The surviving independent media in the Eastern Partnership struggles with unfair competition practices that starve outlets of revenue, political interference, retaliation against independent journalists, and general lack of management skills on one hand and of media literacy on the other. Azerbaijan and Belarus jail independent journalists while in Georgia, violence against free media is rising. However, free and public interest journalism is crucial in fending off Russian-led misinformation.
To contribute to democratization and empower citizens in the Eastern Partnership, the EU4IM raises the abundance of quality journalism in the independent media sectors in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. EU4IM encourages fact-based, gender-inclusive, and reliable public interest journalism to exert its watchdog role. The programme contributes to boosting the resilience of the media by strengthening its financial sustainability. Our approach is grounded in the belief that if independent media journalists have the capacity to produce high quality, engaging content, then they will be more competitive in the media market. This will in turn lead to bigger consumption of reliable information and, by extension, greater societal resilience, and government accountability.
The EU4IM supports independent media outlets and stakeholders through five pillars of action: Capacity Building, Production Support, Targeted Intervention on Financial Sustainability, Peer to Peer Research, and Knowledge Management. It works to improve fact-based, good quality media content with additional, more diverse content and works to improve financial sustainability of independent, commercial media across the Eastern Neighbourhood.
The programme’s activities include online and face-to-face trainings, on-the-job and individual mentoring to improve editorial content, enhance management and marketing skills, develop new revenue streams, build increased understanding of audiences, and support necessary technological investments. Furthermore, EU4IM also offers content production, emergency support, and peer-to-peer networking together with access to research studies and reports on media development activities relevant to the region’s stakeholders.
EU4IM expected results include:
Objective 1: Improved offer of fact-based, good quality media content with additional, more diverse content.
Objective 2: Improved financial sustainability of independent, commercial media across the Eastern Neighbourhood.