A non-profit news startup to counter false narratives and propaganda that are eroding trust in politics and the media.

The Battleground will focus on Europe and its influences on, and from, the wider world.

Whether it is migration, climate change, populism or globalisation, we will look behind the news headlines and provide perspective – to give clarity and meaning where there is confusion and conflict.

Ultimately it is about defending democracy.

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The Battleground is the fightback

Journalism is under attack. From vested interests, on the right as well as the left. In social media, as well as from traditional media. The digital revolution may not replace newspapers with Facebook. But it is challenging the essence of the news media and may very well up the profile of power-friendly tabloids.

 

The situation is compounded by years of declining circulation of old brands as a consequence of the Internet, and the increasing compromise of journalism through commercial pressures, click bait and influence exerted by media moguls on behalf of their political interests. This has allowed a rise of populism in politics to go largely unchallenged, and propaganda largely unchecked.

 

Europe is under attack. For over 60 years, European integration has reinforced respect for freedom, democracy, human rights, equality and the rule of law on the continent of Europe. But these values are not acquis, not in Europe, nor in the world. 100 years after the First World War, populism and nationalism are again threatening our way of life. More than ever, there is a need for quality journalism to scrutinise developments, shed light on events and speak truth to power.

 

What’s needed is a new kind of news media, one that shines a light behind the headlines, inspires trust, and promotes ethical journalism. Not as a niche practice, but as a common standard readers can identify with and turn to in times of change. A media, in short, for the public good, which can counter populist narratives and challenge prevailing orthodoxy.

 

ENTER THE BATTLEGROUND. A news service of big picture analysis and reflection on the stories of our times, TheBattleground.eu will arm readers with relevant background and critical insights to navigate the news flow and interpret events in our changing world. Tackling important topics at critical moments in the news cycle, TheBattleground.eu will publish the salient facts of a story, expose people or parties who are behind false narratives and explain their motivation.

 

Context is key. No story exists in a vacuum, but few are presented beyond their immediate, national news appeal. Focusing on European news through a global lens, TheBattleground.eu will highlight the geo-political context and connections which illuminate current events in ways today’s news media, with its diminishing word count and dependence on wires, has neither the depth nor space to provide.

 

Providing perspective – returning to the story again and again – The Battleground will bring continuity and focus, allowing audiences to deepen their understanding of news topics and debates, freed from depending on individual and isolated articles. Perspective, after all, is not just a long read.

 

The approach is one Team Battleground holds dear. Led by longtime news and current affairs veterans, with expertise covering Europe, as well as the US and the Middle East, TheBattleground.eu will deliver the cosmopolitan, illuminating stories absent from media coverage of the EU and Europe for far too long.

 

The Battleground may not break populism’s blockade of the press. But it will erode faith in lies, and set a new standard for what journalism ought to do in Europe, if not the world.

 

The Battleground, in short, is the fightback.

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40+ contributors from all over the world

The Battleground will rely on its team’s long history of working in European and international news markets. Drawing equally on European, North American and Middle Eastern correspondents, The Battleground is endowed with a global community of over 40 journalists at its disposal from the start.

Ranging from investigative reporters and photographers to opinion editorialists and television correspondents, TheBattleground.eu will be their outlet to innovate and set news standards for mainstream news media.

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Meet the founders

TheBattleground.eu has been founded by a team of experienced media and public affairs professionals.

Natalie Sarkic-Todd is an international Brit with a unique background in diplomacy, policy and media gained in London, New York, Russia, the Balkans and Brussels, where she managed a European media network. TheBattleground grew out of her frustration with populist narratives in the UK, Europe and the US, and the conviction that media and politicians must do more to counter them. As publisher, she will ensure stories present the geo-political context, look behind the headlines and arm readers with critical perspectives on the news and politics of our times.

Joel Schalit is a rare media publisher and editor who specialises in Europe, the US and the Middle East, with an added passion for culture and music. His eclectic Israeli and European heritage, combined with journalism and philosophy studies in North America, mean that he has one of the broadest yet razor-sharp minds in the business. As commissioning editor, Joel will source a variety of content from journalists in Europe and around the world and create new audio-visual products to bring TheBattleground.eu to life.

Dominique Ostyn brings almost two decades of experience in European media relations and communication strategy to TheBattleground. As head of communication, Dominique will oversee its branding, communications and marketing activities. His keen business eye and openness to collaboration, innovation and testing new technologies will keep it at the forefront of its sector. Dominique is also the director of communication of the Press Club Brussels-Europe and involved in multiple initiatives that aim to enable Europe’s journalists and media.

Mana Livardjani is a multicultural European who grew up speaking French, Spanish, English and Farsi in Strasbourg. Mana has been president of Cafebabel.com Europe’s first multilingual online media magazine for citizen journalists, worked in the European Parliament and ran the office of the Union of European Federalists. Mana’s online media, democracy promotion and NGO background makes her the ideal advisor on effective audience engagement for a news media start-up like The Battleground.