The Nordic Council of Ministers has approved 22 projects for grants totalling 150 000 EUR, which provide an opportunity for the expansion of free and independent minority language media in the Baltic countries. Freelance journalists and newsrooms in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were offered to submit one-year projects for up to 10 000 EUR per grant.
Each of the three Baltic countries received approximately 50 000 EUR: 5 projects were approved from Estonia, 9 projects from Latvia and 8 from Lithuania. Those were selected from a total of 62 applications submitted by local media publishers and freelance journalists, after an assessment by evaluation committees consisting of local media experts.
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Baltic media grant scheme was designed to increase the quality and attractiveness of local media in the Baltic countries, with a special focus on inclusive content in minority languages and ethnically diverse regions. The grant scheme aims to facilitate innovative storytelling ideas and new audience-engaging formats.
The winners were chosen on the basis of content originality and innovative platforms, including an array of projects from the fields of investigative and visual journalism. To convey complex narratives in an engaging way, the grant recipients will make use of podcasts, 360-video, original radio shows, web documentaries, graphic animations, video interviews and more.
The awarded projects represent several well-known local media outlets operating in Russian and Polish as well as smaller and recently established channels. In Latvia, grants were awarded to DELFI, Latgales laiks, TVNET, LETA, Mix Media Group, Kurzemes Vārds, SPEKTRS, Rīgas Laiks and smartlatvia.lv.
The implementation of the projects will begin in 2017 and has to be completed by the end of September 2018.