EU meeting will discuss platform for journalists

The European Commission has organised a meeting of agricultural journalists in Brussels on June 8 and 9.

The EU administration says the meeting offers an excellent opportunity to journalists from the Union’s 27 member states to get to know each other, and for discussion of the idea of an EU platform for journalists interested in agriculture and rural development.

A meeting of agricultural journalists in Brussels on June 8 and 9 is part of the follow-up to this meeting in Berlin last January of European Commission staff with IFAJ representatives. Pictured from left in Berlin were Adrian Krebs, Switzerland; James Campbell, Treasurer of IFAJ; Angela Filote and Roger Waite of the Commission; Hans Siemes, Netherlands; Jacques van Outryve, Belgium; and Stephen Cadogan, Ireland.

The idea of establishing some form of network for EU agricultural journalists was discussed between IFAJ and the European Commission during Green Week in Berlin last January, where IFAJ holds its annual Executive Committee meeting, hosted by Messe Berlin.
An IFAJ delegation led by treasurer James Campbell spoke to Roger Waite, the spokesman for EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, and Angela Filote, the EU’s newly appointed head of communication of its agriculture directorate. Waite and Filote indicated that they are keen to work with IFAJ members to enhance the understanding of agricultural policy issues throughout the EU.
Waite worked as an agricultural journalist and editor of the well-known Agra Facts publication until his appointment in 2010 as spokesperson for Ciolos. Commenting on what journalists can expect from the Brussels meeting, he said “I’m thinking about lots of useful info which is knocking around the DG, which would have been useful for me as a journalist.”
One representative from each national guild of agricultural journalists, and a senior journalist from each member state which does not have a guild, have been invited to Brussels in June.
They will take part in a brainstorming session on a possible future platform. Commission sources hope that clear ideas emerge of how such a platform would be shaped, and how it would fit with the agricultural communication business in each member state.
The Commission is organising and paying for travel and accommodation.

By: Stephen Cadogan

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