Agora Journalism Center announces
“Finding Common Ground” open call

Is your media organization interested in expanding an existing engagement project? With funding from Robert Bosch Stiftung and News Integrity Initiative, the University of Oregon’s Agora Journalism Center is offering seven mini-grants to fund engagement activities at news media organizations across Europe and North America. Our other project partners include ZEIT Online and the International Journalism Festival. To view a successful engagement project from ZEIT Online, visit Germany Talks.

The project, “Finding Common Ground,” aims to achieve cross-border collaboration with engagement practitioners in the media by supporting projects that get people to look up from their devices, meet people with different opinions, listen, and engage in meaningful and civil dialogue across silos and polarized positions. Through our collective efforts, we hope to engender trust between media organizations and communities.

Selected applicants will receive up to €7.500 to expand face-to-face “conversation catalyst” projects at his or her media organization. Additionally, all selected applicants will receive a fully-funded trip to the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, in April 2018 to share best practices and recognize opportunities for collaboration. Following the festival, each project team will visit a fellow participant’s project in order to gain a deeper understanding of day-to-day operations.

How to Apply

  • Select an existing project that brings together people to engage in face-to-face conversation.
  • Prepare an application in English using the following Google Form. All applications are due by Friday, February 23 before 5pm PT / 17:00 (GMT-8).
  • Designate a project leader who will communicate with Agora Journalism Center staff, oversee the completion of the proposed project, and attend the April workshop in Perugia as well as participate in one festival session.
  • Save the date for the International Journalism Conference in Perugia, Italy, from April 11-15, 2018.

Selected project leaders will receive up to 10,000 (up to €7.500 to carry out proposed projects and €2.500 to travel to other project sites during the summer of 2018). Lodging, reasonable airfare, and accommodations for the International Journalism Conference in Perugia, Italy, will be covered, as well.

Our Expectations

  • Prior to applying, organizations must have hosted at least one event or activity.
  • Projects must include an in-person component. We’re looking for projects that bring people together to engage in meaningful face-to-face conversations.
  • Participating organizations must be based in the North American or Europe.
  • All project leaders must be available for the International Journalism Conference from April 11-15, 2018.
  • Project leaders must be available to visit another project site during the summer of 2018 and welcome a fellow Finding Common Ground participant at his or her host site.
  • Project leaders are expected to share best practices at the workshop in Perugia and help create an engagement roadmap (e.g., a toolkit, mobile app, a board game, or “recipe book”). Additionally, all project leaders must present their project findings at one International Journalism Conference session.


  • Apply (Jan-Feb): submit completed applications prior to Friday, Feb. 23.
  • Begin project planning (Mar-April): Sharpen the goals of the project and convening purpose in preparation for the International Journalism Festival in Perugia.
  • Attend the International Journalism Conference (April 11-15): participate in a peer-learning workshop and present at a conference session in Perugia, Italy.
  • Coordinate and support face-to-face events (May-Jul): Based on the lessons learned at the convening, conduct face-to-face engagement events. Project teams are also expected to visit other projects at their respective locations for mutual learnings and exchange.
  • Produce report (Aug): work with project partners to evaluate projects.

Please direct all questions to Finding Common Ground’s project director, Andrew DeVigal, at