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Looking Back at EYE Berlin

Updated: Apr 26

On 19 and 20 April, Europinion had the privileged opportunity of attending the European Youth Event (EYE) in Berlin, hosted by the European Youth Parliament, showcasing to the young people of Europe the important work Europinion is doing to better our journalism, and thus our political society. We were honoured to host our ‘Depolarising Journalism’ with MEP Lena Düpont, hold our Active Fair stall, and attend the Youth Plenary alongside MEP Hildegard Bentele. 

On Friday 19, Europinion had the pleasure of conducting our ‘Depolarising Journalism: Learn How to Build a Healthier European Society’, to over fifty politicall engaged young Europeans from across the entire continent and beyond. Europinion facilitated engagement with, and persistently, the space for each participant to be listened to, enabling all to better understand the role we have individually as readers, writers, journalists, and members of our political society. Through this, the critical need to address the polarisation, falsification, and toxicity so acutely evident in so much of modern consumed journalism was repeatedly raised.

It's not easy for an organisation as young as ours to feel at home wherever we go. But, we do. We aren't afraid to take things on and that's repaid with great engagement and exciting opportunities. However, what we did at EYE Berlin only works when you take a fantastic team with you. And that's exactly what we had! We're lucky to do this with such committed people. - Cyrus Larcombe-Moore
During the workshop it was wonderful to see the participants' enthusiasm as they threw themselves into the task of making appealing yet honest headlines for the topic. During the Plenary it was a privilege to answer questions about our findings and advocate for open and honest journalism in a time of misinformation. - Sam Crooks 

The workshop broke off initially into debate groups, discussing the role of social media in current social media and its effects, both positive and negative. Young people from across Europe were clearly split: on the one hand, some participants explained how they felt compelled to place greater importance on trusted sources of traditional media in their countries, concerned for the validity and legitimacy of news consumed via social media. On the other hand, the case was the inverse for other participants: for them, digital independent media obtained through social media were vital to their access to information as state restrictions and repressions on journalistic freedom continue to plague many of our polities. 

We hold this distinctive, contextualised insight to have been only obtainable through the embodiment of Europinion’s raison d’être - that of facilitating open, honest communication. Europinion is resolute in breaking down the walls - social, political, cultural - that divide us in order to encourage healthy dialogues and facilitating the sharing of people’s unique perspectives. 

I think my favourite thing about EYE was to see the curiosity and interest of every single person attending the event, even more so those who joined the workshop and stopped by the stall! It truly brought together the team and its values at the front of the stage. I also think it was an outstanding opportunity to be able to chat with MEPs about our mission and hear their take on it. - Adélie Aubin

After the debate, our Editor-in-Chief, Cyrus Larcombe-Moore, guided the workshop participants through the craft and drafting of headlines and leadlines. How do we avoid clickbait, whilst creating engaging, inviting articles? Larcombe-Moore emphasised Europinion’s firm belief that every part of an article must serve the story itself and, most importantly, serve the truth. Through listening and engaging with the participants, we identified that young people do not want to consume misinformation. Nor do they want to immerse themselves in echo chambers and stifle their critical thinking. They want to learn, to engage with, and to comprehensively understand the world within which they live. That ultimately is the mission of Europinion epitomised. 

The workshop was swiftly followed by our attendance at the Active Fair, in which we were honoured to have the opportunity to network and engage with the upcoming movers and shakers of European politics and share the vital work of Europinion. We were extremely pleased with the reception of our work and mission with the participants - it was so reassuring to see the need we have identified in modern journalism so universally shared by the young people of Europe. 

EYE was a great opportunity to listen to what young people have to say about the dangers of social media algorithms in journalism and how their local communities have been affected by it. Hosting the workshop among so many reputable organisations was incredible, constituting a strong testament to what the future generation is preoccupied with. - Alexandra Luca

The Youth Plenary - the EYE Berlin’s crowning event - was a real pleasure to participate in and a fantastic opportunity to showcase to more young Europeans the importance of Europinion’s mission. Europinion presented the results of our workshop and engaged in a fascinating, insightful debate with MEP Hildegard Bentele and the wider audience on how the youth of today can better inform themselves, identify good journalism from bad, and widen their perspectives through reading a variety of opinions, in a world so populated with misinformed, false, duplicitous, and toxic sources of information.

The Information Age, with its 24/7 media cycle, whilst with its sincere benefits, has led to an oversaturation of our media networks. This, whether we like it or not, shapes and influences the way we consume information and formulate our perspectives. 

Europinion was able to stand out in the EYE Berlin event as it gave the attendees a deeper insight into journalism and an opportunity to voice their opinions through a platform that values their views. The team is driven by passion and transmits this passion to others so they can voice their thoughts freely. - Michael Maalouf 

It is imperative that the onus is on readers and writers alike, to form critical communication skillsets committed to the pursuit of good, honest journalism, to better our political societies. Your opinion matters. When we listen to each other, we create a better future.

I would like to extend my personal gratitude to the amazing team we took to Berlin. I am proud of the collective ability to professionally and engagingly convey our critical mission and trust that, together with our readers, writers, and partners, we will create a better world governed by good, honest journalism.

EYE was a great time! It was really nice being in the same space and talking to be people actively interested in what Europinion is and what we have to say. I'm really encouraged to see our message was well received. - Graeme Smith

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