Investigative journalism in the public interest

IJ4EU’s mission is to strengthen the watchdog role of investigative journalism in Europe. Its focus on supporting cross-border projects acknowledges the increasingly transnational nature of public-interest stories.

Its purpose is to foster and strengthen collaboration among EU-based journalists and newsrooms through providing them with grant funding, coaching, training, expert support and networking opportunities. It also seeks to raise the value of and incentivise quality investigative journalism through launching a new award.

IJ4EU was first launched in 2018, supporting 12 projects across a diverse range of topics with €350,000 in grant funding. In 2020, IJ4EU is providing nearly €1.2 million through a combined set of measures, including two grant funding schemes, to support at least 64 new, existing and ongoing collaborative projects.

Read more about our impact.

Independence is a central pillar of the IJ4EU funding model. Donors to the IJ4EU fund are not permitted to influence the selection of projects and the IJ4EU project partners are committed to protecting the editorial independence of grantees.

Project partners and areas of work

IJ4EU is managed by a consortium led by the Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom; and together with the European Journalism Centre (EJC), an international non-profit headquartered in the Netherlands, focused on building resilience into journalism through grants, events, training and media development; and the Germany-based European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which promotes, preserves and defends media freedom by monitoring violations, providing practical support and engaging diverse stakeholders across Europe.

The objectives of IJ4EU rest on four key pillars: funding, support, independence and inclusivity. We believe that cross-border investigative journalism is central to the sustainability of European democracy. We aim to offer opportunities for journalists to work innovatively and collaboratively – both essential qualities for journalism to engage with the public interest.

Grant funding. IJ4EU supports both early-stage investigative projects by providing foundational, longer-term support (Investigation Support scheme) as well as ongoing projects through shorter-term, light touch financial support (Publication Support scheme). The Investigation Support scheme is managed by IPI and the Publication Support scheme by EJC.

Coaching, training and expert support to grantees. IJ4EU provides training, coaching, legal counselling, editorial support, advocacy support and other practical support and guidance to grantees, to enhance skills development and ensure the success of the individual projects and teams, and of the IJ4EU project overall.

Networking. IJ4EU’s #UNCOVERED conference on European cross-border investigative journalism, organised by ECPMF, highlights the work done under the IJ4EU fund and serves as a platform to discuss issues and trends as well as challenges to collaborative cross-border investigative journalism. The first edition of the conference took place in January 2019 in Berlin.

Impact Award. Launching in 2020, IJ4EU’s Impact Award will incentivise and raise the profile of quality investigations through monetary prizes for cross-border investigative journalism. The prize will also be open to projects not funded by IJ4EU.

In defending the right of journalists to do their job, IJ4EU works in partnership with the Media Freedom Rapid Response network.

Project supporters

The IJ4EU programme is supported by: co-funding from the European Commission (DG Connect) as a Preparatory Action; by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Program on Independent Journalism of the Open Society Foundations; and by Fritt Ord Foundation, Luminate and the City of Leipzig. The IJ4EU partners are grateful to the support of all donors to the project. The programme maintains complete independence from donors in the selection of projects and strictly guarantees the editorial independence of all grantees.