The Investigative Journalism for Europe fund is back with a new and improved programme of support for watchdog reporting.
- IJ4EU returns for a fifth edition with €2 million in grants for cross-border investigations in Europe
- Open to journalists in more countries than ever
- Grants of up to €50,000 plus training, mentoring and legal help
- New tools to help reporters collaborate across borders
- First call for applications opens on February 1, 2024
The IJ4EU fund has unveiled an expanded programme of support for watchdog reporting in Europe, with €2 million in grants available to journalists over the next two years to encourage cross-border collaboration on public-interest stories.
Along with money, the Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund will assist newsrooms and freelancers across the continent with an enriched menu of training, mentoring, networking opportunities and legal assistance.
IJ4EU acts as an independent intermediary to channel public and philanthropic money to world-class investigative journalism on transnational subjects without fear of editorial interference.
“Teaming up on big stories across borders requires time and resources that journalists increasingly don’t have,” said Timothy Large, director of independent media programmes at the International Press Institute (IPI), which leads the consortium of non-governmental organisations running the IJ4EU fund.
“IJ4EU’s goal is to stimulate collaborations that would otherwise be impossible. We’ve built a strong reputation within Europe’s investigative journalism community as a trusted provider of independent funds for projects that dare to dig deeper, as well as a defender of our grantees’ right to do their journalism freely.”
Alongside the Vienna-based IPI, the IJ4EU consortium comprises the European Journalism Centre (EJC) in Maastricht and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) in Leipzig. In 2024, IJ4EU is proud to welcome the Amsterdam-based Arena for Journalism in Europe (Arena) as a fourth consortium partner.
To date, IJ4EU has disbursed €3.5 million in grants, with core funding from the European Commission and co-financing from philanthropic foundations including Fritt Ord, Open Society Foundations and Isocrates Foundation.
Donors to the IJ4EU fund are not allowed to influence the selection of projects and the IJ4EU consortium and independent juries make all funding decisions.
Every corner of Europe
Since its launch in 2018, IJ4EU has allowed journalists from every corner of Europe to collaborate on topics ranging from organised crime and corruption to migration, security, surveillance, human rights abuses and the environment.
IJ4EU-supported stories have reached hundreds of millions, sparking debate, influencing policy and holding the powerful accountable — from local governments to the loftiest EU institutions.
In 2024 and 2025, IJ4EU will disburse €2 million through two tried-and-tested grant schemes, up from €1.23 million during the previous edition.
IJ4EU’s flagship scheme is the Investigation Support Scheme, offering grants of up to €50,000 to investigative teams of any configuration, including newsrooms, investigative not-for-profits and freelancers.
Managed by IPI, it will allocate €1.5 million to projects.
Running in parallel is the Freelancer Support Scheme, offering grants of up to €20,000 to journalists primarily working outside of newsrooms. The freelancers will also get tailored assistance including mentoring throughout the lifecycle of their projects.
Managed by the EJC, the Freelancer Support Scheme will disburse €500,000.
“The IJ4EU programme enables us to strengthen journalism in two specific areas where EJC knows support is important: collaborative investigative journalism and for freelancers to be able to play a vital role in producing quality and innovative journalism independently,” EJC Director Lars Boering said.
“Combined with networking and learning experiences, we’ve developed ways to make sure the Freelance Support Scheme has a lasting impact.”
Both the Investigation Support Scheme and the Freelancer Support Scheme will have three simultaneous calls for applications during the 2024/25 edition.
The first will open on February 1, 2024, followed by a second in the autumn of 2024 and a third in early 2025. Sign up for the IJ4EU newsletter to keep updated.
To be eligible for both schemes, teams must have members based in at least two European countries that have fully signed up to the cross-sectoral strand of the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme, which provides core funding for IJ4EU.
That includes all 27 EU member states and the following non-EU countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia and Ukraine.