Cuts to budgets across all media outlets make journalist’s lives more difficult. This happens at a time when cross-border reporting is crucial for cohesion and intercultural understanding in Europe. In the strong belief that collaborative reporting creates better stories we launched hostwriter, a non-profit network that already enables 2000 members from 90 countries to seek advice, share contacts and even find accomodation. We now aim to join hands with media organizations who share our vision.
Independent journalism plays an important role for Europe's future. Without a sense of common identity there can be no European democracy. By their very nature, journalists play a vital role as societal watchdogs and in shaping public opinion. In order to strengthen media pluralism and overcome the restrictions of nationally-defined viewpoints and stereotypes it is most urgent that journalists are equipped to respond to European issues and have full access to network, travel and research.
The need for balanced, well-researched press has never been greater within Europe. We aim to scale up hostwriter’s impact in Europe by partnering with other existing networks. Thanks to Tandem Europe, we already initiated this process with the Greek organization Oikomedia. Our success would be to become the biggest hub for collaborative journalism in Europe, strengthening media pluralism and enabling more independent journalists to work across Europe uninhibited by national borders.
1 Cooperation with similar sites:
We plan to program API-interfaces which will allow members to access the large pool of data from different platforms (hostwriter.org, oikomedia, correlations and journalismfund). Overcoming competing mindsets and joining time, skills and competences, all organizations will benefit from jointly pursuing our shared vision.
2) Facilitating access:
In response to an ever-growing mobile membership, we plan to program an App that will combine the best tools from all existing platforms, like feedback groups or „network of trust“-indicators.
3) Promoting European stories:
We aim to improve the visibility of cross-border stories as these may spur ideas for new stories or cooperations. Ideas range from cooperation with European media to launching an online-mag.
Since our launch in May 2014, almost 2.000 media professionals from more than 90
countries have been using hostwriter as a launchpad for journalistic collaboration. We have the support and partnership of over 30 organizations including ‘Reporters Without Borders’, the US-based ‘Duke Media Fellows’ or Greece-based platform ‚Oikomedia’. Ultimately, we target all residents of Europe by providing access to more independent, in-depth cross-border reporting from Europe and beyond.
In times of budget cuts and global media competition, „elbow-journalism“ prevails in Europe and worldwide. Several media start-ups have tried to fill the gap by connecting journalists to publishers through a system of algorithmic selection – thus increasing competition between colleagues even further. Hostwriter suggests the exact opposite: The free-of-charge network is a hub from journalists for journalists promoting mutual solidarity and support. Collaboration instead of competition!
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
A) MATERIAL COSTS Office expenses: € 3.720 Travel costs: € 8.000 Accomodation and subsistence: € 6.000 Event costs: € 18.000 Fees and honoraries: € 13.500 Public relations: € 6.800 B) PERSONNEL COSTS: € 24.800
„Collaboration instead of Competition“ – this is more than just our organizations’ claim. It is our mission. We are highly motivated to engage with the Advocate Europe community and exchange ideas, comments and advice. As an organization with a focus on media, we are particularly interested in hearing about like-minded initiaties from founders who share our philosophy and goals. Advice and comments about similar organizations or collaborative journalism projects are thus very much appreciated.