Organizations and Locations
Council: Press room for proposals.
Commission: Press releases.
Human Right Watch
International Crisis Group
PLACE Luxembourg – a square in the European Quarter of Brussels.
It is the best place for networking, find new sources, and get new important contacts. MEPs, journalists, members of various organisations, press officers are gathering there and sharing their information while drinking coffee. Everybody is going there and personal contacts are very important. More friends you have – more information you get.
The Commission, press officers, embassies.
• Member states have different policies considering who you should and can call first. If you want to get in contact with the Finnish ambassador you can call directly to him. But if you would like to get a comment from the French ambassador you have to call the press officer first and they will decided who you are going to talk to.
Associations, lobbyists, and companies
• There is a lobbyist or a consultant for everything! Usually you do not have to get in contact with them, they will call you. ”Try to remember that no mater what anyone tells you in Brussels, they have their own interests.”
• By talking to the people you work with you might get ideas. Many things are linked together and different journalist have different sources.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Source One – http://europa.eu/press_room/index_en.htm – Has a daily press conference for Journalists where you can have face to face conversations with commission spokespeople. Mainly things in the press conferences dictate the news of the day. Very important.
New Direction – The foundation for European Reform
Source Two – http://www.eubusiness.com/ – Simply an automatic wire that collects EU stories that are released by the wires etc. Easy to use/convenient as it sieves out all the European stories from other news agencies such as Reuters and AP.
Source Three – www.ft.com – A British newspaper, The Financial Times. Highly recommend to subscribe to this, small fee but it tends to dominate the economic stories of the day.
This is a free-market, euro-realist think-tank established in 2010 in Brussels and the UK affiliated to the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR). If you subscribe to their daily newsletter, you get summaries of today’s headlines along with the agenda of and news from the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
CEPS – Centre for European Policy Studies
Think-tank which covers a wide range of policy fields. Founded in Brussels in 1983.
Independent and non-doctrinal Brussels-based think-tank working in the field of international economics.
~Richard Byfält, analyst in Brussels, erosceptic think-tank Open Europe
HYPERLINK “http://europa.eu/rapid/recentPressReleasesAction.do?guiLanguage=en&hits=500″ \t “_blank” http://europa.eu/rapid/recentPressReleasesAction.do?guiLanguage=en&hits=500
You can find all press releases from all EU institutions, speeches, statistics, statements of officers, agenda/calender.
Europe by Satellite HYPERLINK “http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm” \t “_blank” http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm
Live video reportages from EU institutions: plenary sessions of European Parliament, press conferences of European Commission, technical briefings, etc. You can find an archive of photos, radio and video reportages, which journalist can use for free.
Website - HYPERLINK “http://www.euractiv.com/” \t “_blank” http://www.euractiv.com/
It is very useful for journalists and for everybody who are interested in EU news. Everything is divided into “policy areas”, you can find a lot of articles, positions of different organisations, inquiries. It is very constructive, valuable and rapid source.
Social media - HYPERLINK “http://blogs.euobserver.com/” http://blogs.euobserver.com/
Social media is very important for journalists. Usually they are following reliable, high – powered bloggers (or persons on Twitter). It’s is a very quick way to find new topics, new point of views.
Advice from Working Journalists:
Jens Möller gives his advice on covering Brussels. By Evelina Berstrom
Margot Perrier summarizes useful sources in Brussels. By Enora Regnier
Herman Stam gives practical tips for finding sources. By Tim Hersevoort
Outi Alapekkala, journalist at Euractiv knows the importance of networking:
“It is important that you introduce yourself and chat with people after press conferences for example. Then the person can see your face in front of him/her when you call them and ask them about more information. You really need to be proactive.”
Brigitte Alfter, Freelance journalist in Copenhagen, tells where to find a story. By Rasmus Bagge Jensen.
Emily von Sydow (freelance journalist from Sweden, obtained by Thomas Pickelner)
“I have a lot anonymous sources such as diplomats and civil servants. Other sources are specialised think tanks. My main theme is to look after sources in the opposite camp. Bryssels is made out of conflicts, use them.”
Andreas Liljeheden (freelance from Sweden, obtained by Thomas Pickelner)
“I use different sources all the time but I have few that I use more often.
I am writing about development for the Swedish magazine “The outside world”. And then I am often in contact with Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs spokesperson Catherine Ray.
“Since I am freelance I have to sell all my articles and in Sweden it is easier to sell if there is an EU-critical angle, then Open Europe, a British and fairly eurosceptic think-tank is useful.
“Another source that is intresting is Corporate Europe Observatory. They are identifying lobbyists operating in Brussels. I mostly contact them because it is an interesting topic, but I’ve used them for a few jobs too.”
-Interview with Rikke Albrechtsen, Danish freelance journalist in Brussels.
Rikke Albrechtsen says she uses more than the 20 different sites to find stories. Most of them are focusing on a specific topic. For sources she can use to find general information she uses these three sources.
The Commission: I use them to get a view over the agenda via their weekly Top-News Calendar. I use their daily Midday Express-summary. I use the press clips from the Commission’s representatives in Denmark to keep me update on what is being written about the EU back in Denmark. It is also here new proposals, reports and statistics are published.
The Parliament: On the Parliament’s website it is easy to find all the documents to the different cases. You can also find press releases from all the political groups and their contact information. Furthermore you can follow the committee meetings, hearings and plenary sessions.
Google News: I have Google Alerts on the topics I am mostly writing about. So I get daily updates when someone writes an article I could have an interest in reading. Furthermore you have good access to bureaus like Reuters and AP through Google Alerts.
Johan Corthouts (EU correspondent, Belgium. Obtained by Anneke Hermans)
“You can’t be everywhere as a journalist, so sometimes you just have to trust your colleagues from foreign newspapers or other foreign media.”
“An own network is sometimes the most important thing. You have to build that carefully. A European Network can consist of parliamentarians, politicians, professors, specialists,… One of the most import network members according to me are trade unions/ labor unions such as the European Trade Union Confederation (http://www.etuc.org/).”
Former Brussels correspondent Charlotte Harder gives three steps for obtaining sources, gathered by Jesper Lassen:
- The use of agencies homepages, press officers and combining this with the working calendar with meetings ect.
- Keeping informed thru news agencies and newspapers
- All of the above together with personal sources
*Apart from this she also finds Commissions press briefing and hearing in the parliament use full for idea development.
Pastor Elvis Iruh is the Editor-in-Chief of The Voice magazine in the Netherlands.( www.thevoicenewsmagazine.com) The first Africa magazine in the Netherlands. And also a correspondent in Brussels. He gets his source from press briefing in Brussels. And press relaxes.
As a registered Brussels correspondent he get press relax everyday. And use the ones he feels is important to the Africa community in Europe. And if it’s an important issues he contacts protocol to book for interview and get more information.
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