SoJo Europe Selection Cohort FAQ

Please first take a look at the programme details. Still have questions? Reserve a pre-application meeting with the project coordinator.

What do I need before I can apply?

Enthusiasm to expand your production of solutions-focused stories! Some experience would help, but we are looking mainly at your motivation to either adopt to this approach or to increase your production with this type of content. A history of running stories related to climate change (a main focus of this programme); investigative reporting; and cross-border stories would also help.

When is it possible to apply?

The open public deadline is 04 April 2024. Subsequent deadlines will be limited to cohort members, with the first deadline likely in May 2024.

Do I need to publish my story in English?

No. At subsequent calls for cohort members to produce cross-border investigative project, the result of your journalistic investigation can be published in any language. However, it is required to submit your full project application in English. English is the common language of our international jury and all jury members need to be able to assess all applications on the same basis.

Can you apply alone?

Yes – for membership in the cohort. Subsequent calls for cohort members will include a requirement to collaborate with at least one other media outlet from a different eligible country.

Can any media outlet apply?

Yes! Any small media outlets with an incorporated legal entity registered in any Creative Europe participating countries (EU or non-EU) can apply, which include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. You will need to provide supporting documents of your registration.

Are professional freelance journalist eligible to apply?

No. Only media outlets can apply.

What is the ‘cohort’?

Being a part of the cohort, an exclusive group of European media outlets, will be a great opportunity to help shape the growth of solutions journalism across the continent and benefit from the latest methods for using this approach to increase reader trust and revenue. For more information, please check out the Grant Details page.

How much money can we ask?

In the initial stage of the programme, no money will be distributed yet. You will not be asked to provide a budget. We are, initially, only looking to form this knowledge hub with media outlets all across Europe. The opportunity to receive money for a cross-border project will come at a later stage and limited to cohort members only.

Which European countries are eligible to apply?

Media outlets that legally reside from Creative Europe participating countries are eligible to apply. They are registered in countries that are members of the European Union and non-EU participating countries, which include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine.

Is the consortium asking for anything in return?

No, if you are transparent and mention the support of the grant programme in all communications and publications. You must also agree to have mentors during the story-production process to provide feedback and ensure the principles of solutions journalism are applied.

What is solutions journalism?

Solutions Journalism is rigorous reporting about responses to society’s problems. It is complete journalism that not only spotlights the problems but follows an evidence-based presentation of existing solutions. Such reporting enhances knowledge and accountability by providing the whole story to readers and offers constructive content in an age of media apathy.

For more information, please see Transitions’ solutions journalism resource centre, which also includes an online solutions journalism course that you can take for free.

What is climate-related journalism?

Climate-related journalism has a unique role in covering environmental issues all over the world, which may include predictions and scientific data reporting on climate summits and conventions that would contribute to public debate. Solution-focused journalists with expertise in climate reporting are the watchdogs that raise awareness and highlight effective responses to combating the climate crisis. The result is informative, impactful content that strengthens audience engagement, re-establishes trust in the media, and increases both readership and revenue.

Is mentorship available?

Successful applicants must agree to receive feedback from mentors during the production of content. The mentors will be assigned to you. For more information, please visit the Grant Details page.

How do we compile and submit our grant application?

One team member from each media outlet can start an application through the online application form. The online application-in-progress is easy to navigate and can be saved multiple times before final submission.

When will we know the result of our grant application?

After the application deadline, independent jury members with experience in constructive and solutions journalism will assess the applications for formal compliance with the eligible countries and completeness of answers. They will make their determinations on who will be part of the cohort based on the criteria set forth.

Applicants are usually informed about the jury decision around 40 days after the application deadline.

Where does the money come from? And how can Journalismfund Europe safeguard mine and its own independence?

SoJo Europe programme is funded by the European Commission (Creative Europe) and private donors (TBC).

All formal agreements between Journalismfund Europe and its donors stipulate independence and no editorial interference. (Representatives from) donors can never be part of the juries that award the grants. Journalismfund Europe does not take money from donors that don’t agree with these terms.

We adopted an Ethical Funding Policy to ensure that Journalismfund Europe properly manages its priorities and projects with appropriate independence from its funders. This Policy also aims at providing transparency regarding the identity of Journalismfund Europe’s sources of funding to avoid any suspicion of inappropriate influence or conflicts of interest concerning Journalismfund Europe’s activities.

Journalismfund Europe’s financial records are reviewed annually by an independent auditor. You can find all funding information and financial documents here.

Is the information I submit to Journalismfund Europe about myself, my organisation, and my work secure?

Journalismfund Europe strives for the highest standards for data protection and security. Read about our privacy and data protection measures here.

What is Journalismfund Europe actually?

Journalismfund Europe vzw is a Belgium based independent non‐profit intermediairy established with the purpose of promoting independent investigative journalism.
Check the general FAQ about our organisation.

Still have more questions? Talk to our project coordinator

Register to speak with our project coordinator. Click here to view the calendar.

More information

Do you still have questions about this grant programme or the application procedure? Do you want pre-application advice? Don't hesitate to contact us!

SoJo Europe