This is the first time that the Commission has ventured into the area of sponsoring investigative journalism. The action was prompted by a European Parliament amendment to the 2010 Budget of the European Union, and is in itself a recognition of the state of the media industry today. The Commission’s stated raison d’etre is that:
- Independent scrutiny of public affairs enables citizens to be properly informed of conduct in public life, and can therefore inform their participation in democratic processes.
- Much of the news media no longer invests in traditional journalistic scrutiny, due to failing economic conditions.
- Some media, particularly in broadcasting and online journalism, lack a culture of investigative journalism. There is also a lack of tradition of this type of journalism in some parts of Europe.
- Cross-border investigative journalism, in which journalists from different countries work together on issues of common public interest, is almost unknown.
Hat tip: Goodnight Vienna