The European Commission announced early this week the creation of a European newsroom that will bring together in a Brussels hub 16 news agencies from different European countries - including Romanian National News Agency AGERPRES - with the aim of improving media coverage related to the European Union and strengthening the media sector, the EU executive said in a statement.
This will be "the first ever pan-European newsroom that will allow journalists to report jointly on EU affairs and promote a spirit of collaboration back at home," European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton told the European News Media Forum on November 29, cited by German agency DPA, which will coordinate this new project.
"With this new stage, we are organizing Europe's information space and increasing citizens' access to quality information," said Thierry Breton.
"When 16 news agencies from 15 countries, each with their national perspective on Europe, use a common newsroom in Brussels, everyone benefits from the variety of perspectives. Thanks to this networking, the journalistic quality increases,'' explains the chairman of the DPA executive board Peter Kroepsch, adding that the project will also include training activities, events and editorial infrastructure such as technology and news feeds.
"With the ENR concept, it is particularly important to us that all partners commit to free, independent journalism," says Kroepsch.
The European Commission will allocate 1.76 million euros to this project, with funding directed, among others, to journalism training and the creation of a new multilingual website with articles on European issues by the participating news agencies.
''By working together across borders, media are stronger. We have seen the incredible results of cross-border investigations, such as the recent Pandora papers. The Commission is increasing its support for this type of collaboration, with the European Newsroom today and a series of new journalism partnerships by the end of the year," European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova also said at the European Media Forum.
Apart from Germany's DPA, which will act as project coordinator, the other agencies participating in the pan-European newsroom are AFP (France), AGERPRES (Romania), ANSA (Italy), APA (Austria), ATA (Albania), Belga (Belgium), BTA (Bulgaria), EFE and Europa Press (both from Spain), FENA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), HINA (Croatia), MIA (North Macedonia), STA (Slovenia), Tanjug (Serbia) and TASR (Slovakia).
"Most of these agencies will find themselves in a common place where they will be able to exchange ideas on all European topics, request interviews together and publish on a dedicated website some of these editorial productions," writes AFP, noting also that "the participants will also be able to benefit from training activities, especially in the digital field and fact-checking."
The project is expected to start in January, and the newsroom will become operational around mid-2022, according to the European Commission, which is currently looking for a premise for the new media entity.