Topic 2016: Trust

The theme for this year's fellowship is Trust. Use this topic to inspire a new idea for a story. Or think of a story you've wanted to write and see if you can link it to the topic.

Your story proposal must have a connection to the theme, even if it is a loose one. The theme is deliberately broad to allow a wide a range of story ideas. 

You might want to write about a breach or breakdown of trust - for example, between a state institution and citizens, between a company and its shareholders or customers, or between communities. How did this happen and who is responsible?

For you as a journalist, public distrust of media outlets might be an issue. Or lack of trust between politicians and journalists. You might want to explore possible reasons behind this, such as the ownership of media organisations.

You may know a story of people finding that their trust was misplaced. Sometimes a loss of trust occurs when people feel their physical or economic security is under threat. Do they look elsewhere for someone or something they can trust?

Or you may have a story of efforts to rebuild trust - between nations, communities, organisations or individuals. How is this being done? What difficulties have people had to overcome?

A trust can also be an organisation that manages assets for the public good. Charities can be trusts too. Perhaps you have a story about an organisation like this? And a trust in the sense of "anti-trust legislation" can be a company that has or tries to gain a monopoly in a particular market. Do you know a good example of this?

Whatever your idea, remember that you must explore it not just in your home country. The fellowship offers the chance to examine an issue in different countries in the region and in the European Union. Do some research to see how the experiences of other countries fit into your story.

Your story should have an investigative or analytical element.

It should also be topical, reflecting a current issue, and it should tell the reader something new - something that has not been widely reported. If you want to tackle an issue that has already had a lot of coverage, think of a new angle, an element that has been neglected in media reports so far.

In your proposal, make sure you answer the usual journalistic questions (who? when? where? why? how?) and also "so what?" - why should readers be interested in this story? Explain what makes this story relevant and interesting.