On Friday, Natalie Nougayrède (The Guardian), David Levy (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism), Sylvie Kauffmann (Le Monde), and Ryan Heath (Politico Europe) met at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia to discuss the future of pan-European journalism.
The panelists shared their experiences working on a number of collaborative projects between newsrooms around Europe. Among these were the Europa supplement, a joint reporting project between 6 European newspapers, and the Guardian’s Europe Now series.
The panelists stressed the importance of bringing the media out of their national contexts and into a common European public sphere.
“We realised now that we need to work together much more. We need this public European space,” Kauffmann said, speaking of her experience working for the Europa supplement. “There is a need for this, and also a readership for this.”
The panelists also discussed the challenges facing pan-European journalism efforts today, namely, the question of language. Considering that the European space is made up of dozens of linguistic backgrounds, cross-border collaborations must rely heavily on translation – which often adds significant costs for newsrooms that already operate on tight budgets.
The challenge of turning readership into revenue was also cited as a major barrier to pan-European journalism initiatives, largely due to the limited appeal of a cross-border market for advertisers.
Still, the panelists were optimistic about the prospects of a truly European media in the future. “For Europe to build a public space in one or in many languages, it will take time,” Heath said. “But I think all of these efforts are worth it, even if they don’t give results in the very first round.”
Priscille Biehlmann – volunteer press office IJF19