Sixth EU Framework
Programme - Priority 7

EU-coverage in regional media

Preparing young journalists for EU-coverage in regional media is the main purpose of a commen project of the  Institute of Journalism at the University of Dortmund in Germany and the Department of Public Communications at Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania which started in October 2006.

As future multipliers, students of both countries are introduced to the facts and figures of EU coverage, learning simultaneously how to create innovative formats and new approaches to this topic with increasing but yet often neglected importance. "I would like to sensitize the new generation of journalists for EU-topics", one of the lecturers, Julia Lönnendonker, explains.

Both groups of students will firstly meet in Kaunas in spring 2007. German-Lithuanian research teams will discuss, research and produce EU stories in a week-long intensive session. "I have never been to one of the new Eastern European countries and I really look forward to work with Lithuanian students in a multinational team", the German student Sonja Leister says. Later in 2007 a responsive study trip of the Lithuanian group of students to the University of Dortmund is planned. 

Consequences of EU regulations

An enormous feedback of the students to this project seminar shows that not all journalists regard the EU as complicate, boring and irrelevant. "Unfortunately we could only offer 15 places for German students", Julia Lönnendonker says.

"I finally want to be in on the EU", Sonja Leister explains the motivation for her participation. She primarily participates in the seminary in order to improve her political education. But on the other hand she is also interested in the practical part of: "I never coped with EU-topics during my previous journalistic education".

As regional newspapers have the largest readership in Germany, the seminar in Dortmund is mainly focussed on EU-coverage for regional media. During the seminar the students will learn to explain the consequences of EU regulations at a regional level, and to show that interesting and understandable EU coverage can be produced also in the home offices of regional media.

The deputy editor-in-chief Dr. Hendrik Groth of Germany's largest regional newspaper Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) will be guest in the German seminar and criticize articles of the students. Furthermore, EU-correspondents from regional newspapers already came to Dortmund and discussed with the young journalists. Also the head of the EU-representation's press service in Germany Harald Händel attended the seminar. German EU-parliamentarians will visit the University of Dortmund to discuss on current EU issues with the students during the next weeks.

Finally a conference will be organized in Dortmund where the student teams will present their journalistic products to the academic community of the University of Dortmund, and guests from the regional media of the Ruhr Area.