European Cities Investigative Journalism Accelerator: The continuation of Cities for Rent

Published on January, 26 2023

In every corner of the continent, our Laureates launch projects that make journalism stronger and more relevant for the public. We present one of them: the European Cities Investigative Journalism Accelerator, the continuation of the 2022 winning investigation Cities for Rent.

Part of the Cities for Rent team at our 2022 Award Ceremony in Madrid

In 2022 our Innovation Award went to Cities for Rent, a cross-border collaborative project that investigated the housing market and corporate landlords in 14 European capital cities.

Following up on Cities for Rent, media partners have reorganised in the newly called “European Cities Investigative Journalism Accelerator” (ECIJA) network, focused on urban challenges.

The network now counts more than 10 members, such as, among others, Tagesspiegel, Deník Referendum, El País, IRPI Media, Reporters United, Dublin Inquirer, ORF, Telex and  Gazeta Wyborcza.

A Virtual European Newsroom to investigate shared urban challenges

Following-up on its housing market investigations, many partners have already published a first research project looking into the student housing crisis. But ECIJA also wants to look beyond housing, investigating urban challenges shared among European cities.

“European cities share many urban challenges: from transport to climate change adaptation, from energy to crime. Going beyond housing, we want to investigate these issues – challenges that make cities such as Berlin, Prague and Rome have more in common than big and small cities within national borders” – Hendrik Lehmann, Tagesspiegel

Alongside proceeding with its housing investigation, the network has started regularly producing data visualization on different city-level topics, such as population trends or energy prices, to give two recent examples.

The graphics are shared among the network through new technology developed by Tagesspiegel which allows for dataviz to be easily translated into different languages, thus facilitating shared reporting and syndication across the network’s media outlets.

Bringing together both large and small newsrooms with different business models, the network also wants to experiment and find better ways to generate new supporters/subscribers for media outlets doing investigative journalism and continue to innovate in collaborative journalism. Ultimately working towards a truly European journalism. 

Help the network grow

The network is now growing. If you are a funder or a journalist wishing to collaborate, send an email to the ECIJA network at [email protected]