The countries of Central Europe are now long-standing EU members, but the economic and security challenges they face today highlight the need for informed debate. A sustainable independent media is essential to ensure audiences understand the major challenges facing their countries.
By February 2022, Central Europe was just beginning to turn the corner after two years of crisis caused by COVID-19. Then, on 24 February, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine brought new uncertainties to the region, leading to divisions over inflation, energy, and national security. Given these challenges, there needs to be a sustainable ecosystem with thriving independent media, high-quality news reporting, and investigative journalism.
The Central Europe Media Program (CEMP), delivered by Zinc Network in partnership with IREX, will support independent media to grow audiences and develop sustainable revenue streams, whilst maintaining high journalistic standards and an innovative approach to content. Starting in 2023, Zinc Network is providing a mix of grant support, hands-on training workshops, and expert business guidance and mentoring to independent online news outlets across Central Europe.
Through support to investigative reporting, digital strategy, content marketing and audience research, we will nurture and strengthen the high-growth potential of online independent media in Central Europe so that they can serve audiences with high-quality, innovative journalism that helps promote debate and engagement at a crucial point in their history.
The Central Europe Media Program (CEMP) is a five-year project made possible with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).