MJRC publishes the first study in Mapping of EU Spending on Media, a project aimed to study the impact of EU funds on Europe’s media and journalism.

Funding allocated by the EU for media and journalism projects has risen steeply in the past five years, with the average awarded budget standing at €3.14m and some 28% of the projects receiving funding between €1m and €2m, according to a new study released today by Media and Journalism Research Center (MJRC). Using publicly available data from EU sources, the center identified 94 projects focused on journalism that received a total combined of €295.1 million in funding between 2018 and 2024.

Projects launched in 2022 are expected to be awarded over €99.3m for their duration, which is a major increase compared to the projects launched in the previous years of the period analyzed in this study. Among the preferred themes, “Security” seems to be a priority for the European Union: projects under this theme only received 8% of total funding, but two projects attracted a total of €12m combined. That seems to be an indication that combating disinformation using new technologies remains one of the top priorities on the EU’s agenda.

The European Union (EU) is one of the largest sources of funding for media in Europe, providing financial support for a wide range of media-related activities such as content production projects, journalism initiatives, research, policy projects, and literacy programs.

Although there is a wealth of information available on EU funding and the assessment of EU interventions in the media is encouraged, there is less non-EU financed research about the impact of these grants. On the other hand, navigating the vast amount of grant-related data published by the EU can be a daunting task, especially when trying to understand the extent of support provided to specific sectors. Media- and journalism-related projects, for example, can theoretically receive funds from at least six major EU funding schemes.

The report released today is part of the Mapping of EU Spending on Media Project, which was initiated by the Media and Journalism Research Center (MJRC) in 2023. Through interviews with EU grantees as well as empirical research anchored in data on the specific areas where EU funds have been allocated, the project endeavors to tackle this complex question: what is the impact of EU funding on the European news media landscape?

The study published today provides an overview of the first phase of the project, which focused on collecting data to better understand the allocation of EU funding for media- and journalism-related activities. It examines the financial support provided by the EU over the period 2018-2024, including statistics on the amount of funding allocated, the topics and themes covered by the grants, the average grant size, the distribution of funds among recipient countries, the EU bodies responsible for disbursing the finances, target countries and type of activities most funded.

In a series of follow-up studies now in the works the center will delve deeper into assessing the impact that the EU funds has in the journalism-related areas and organizations it selects for financing. They will be published over the course of the next 12 months.

See the study here.

See the project page here.

Photo by Farah Almazouni on Unsplash