European Youth Press (EYP) is a network of youth media organizations in Europe that works to inspire young people to involve themselves in media by fostering fair and independent journalism through the development of democracy, international development and a sustainable future. Nextgen talked to Raluca Besliu, EYP Office Manager, to dig deeper into the Berlin-based movement. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter!
Q: What is the history of the European Youth Press and what was the vision behind it?
European Youth Press was created with the goal of supporting young media makers across Europe to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to create high-quality output. The nonprofit also promotes a free and inclusive society that upholds human rights, where the media makers empower and inspire the engagement of well-informed citizens.
Tell us about your membership?
In order to become a member of the European Youth Press network, applying organization must meet certain criteria and follow the application procedure. Details related to the Membership procedure can be found at this link.
At the moment European Youth Press has 27 full member organization, which are youth media organizations spread from Portugal to Armenia, as well as several working groups.
With such coverage, how do you create and maintain interaction among members?
The EYP organizes European-level seminars, training and debates for young media makers, many of whom come from our member organizations. We promote our activities and call for proposals through them; we encourage dialogue and partnerships for them. We create tools and mechanisms to assist them develop personally and professionally as well as encourage them to take active part in discussions regarding the standards in education and media policies throughout the European Union and beyond.
European Youth Press is supported by many European and philanthropic institutions, including the European Commission and the Council of Europe, Open society institute, among many others.
What are your goals as an organization and what are some of the actions that you take to achieve them?
The main aim of the EYP as well as its member organizations is to inspire young people to involve themselves in media and take an active part in civil society, by fostering fair and independent journalism.
EYP achieves this through:
– Education: working with young media makers, providing training, educative media productions and educational material;
– Cooperation and exchange with other journalist and media organizations such as, but not limited to, our member organizations and partners, particularly foundations, governmental and non-governmental organizations;
– Participation: by enabling young journalists to lobby for their cause and by representing young journalists on a policy level.
What makes the European Youth Press stand out from other youth organization?
EYP’s focus on young media makers in Europe and its umbrella format make it stand out from other youth organizations. It works to build a society where empowered young media makers are actively participating and contributing to the public sphere by creating fair, independent and responsible media, fostering the development of democracy, international development and a sustainable future.
With 27 member organizations and several Committees, the EYP reaches more than 60,000 young journalists across Europe, forming a solid volunteer and professional infrastructure. It is a democratic, non-profit institution, founded and controlled by young media makers, with hundreds of enthusiastic, dedicated, active organizers, trainers, volunteers and a handful of paid project workers, all between 20 and 30 years of age.
EYP is unique also because our staff and board members are under the age of 30, making it an entirely youth-led organization.
How do young people, especially in Europe, see journalism as a choice of career? Are they becoming more or less interested?
Young people in Europe regard journalism as a valuable and relevant career choice. It’s a stimulating and creative profession that let students expand their horizons. It empowers them to make their voices heard on issues of importance to them and the world.
Even though becoming a media maker requires a lot of motivation and self discipline, journalism and related studies are still one of the most popular degree courses.
What are your thoughts about journalism in this age of social media? How are young people impacting, or being impacted, by this 21st century trend?
Social media is an essential medium for young people to obtain information and communicate for young people in the 21st centuries. Social media is democratizing the creation of content, as many young people without experience in media-making can use some of these platforms to formulate and spread their articles and ideas.
At the same time, many young journalists make use of social media to promote their work and reach wider audiences as well as, sometimes, obtain information regarding topics that they are interested in exploring.
Therefore, it is important for young journalists to become increasingly proficient on how to use social media platforms to promote their articles, interact with their audiences and use the information existent in their work.
Simultaneously, traditional media outlets need to learn how to better understand and engage with young people on these platforms, as their traditional offline markets gradually shrinking and potentially disappearing.