Internal rules

1. Membership

Only media organisations are eligible for membership in EDJNet. Any media organisation based in Europe is eligible for membership.

All members:

  • join EDJNet’s internal communication channels and general meetings;
  • receive early information on stories being produced within the network and enjoy exclusive and/or early access to some materials;
  • actively take part in the network’s activities;
  • can ask partners for contributions, feedback, or support;
  • share relevant EDJNet’s content and activities with their audience and contacts.

There are two types of network members:

  • core members are direct beneficiaries of an ongoing EU grant covering EDJNet. They can count on a given budget, in return they commit to produce a series of deliverables and to feed the reporting to the donor;
  • associate members have less commitments and no budget of their own, but they can enjoy financial support by EDJNet on a case-by-case basis.

Media organisations can freely apply for membership in the network. New members are admitted by agreement of the existing members; they aren’t admitted if one or more existing members object to it.

Consortium agreements constitute the legal framework of reference for core members; the Association Agreement is the legal framework of reference for associate members.

2. Decision-making

Decisions within the network are usually taken by consensus. Whenever voting is needed, each member’s vote has the same weight.

Based on the issue at stake, some decisions are delegated to the network’s coordinator or to specific members, e.g. the coordinator of a collaborative investigation.

3. Members’ behaviour and responsibilities

A Code of Conduct indicates expected behaviour and unacceptable conducts, as well as the means to raise or address issues.

Each member is committed to respecting journalism’s highest ethical and professional standards, as mentioned in the Munich Declaration.

Each member carries the responsibility for the content it produces and for the activities that it shall carry out in the framework of the network. It is expected to carry out its commitments within the agreed deadlines. If problems arise, they should be addressed as soon as possible.

No member shall make statements or commitments on behalf of EDJNet as such unless it has been delegated to do so.

4. Fund for associate members

Associate members can ask EDJNet to cover part of their costs related to editorial production, reuse of partners’ content, or travel expenses.

Associates seeking financial support shall let the network’s coordinator know about it before sustaining the costs themselves: they shall quantify the financial support requested and explain what it is needed for. The network’s coordinator shall assess the eligibility of the request and the availability of budget, consulting the other core members and observing the jointly agreed criteria for the allocation of such funds. Once associates have incurred the costs they invoice the network’s coordinator in keeping with the provisions of the Association Agreement.

5. Editorial independence

Each member enjoys full editorial independence within the network: it can suggest topics and angles for stories; it decides what content to produce in the framework of the network; it decides whether and how to reuse content produced by other partners. Members retain the property of the content they produce in the framework of the network.

EDJNet does not have a political line of its own, with the exception of content that calls democracy, fundamental rights, or anti-discrimination into question, which is not accepted.

Each member shall remain independent of any pressure or request from any state, institution, or organisation in all matters concerning editorial content.

6. Scope of editorial production

Content produced in the framework of EDJNet should deal with European affairs in a broad sense, i.e. with EU matters or with issues that interest or concern citizens in at least two European countries. Content should be based on the creation or on the original elaboration of datasets; non-data-driven content can be produced if it provides relevant background, context or commentary to other content produced within the network.

7. Collaborative editorial production

EDJNet encourages collaboration between members. Members are free to agree on the modes of their collaboration in keeping with EDJNet’s rules. If a member takes on a coordination role, it must make sure that the partners are respected and involved in the collaboration.

Members collaborating in content production typically share with each other the materials they collect. They are not required to show to each other the content they draw out of the joint work before publication, but a member may indicate whether it wishes to double-check how the material it collected gets reused.

Members can ask for specific contributions from the partners, e.g. for the collection or validation of some national data. Such contributions occur on a voluntary basis, to the extent that contributing members deem it feasible for them. Contributions requiring little work aren’t financially rewarded. When multiple members contribute to a dataset, the resulting dataset is shared with all of them and they can all publish stories based on it at the same time.

8. Sharing produced content

Members must ensure confidentiality to the network’s internal work, notably by not sharing with third parties unpublished content and materials unless this has been previously cleared with all the partners involved.

Members producing content in the framework of EDJNet shall share texts, data visualisations and any newly created original dataset with the partners. They can choose whether to do so before or after publication; whether they want to impose an embargo; and under what licence they share the materials (the default licence is Creative Commons BY 4.0). If the production of content is financially supported by EDJNet, the producing member shall not publish it behind a paywall, except for a short number of days.

Once materials have been shared, partners are free to reuse them how they want. EDJNet translates the texts into English; members can ask the network coordinator for free translations into other European languages, provided that budget for them is available.

Members producing content in the framework of EDJNet or building upon partners’ work shall share those materials with the network partners before they share them with other media organisations, unless such organisations operate in countries where no network member exists. Exceptions to these rules should be discussed with the network coordinator.

9. Credits

Authors and producers of content republished on EDJNet’s website are clearly indicated, and the original web pages are linked.

Each member shall clearly credit EDJNet when publishing content produced in the framework of the network, in keeping with the guidelines for crediting. Members reusing or building upon content produced by partners should credit both them and EDJNet. Contributions by partners should be acknowledged.

10. Outreach and impact

All members shall let their audience know about EDJNet. They are expected to contribute to the circulation of content produced in the framework of the network and to let their audience and/or contacts know about other relevant EDJNet’s activities. Members are free to choose the best channels and modalities to do this.

All members shall let EDJNet’s outreach and impact officer know when they detect media uptakes or signs of impact of content produced in the framework of the network. Members are invited to facilitate contacts between the network and relevant organisations or individuals in their country or with whom they are in touch.

11. Changes to the rules

Any member can propose amendments or integrations to the current rules and to the Code of Conduct at all times. Such proposals shall feature in the agenda of a general network meeting and be discussed in it. Changes shall possibly be adopted by consensus and shall be notified to all members.