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European Parliament (Vienna´s office) to hire an agency to teach journalists how to tell the story

Call: Establishment and Management of a Visual Storytelling Lab

Contracting Authority: European Parliament´s Liaison Office in Austria

Purpose of the action: EPLO Vienna intends to establish a new service to enrich its storytelling on current issues and main legislative topics by means of data-journalistically prepared visual content. The aim is to visually convince media consumers of the impact and relevance of certain EP policies on everyday life by providing easy to understand, visually attractive and relevant content, such as infographics or interactive widgets.

Visual journalism is a rather late development in Austrian media. Hence, the most innovative visual journalists are either young professionals or even still students of journalism. Therefore, in order to facilitate the new service, EPLO Vienna intends to harness the creativity of these visual journalists and, by doing so, giving them an opportunity to display their talent, experiment with innovative ways of storytelling and gain experience in covering EU affairs. In addition to that, this service will provide Austrian media outlets that often lack the financial means to create such content on their own with innovative ready-to-use content.

Description of the action: In the Visual Storytelling Lab, visual journalists will be on several occasions throughout the year called to put their ideas on how to visualise certain aspects of the legislative work into a competition. Such stories might focus on previous achievements by or the need for EU legislation.

An example for such an idea could be a story on the elimination of roaming charges in the EU that contains a series of charts that visually demonstrate how much money EU citizens were able to save because of it, to what extend it enhanced cross-border communication and to what extend additional legislative efforts in that regard could improve people’s lifes even more.

Another example for an idea for a story could be an interactive widget for online media on the impact of water framework directive. In that, the user of the website will be asked to enter his or her zip code to receive an overview on how the directive affected his or her municipality.

If the journalist are able to convince EPLO Vienna with their idea, they will be commissioned to go ahead and execute it. Both the contractor and the journalists will then aim to get the content published in Austrian media. In addition to that, the content will be on display on an online platform and free to use for everybody.

Visual content: The visual content can appear in various formats, depending on what a particular story or narrative requires – f.e. interactive widgets for online media, visuals for social media, simple data-sets for print media or combination of multiple formats etc. One widget could be adaptable for various regional online media outlets; another set of plain visuals could tell a story of national relevance.

To create this visual content, the journalists will make use of sound and publicly available data. This data can be provided by the European Parliament (Eurobarometer surveys, EPRS etc.) or by trusted sources like Eurostat, national statistic services, OECD, IMF, World Bank or academic institutions. Institutions like Kantar, Gallup, Pew Research etc could provide relevant data on public opinion.

Closing date for the submission of tenders: 21/07

Probable date of award of contract: 04/08

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