In the Summer of 2018 the Flemish Journalism Fund was launched, to support diversity and innovation in journalism in Flanders. The Fund was a project of Journalismfund.eu, in partnership with the Flemish Association of Journalists and the Flemish government.
The FJF had three principal goals:
- organising a subsidy programme for innovative journalism projects
- stimulating knowledge sharing about news and media
- enhancing cooperation between Flanders and the Netherlands
In September 2018, the Fund launched a subsidy call for innovative journalism projects. 37 journalists, organisations and start-ups applied. In December 2018, the Fund awarded innovation grants to 11 journalism projects, for a total amount of €500,000.
These are the projects that the FJF supported throughout 2019 and 2020:
- Factcheck.Vlaanderen (Factcheck.Flanders): an online platform that uses artificial intelligence to detect disinformation and polarisation so that fact-checkers can verify and combat it.
- Apache Lokaal (Apache Local): a local journalism project in which news site Apache explored four themes with the help of local citizens and journalists.
- Sonderland: a production studio for nonfiction, run by a collective of journalists, scientists, video- and radio producers, illustrators and photographers. Every year Sonderland produces journalism about one central topic (in 2019: housing).
- Chase Social Stories: a coaching project for adolescents who make stories about social change in urban communities.
- The Polar Project: a cross-media magazine on climate change.
- FactRank: a free tool that automatically filters out statements from Dutch-language texts worthy of fact-checking.
- Podlab XL: a training programme for non-fiction podcast makers, that coaches audio novices from podcast idea to pilot.
- Wablieft gaat digitaal (Wablieft Goes Digital): an online news channel for low-literate adults.
- U:nite: a team of emerging actors and word artists brings news to 16-24-year-old video consumers using new online formats.
- News Noses: a journalism competition for secondary school classes, run by a regional television broadcaster.
- UITLANDER: a platform for high-quality, international stories about and by Belgians living abroad, made for the Belgian home audience.
In 2020 the FJF had scheduled a new call for innovative journalism projects, but the newly appointed Flemish government unexpectedly and prematurely cut the FJF budget, which forced the Fund to cease its activities.