Empowering media and society through collaborative, crowdfunded journalism

Cross-border collaborative journalism FAQ

Q. What is cross-border collaborative journalism?

A. Cross-border collaborative journalism involves journalists from different countries working together to research and produce a journalistic project (e.g. an article, documentary, or podcast). Still unsure about how collaborative journalism works? Hostwriter has produced this useful guide to working methods for collaborative journalism.

The Application Process

Q. Who can apply?

A. Journalists must apply in teams made up of two or more people from at least two European countries.

At least one of those countries has to be from the following list:

  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Greece
  • Bulgaria
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia

Please note: These are the target countries only for this special collaborative journalism program. Press Start has a much broader set of target countries, and you can still apply with your individual application, currently via email.

Each team member must provide a CV and two letters of recommendation from people with whom they have worked. There is no specific requirement for applicants to have journalism qualifications or a certain number of years working as a journalist but reporting experience is expected.

We expect that each team will nominate one person who will take the role of the lead applicant and will submit all the necessary documentation required for the application process on behalf of the other team members. This person will also be the primary contact with whom we interact and sign the contract.

Q. What kind of topics are you looking for?

A. We’re open to a diverse range of topics so the subject matter is up to you and your team members to decide.

Q. What type of journalistic projects are you looking for?

A. We’re open to all kinds of collaborative projects, including, but not limited to:

  • podcasts
  • features, including long-form articles
  • solutions journalism
  • documentaries
  • reporting series
  • investigative pieces.

When choosing your project, it’s important to consider what would work best for a collaborative piece and how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact your project.

Q. I have an idea for a story but I don’t have many professional contacts outside my home country to form a team, what shall I do?

A. We’ve set up a Facebook group to help journalists interested in the project share ideas and meet potential team mates. Join the group here.

Length/Size of Projects

A. We don’t have any set guidelines, but the end products should reflect the time and money you expect to invest in your project.

Q. What is the timeframe for the production of the stories? What happens if we don’t meet the deadline?

A. The expected timeframe is two months from the signing of the contract. In case of any unforeseen circumstances that would make meeting this goal impossible, we will require each team to submit a progress report with justification as to why the publication has been delayed and a new suggested deadline.


Q. Is there any limit on the budget size?

A. We don't have a set limit for budget proposals. However, based on our experience, projects are much likely to get funded when their crowdfunding target is between $3,000 and $5,000.

Q. How much money do teams need to raise during their crowdfunding campaign?

A. The budget outlined in the team’s application plus our 10% fee will be the team’s crowdfunding goal. Our fee covers our operational costs.

Press Start campaigns operate on an all or nothing basis, meaning if a team does not reach their crowdfunding goal they will not receive any funds and any donations made will be refunded to supporters.

If a team exceeds their crowdfunding goal they will receive the extra funds to go toward their project.

Matching funds will be used to financially boost crowdfunding campaigns.

Q. How will the matching funds work?

A. Each campaign launched by Press Start will have part of their donations matched by the European Commission depending on the size of their budget.


Q. How will the crowdfunding campaigns be launched and promoted?

A. Press Start will build and launch crowdfunding campaigns for the teams selected to participate in the project, in cooperation with teams. Each team will have a crowdfunding campaign dedicated to their journalistic project, rather than a collective crowdfunding campaign for all of the teams. The campaign will run for 30 days.

We’ll launch the campaigns on the Press Start website, showcasing the team members and their project proposal. We’ll also assist the teams in the promotion of the crowdfunding campaigns on our social media channels and within our existing network of supporters.

Teams will be expected to maximise their chances of hitting their crowdfunding goal by reaching out to their own networks to help promote the campaign.

Q. How and when will teams receive the funds raised during their crowdfunding campaign?

A. When a team reaches their crowdfunding goal we will sign a contract with the lead applicant who will then receive 50 percent of the money raised through the crowdfunding campaign. The lead applicant will be responsible for distributing the funds to the other team members.

Once the project has been completed and satisfactory evidence has been provided to Press Start, the team will receive the remaining 50 percent of the funds.


Have a question?

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please contact us at info@pressstart.org.

European commission

This project is co-funded by the European Commission under the pilot project: “Supporting investigative journalism and media freedom in the EU" (DG CONNECT). This text reflects the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

  1. About Project
  2. Application process
  3. FAQ

Application deadline: 17:00 CEST 13 October 2021