“Free Media Programme” is an initiative developed by Solidarity Fund PL and launched in early 2019. Its activities are aimed at providing support to independent media outlets from across the Eastern Partnership region by strengthening their ethical standards, managerial and fundraising capacities, as well as the ability to produce quality content. The programme aims also at promoting new techniques and cutting-edge technologies in journalistic work.
The programme is based on four pillars, defining its intervention areas:
1. Excellence pipeline, aiming at promoting the knowledge of new technologies and attractive ways to present content among journalists, increasing the managerial and fundraising capacities of media staff, as well as their ability to create business development strategies by providing development grants to media outlets.
2. Crisis pipeline, aiming at providing institutional support to media outlets, journalists or bloggers who operate in difficult political conditions.
3. Expansion pipeline, aiming at supporting those media outlets that are interested in launching new products covering specific events or expanding the coverage beyond their usual themes, as well as supporting new journalistic techniques, including collaborative journalism and solution journalism.
4. Start-up/Freelance Pipeline, aiming at supporting new initiatives or individual journalists who are eager to launch their own channels of information dissemination, including via social media platforms.
The overall goal of the Free Media Programme is contributing towards creation of a more resilient and vibrant media environment in Eastern Partnership countries. Specific goals include growth in audience of supported media outlets, publishing new experimental content, increasing financial resilience of selected media outlets and allowing new media initiatives to appear on the market.