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EU Communication Challenge - deadline 22 June 2012

On Friday 27 April, the European Parliament Office in Ireland hosted a workshop for third-level media students entitled 'The EU Communication Challenge'.  Participants heard from Paddy Smyth from the Irish Times, Labour MEP Phil Prendergast and freelance Brussels-based journalist, Sarah Collins, as they gave their impressions of the difficulties associated with communicating EU-related issues.  Participants then tried it out for themselves in a variety of working groups, each producing a 3-minute news report on their assigned topic. The event concluded with the launch of the EU Communication Challenge competition.  The competition is open to all third-level students and the prize is participation in a seminar for working journalists in Brussels in the autumn of this year.  The closing date for entries is Friday, 22 June 2012.

How does the competition work?
The EU Communication Challenge is jointly organised by the European Parliament Office in Ireland and the European Commission Representation in Ireland.  

The objective of the competition is to challenge students to communicate an EU-related subject in a clear, accurate, understandable and interesting manner, to an audience associated with one of the following media:

- Written (an 'article' suitable for publication in either print or online media)
- Audio Visual (a report suitable for broadcast on either a radio or a TV station)

Range of subjects
Any EU-related subject will be considered valid.  During the workshop on 27 April, students took on the challenge of communicating the following issues:
- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA
- Passenger name record PNR
- The European Citizens' Initiative

These are just a few of the many topics from which you could choose.

Format of entries
• Written entries (print media or internet)
All entries in this category should be sent by email to and a hardcopy should be forwarded to the address below, accompanied by the completed application form (see link below).  Entries should specify whether they are intended for publication in print media or online.

• Audiovisual entries (suitable for radio or television)
All entries in this category should be forwarded on CD/DVD to the address below.  Entries should be accompanied by a short synopsis of the content and by the completed application form.  

Length of entries
The key here is to decide first on your audience.  In the case of a print entry: are you writing a feature article or a short news report? In the case of an online entry: is it a news report or a blog, for example? In the case of a radio/television entry: are you producing a short news report or is it a special report as part of a programme?  

Tip:  Check examples of recent media reports on EU-related issues.

The winning applicant will participate in a trip for working journalists which will take place in Brussels in the autumn of this year.  The prize will include return flights, hotel accommodation for two nights, most meals (bar dinner on the first night) and attendance at all activities included in the programme.

Eligibility of applicants
Applicants must be attending a full- or part-time third-level course.

Closing date
The closing date for this competition is Friday, 22 June at 5pm. Entries should be sent to the following address:

The EU Communication Challenge
European Parliament Office in Ireland
43 Molesworth Street
Dublin 2

Announcement of winning entry
The Jury's decision will be final.  The winning entrant will be notified by Friday, 13 July 2012.  All other entrants will be notified of the Jury's decision on that date.