Work with us

Our stories

Are We Europe commission stories from young journalists in Europe, from written pieces and photography for their magazine and podcasts or shortdocs for their online channels.

Let's talk about water

Nothing focuses the mind on survival like the fear of running out of water. Nomadic communities live by this knowledge, movie characters lost in the desert realise it long before the oasis mirage, and “HydroHomies” have turned the precious commodity into a facet of identity. Throughout much of the world, however, industrial excess, lax control, and blind greed lead to calamity. 

For our next project, Are We Europe looks at the environmental and human costs of our relationship with water. 

Today, nearly half of the human population lives with water scarcity, inhabiting places unable to meet their drinking, cooking and sanitation needs fully. Most European media still overlook water’s fundamental importance within our continent. Droughts and flooding in our backyard may receive a lot of media attention for a short time, but the bigger debate around water management, accessibility and climate change still seems to focus on countries in the global south—unjustly painting it as a problem that doesn’t concern Europe. We’re committed to telling these stories close to home, too.

Water isn’t just a resource, it’s often also part of our culture: from saunas and ice bathing in the Nordics to the complimentary carafe of water in the South, as an ingredient to our favourite foods and drinks, as part of the landscapes we hold so dearly.

We are looking for pitches that centre themselves around a body of water in Europe. Pitch us a specific angle around a distinct theme, such as culture, pollution, energy, existing inequalities, women’s rights, social justice, food etc. 

Whether it’s a lake in Finland, the coastline in Greece, a pond in Poland or a fountain in the Vatican City—we want to hear about how we interact with water in our daily lives. Feel free to pitch us an article, photography, short fiction, comics, collages and poetry ideas.

Some inspiration for types of water bodies, though you are welcome to suggest your own:

Natural: lake, glacier, ocean, pond, river, marsh, fjord, estuary, lagoon, puddle, geyser, sea, teardrop

Unnatural: wastewater treatment plant, icebox, canal, reservoir, harbour, moat, swimming pool, water park, water bottle

We’re especially interested in stories with a solutions journalism angle. We will commission a balanced puzzle of pieces that uncover problems, put people at the centre of the story and offer solutions.

This year, we’re fully embracing different media types and formats. We’re looking for creative formats that push the boundaries of journalism. Pitch us a podcast idea, a short documentary, a spoken word performance, an interactive multimedia story, infographics or others. 

We’re looking for stories that dive into the environmental and human cost of water. You might read above that our magazine pitches must be specifically centred around a body of water. This does not apply to our other pitches. You are free to pitch any story that addresses our relationship with water. 

We’re especially interested in stories with a solutions journalism angle. We will commission a balanced puzzle of pieces that uncover problems, put people at the centre of the story and offer solutions.

Possible story angles could include:

  • The cost of (decorative) water fountains
  • Why so many dams are being demolished
  • The distinctive architecture of water towers 
  • The disappearance of water bird sanctuaries
  • Roma women’s access to water
  • The environmental cost of Lithium mining in Europe
  • Boat garages as a place of community building in Narva, Estonia
  • Preparing for the next flood (or not)
  • Innovative solutions and best practices for addressing water scarcity
  • An investigation into how Ukraine’s water sources have suffered under the war
  • The environmental cost of skiing (and artificial snow)
  • Access to ancestral fishing places for Sámi people

Pitches must follow our editorial principles to be taken into consideration:

  1. We focus on the underreported issues, people, and places on this continent
  2. We work with the next generation of journalists, writers and visual storytellers 
  3. We cover local stories and build transnational perspectives
  4. We challenge dominant narratives
  5. We embrace complexity and are transparent about our biases
  6. We believe stories are told with more than just words—and design everything we make with care. 

 

When choosing between the pitches we’ve received, we will be looking at whether the pitch:

  • Captures the theme of each magazine in an original angle
  • Is people-centred
  • Brings border-breaking perspectives

  • Questions the status quo

  • Focuses on reported features and not on analytical/balanced-out articles 
  • Embraces complexity
  • Bring something original to the table
  • Focused on the underreported issues, people, or places 

Dates indicated as “pitch deadline” refer to the final pitch deadline, after which we will no longer accept pitches. You’ll know if your story has been commissioned one week after the pitch deadline. 

We’ll expect the first version of your piece four weeks later. We’ll work together to make the story the best it can be. 

The process involves three editing rounds of one week each, in which we might ask you additional questions before we start our design process. 

We’re subject to a fixed deadline and have to wait for printing and shipping before we can launch any project, including multimedia, too, so there is no room for late drafts.

Stories selected for the print magazine will be remunerated according to fixed prices ranging from 60 to 300 euros, according to their length (0,10 cents a word). Photo stories will be remunerated at a rate of 180 to 250 euros.

We are currently looking at additional funding for investigative reporting.

Regardless of whether your story is released on any of our online channels or printed in our magazine, you will receive a free copy sent to your address anywhere in Europe.

Our trainings and workshops

The Circle

Are We Europe is coming to eight European cities to bring together creatives, journalists & media entrepreneurs. Over the course of two weeks, they set up the next generation collaborative media hubs.

The Circle is a new approach to cross-border journalism and collaboration. Four European media partners — Are We Europe (NL), Hostwriter (DE), Arty Farty (FR), and n-ost (DE) — join forces to create media knowledge hubs. Funded by the European Commission, our work is dedicated to developing new digital skills and training professionals in the journalism sector in state-of-the-art digital storytelling through Design Sprints. We want to explore next-generation digital media formats by building bridges between larger, established legacy media and millennial-led media organisations.

Join our Design Sprints to collaboratively map, research, and experiment with like-minded media professionals and develop a stellar idea for your region.

After Porto (Portugal) and Tblisi (Georgia), we will set up our next hub in Vilnius (Lithuania). 

Happy Pitching!