different economic potentials.
The European Newsroom makes an important contribution to providing smaller news agencies with access to sources and a top production infrastructure in the central European decision-making hub of Brussels. In the European Newsroom, training courses and events are planned to promote the digital competence of journalists, for example in the area of fact-checking, because the best protection against disinformation and propaganda are facts. They should be presented soberly and in a clear manner, as delivered by news agencies. That’s our job.
How are journalistic independence and diversity guaranteed?
We see it as our core task to boost factual and independent journalism. It is one of the essential foundations of society. Within this framework, we will continue to report critically and independently on EU issues. There will be no possibility whatsover to exert any influence on reporting. Each agency produces its services and is responsible for its own content. It is and remains the core task of a news agency to provide non-partisan and independent information to all media and institutions that subscribe to these agency services. That is why it is crucial in this project that all partners commit to free and independent journalism. When 19 European news agencies, each with its own national perspective on Europe, use a common newsroom in Brussels, everyone benefits from the diversity of perspectives. Thanks to this networking, journalistic quality increases.
Do agencies at the enr get support for their reporting on Europe?
Each of the participating agencies benefits from the networking of international journalists. The power of the network should not be underestimated when it comes to finding interview partners. Collaboration opens up completely new possibilities. It’s important to us that all agencies in the newsroom work together on an equal footing. Hence the funding concept, which helps to create equal opportunities for all. At the same time, the newsroom ensures a much higher level of understanding of relevant topics and broader perspectives, owing to the personal networking of colleagues on site. This benefits everyone – no matter how large or small the respective agency partner is.
How can the enr contribute to a greater understanding of the EU and developments in Europe?
The European Newsroom will greatly enhance the quality of reporting and its independence. Journalists covering Europe need good working conditions in Brussels. We’re working hard to achieve this aim. The journalists’ reporting from Brussels is essential, since regulations are set in motion here that directly affect many millions of people, not only in the EU member states but also in the candidate countries.