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New Year goals for accelerating engaged journalism


New Year goals for accelerating engaged journalism

Picture of Kathryn Geels
Kathryn Geels — Freelancer
January 09, 2019

How you can get more involved with — and get more out of — the Accelerator

In December, I shared our achievements and what we learned during the first seven months (32 weeks and 7 days, to be exact) of the Engaged Journalism Accelerator. Now that the ‘silly season’ festivities are behind us, and we’re all slowly getting back into serious work mode, it feels like a good time to write again.

Fear not — there will be no mention of ‘new year, new us’ or of any resolutions. Rather, I want to share what we’re planning to achieve for the first three months of 2019 and, most importantly, how you can contribute to— and get more benefit from — the Accelerator.

‘Open space’ session at the Accelerator kick-off event in Madrid, December, 2018
‘Open space’ session at the Accelerator kick-off event in Madrid, December, 2018


  • Announce details of the engaged journalism organisations successful at grant funding through the Open Call. (We’ll make the announcement at the end of this month.)
  • Capture and share the progress that the Closed Call grantees are making as part of their participation in the Accelerator (via their progress and impact reports, and online / phone check-ins).

Get involved: If you applied to the Closed or Open Call but were not successful at grant funding, there are many other ways you can benefit from the Accelerator. During 2019, you will have the opportunity to participate in events and workshops; gain insights, top tips and learnings from grantees; and gain advice and expertise from a network of mentors, coaches and other practitioners.

You also have the opportunity to be showcased in the Engagement Explained newsletter, Engaged Journalism in Europe database and in case studies.

Furthermore, we are developing our ambassador network, which will provide some unique incentives for a number of news organisations that applied for, but were unsuccessful at, Closed and Open Call grant funding.

We will soon be in touch with unsuccessful applicants with further details of the above and other relevant opportunities. See your inbox for a message you received on 21 December and make sure to reply to us at hello[at] to be kept updated.


  • Deliver the roundtable for Open Call grantees (on 22 January in Amsterdam), and the kick-off event for these grantees and other invited participants (in March, in the UK — specific date and location to be confirmed).
  • Facilitate knowledge-sharing sessions across our network, which will include in-country ambassador meetups (part of the ambassador network), and monthly community Q&A calls.

Get involved: Details of our upcoming events will be published on the website on the dedicated ‘events’ page. The roundtable is intended only for the Open Call grantees, however, for the kick-off event, we will be inviting other journalists, representatives from relevant organisations, academics and researchers to participate.

Details of the knowledge-sharing sessions, including themes being covered, format, how to participate, and locations (of the in-country ambassador meetups) will be announced in February.

Join the Accelerator network, with an interest in ‘attending an event/conference’ and ‘being an ambassador and contributing my experience’, to have the opportunity to be invited to the kick-off event and subsequent Accelerator events. And also to be kept updated on the launch of the ambassador network and knowledge-sharing sessions.


  • Publish the report from the December kick-off event in Madrid, which will include insights, key themes, practical tools and methodologies for others to apply to their news organisations.
  • Publish details about the Accelerator impact framework and share what we are planning to achieve and how we’re progressing.
  • Further develop the website to include additional case studies, resources in the reading list, events, and a mentoring and coaching section.
  • Build on the Engaged Journalism in Europe database to include more organisations and to turn it into a practical resource, beyond simply an informative list.
  • Continue to publish the Engagement Explained newsletters, in which we plan to feature many more of the organisations included in the database, as well as innovative organisations from outside of the Accelerator network.

Get involved: To receive the latest resources in your inbox, sign up to the Engagement Explained newsletter. You can also follow the European Journalism Centre on Twitter and Medium to keep up to date with the latest Accelerator publications and news.

Peruse our case studies, to learn about the experiments that news organisations across Europe have undertaken and the positive outcomes of these, so you can try similar experiments for your own organisation.

And, if your organisation has carried out experiments or projects focused on engaging your community, and you would like to be featured in a case study, fill in this short survey and someone from the Accelerator team will be in touch to follow up.

Peer-to-peer community, mentorship and coaching

  • Develop a peer-to-peer community (through the ambassador network, monthly community Q&A calls, and dedicated Google Groups, which are being established for participants of each Accelerator event), which will enable grantees and other people in the Accelerator network to connect, gain access to skills and expertise, and find potential collaborators.
  • Add to the pool of mentors, as well as secure coaches, that all grantees will have access to for direct support, and who will also be part of the peer-to-peer community so other practitioners can gain value from them.

Get involved: If you have skills, expertise and experience in marketing, media law (in areas such as intellectual property, GDPR and copyright), HR and finance, business development, product development, citizen engagement and community collaboration, behaviour and culture change, strategic development, user analysis or research, or another relevant field, then join our Accelerator network with an interest in ‘being part of the mentorship network’. Or get in touch with us at hello[at]

Ben, Madalina and I are looking forward to what 2019 brings. Expanding our own knowledge about, and connections with, people and organisations practising engaged journalism across Europe and continuing to achieve our goals for the Accelerator alongside some of the most dedicated, authentic and enthusiastic people working in journalism. If you’re reading this post, that no doubt includes you.


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