When the coronavirus pandemic materialised in Europe in early 2020, media organisations could never have predicted the chaos and disruption that it would cause. The effect on them and their work was unprecedented in every way possible.
Just weeks after the first cases of COVID-19 emerged, the European Journalism Centre — in partnership with Evens Foundation — launched Resilience Reports, a series of in-depth studies looking at how dozens of news organisations across Europe dealt with the pandemic during the first wave. With limited information at that time about the impact of coronavirus on news media, the series aimed to address how smaller, independent organisations, in particular, were adapting their daily operations and business strategies to the new and challenging reality.
Between June and September 2020, we reported on 24 important and innovative news organisations across 19 European countries: fact-checking news outlets from Spain, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey, investigative news outlets in Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland as well as local news outlets in France, Romania and Ireland. The series also shone a light on the early success of news organisations in Belgium, the UK, Spain and elsewhere that had pivoted to reader revenue. We heard from editors, partnership directors, audience engagement leads, membership managers and CEOs to better understand the obstacles and pressures European media faced as a result of COVID-19.
The Resilience Report 2020: How Europe’s independent media dealt with the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 summarises the key findings from our in-depth interviews with two dozen news organisations across 19 European countries as well as includes recommendations for funders looking to support them. Read the report here.