The Editor's Post: Hopeful journalism – and bursting the Brussels bubble

Young journalists discuss media as a “weapon” in our latest workshops; plus, kicking off our Brussels Briefing series, and the social investors writing their investees' applications – highlights this week at Pioneers Post.

How to approach interviewees who do not trust the media; staying sane when your day job centres on the climate crisis; what communicators can learn from standup comedy – just some of the topics we discussed this week with a bunch of young journalists from all around Europe.

We’ve been running a series of workshops with our partner the British Council over the past few weeks, and – having covered fact-checking, inclusive reporting and solutions journalism previously – on Tuesday we heard from guest speakers experienced in podcasting, climate communications and data journalism. 

Perhaps the best bit of feedback we got was from one participant, who said the workshops had made her feel more hopeful about the journalism industry and the impact it could make in the world. There’s plenty of negativity out there about the media (a good deal of it justified), but it’s always uplifting to see early-career journalists get excited about the opportunity to do things a bit differently. As one participant put it, “media is the strongest weapon” – we can choose how we use it. 

Bursting the Brussels bubble

If you’re not feeling excited about the ‘European Commission’s recent proposal for a Council Recommendation on developing social economy framework conditions’… I wouldn’t blame you. What does all of that even mean, and is it just paper-shuffling or will it actually lead to concrete changes?

From the EU capital, Toby Gazeley deciphers the lingo, kicking off our new Brussels Briefing series with updates on that recommendation (yes, it could be significant), a new social economy ‘gateway’ that promises to gather all the information you ever needed in one place, and more. 

Investors taking on the legwork

Also this week, we’ve got the latest in our Rebalancing the Books series, a special partnership with Big Society Capital that explores how social investment can become more inclusive. I found the case of Venturesome particularly interesting: the social investor actually writes the applications itself to reduce the administrative burden on its applicants, which also means getting all the info into a format that investment committees are used to, and making the whole process quicker than usual. 

Talking about Tony’s

Finally, there’s been lots of interest in our recent piece on Tony’s Chocolonely’s new legal structure. Much was made of the announcement that the chocolate company had created a mission lock, but, as my colleague Laura Joffre discovered, the ‘golden share’ that they referred to wasn’t quite what some of us may have assumed. Transformative, or just a step in the right direction? Join the debate, kicked off by Erinch Sahan, on LinkedIn.


Our top stories this week: 

Brussels Briefing: Gateways, recommendations and a new EU-wide legal status

We won the SE100 Impact Management Award – here’s why it matters to us

Three ways to tackle social investment’s diversity problem


Top image: Freepik