The Multimedia Actions aim to engage citizens in EU policy-making process by providing them with information about European issues, beyond local and national angles, thus reinforcing Europe's democratic pillars. Media financed under this heading retain full editorial independence. It is sanctioned by an editorial charter of independence included in all contracts and grants.
Three actions are funding under this line:
Euronews NBC is an independent news TV channel producing information in 12 languages. This includes 8 official EU languages - English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Public-service broadcasters launched the channel in 1993.
Over the years, the Commission and Euronews have signed multiple successive Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) to set the overall frame for the cooperation. The current FPA was signed in February 2017 with a duration of four years. The partnership is implemented through specific, annual grant agreements for the production and distribution of EU programmes and individual language versions.
The breakdown of the EU's financial support, in commitment appropriations (2017), is as follows:
- Production and broadcast of programmes on EU affairs: EUR 9 million;
- Production and broadcast of the Arabic service: EUR 2.5 million;
- Production and broadcast of the Greek, Hungarian and Portuguese services: EUR 6.6 million.
The EU also funds production and broadcast of the Farsi service and many magazines through other budget lines.
External ex-ante audits and evaluations are regularly conducted to assess the cost structures of the contracts. They provide a qualitative assessment of the performance of the different actions funded under the scheme.
Radio network Euranet Plus
The Commission supports the coverage of EU affairs in radio programmes across Europe. A specific grant agreement was signed with Euranet Plus in August 2017 for a duration of two years, with a value of EUR 2.1 million per year. It aims to strengthen reporting on EU affairs and reach at least 2 million listeners per week. Under this agreement, each of the radios that are part of the Euranet Plus network has to produce and broadcast at least 25 minutes per week.
They produce radio reports, talk shows and interviews to address and explain EU affairs to their listeners, and to compare viewpoints across Europe.
Euranet Plus currently gathers 13 radios from 13 Member States. By August 2019, at least 20 other radios will be included as re-broadcaster. The network has a central office in Brussels to help radio stations in their journalistic work and to exchange best practices.
External evaluations have been conducted in 2012 and 2016, to assess the performance of previous agreements with Euranet (Plus).
Data-driven news production
Following an open Call for Proposals in 2016, the Commission has granted support to two media consortia covering EU affairs through data-driven techniques. Both consortia operate with full editorial independence.
European Data News Hub
European Data News Hub brings together Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA) for the creation and distribution of data dashboards, infographics, videos, polls and other content around EU topics in 5 languages. Content is made available to any interested media through their wires, through a free online hub and on social media. Other news agencies and data journalism specialists from across Europe will be associated during 2018.
European Data Journalism Network
More than 16 media outlets work together in the European Data Journalism Network, an open network initiated by Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (Italy), VoxEurop (France), Alternatives économiques (France), Spiegel Online (Germany) and EUObserver (Belgium), in close partnership with Local Focus (Netherlands), Journalism++ (Sweden) and Journalism Robotics (Sweden). Eight other media across Europe already take part as EDJNet partners in the network, creating a potential audience of 70 million unique monthly viewers.
The network produces data-driven investigations, in-depth articles, explanatory stories and features, as well as infographics, videos and short reviews in up to 12 languages. It is open to additional partners, and includes a helpdesk for interested journalists.
Both grant agreements will run until 2019. The total amount of EU co-financing is EUR 1.95 million, equally divided between both projects.
Find more information on these two projects.