The European Journalism Centre (EJC) announced the winners of the special funding round for European media launched as part of its Innovation in Development Reporting (IDR) Grant Programme. A combined total of €600.000 will be awarded to Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), De Correspondent (the Netherlands), SPIEGEL ONLINE (Germany) and WeltN24

(Germany) with the aim to support one-year-long innovative storytelling on global development.


The four winning media outlets have been selected out of 44 proposals received from major European media outlets in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.


The winners were selected for their innovative approaches to covering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), combining traditional journalism with new and experimental storytelling techniques, alongside with the outlets’ high online impact potential.


“We faced the most difficult choice so far when it comes to selecting the winners of our grant programme. This special round yielded an overwhelming number of high quality applications from well-established European media houses. We are absolutely delighted to be able to support long-term development journalism at top level media outlets. We are convinced that this can create the necessary awareness, including within the media itself, of the viability of quality journalism on international development topics,” said Wilfried Ruetten, EJC Director.


Peter Wolodarski, editor-in-chief of Sweden's Dagens Nyheter, stated: "We're very excited about this project. The development goals are underreported, generally speaking, and we want to do more in this field. With this grant we will be able to boost our reporting, invest in digital development, and engage our audience even more. Our team has a lot of great ideas that will now be turned into reality.”


The managing editor of De Correspondent Karel Smouter mentioned: “We invest our resources – provided by 40.000 paying members – in producing stories that last longer than a day, week, month or even a year. But, how do we make readers aware that these stories exist and still have relevance? This grant enables our designers, developers, journalists and translators to come up with new ways to engage the audience with our stories, taking them – step by step – on our learning journey in the world of the UN and the Global Goals.”


Florian Harms, editor-in-chief of SPIEGEL ONLINE, said: "Being chosen as a recipient of the European Journalism Centre Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme is an honour for SPIEGEL ONLINE. The United Nations aim high with their Sustainable Development Goals and the extent to which these goals will be met is crucial to the living conditions of billions of people. We are convinced that finding suitable ways of explaining and communicating the SDGs is both a challenge for news offices and a prerequisite for achieving the goals. Our data journalism unit will be occupied with developing innovative and experimental storytelling approaches and we're truly looking forward to covering this topic in a positive, engaging way."


Jan-Eric Peters, editor-in-chief of WeltN24, the media group publishing Die Welt, Welt am Sonntag and N24, stated: “We are very excited to be supported by the Innovation in Development Reporting Grant Programme. It is a great opportunity for WeltN24 to develop a new multimedia format and highlight an important topic that is underrepresented in our everyday coverage. What is particularly exciting for us is that this is not only a short-term engagement but actually a one-year-project that helps keeping the focus on water as a basic and much needed element."