Trainer: Quentin Ariès

Aim of the course

  1. Providing to young EU affairs professionals, young reporters key insights in how the EU media cycle operates.
  2. Getting to know reporters in Brussels and how they work.
  3. How to set up set up monitoring of EU institutions, Digital monitoring of EU institutions
  4. Meeting EU officials working with the media.


1st Session: Who is who in the media landscape?

With 1,000 reporters in Brussels covering EU affairs, it is important for students to know a bit more about the media landscape. This lesson will set up a typology of Brussels-based reporters (main outlets red in the EU bubble, press wires, press agencies, EU correspondent for national or regional media, radio, trade publications etc.) and how those different reporters operate.

  • 2nd Session: How reporters are working in Brussels? How to work with reporters?

This lesson will focus on how reporters work on a daily basis. What do they do throughout the day, their relations with their supervisors and editors etc. This lesson will provide what reporters are looking for with sources and communication services (statements, leaks, interviews etc.). Lastly, the lesson will give reporters’ timetable and expectations when they are covering important events like European Councils, European Parliament’s plenary sessions, regular press conferences etc. 

How to work with reporters can be challenging. Therefore, it can be interesting for students to have some key steps when they are interacting with reporters. How to convey your message? How to prepare an interview (for you or for your boss)? What to ask and what not to ask? Who to work with reporters when you want to leak information or documents? How to build trust with reporters in the long term etc.?

  • 3rd & 4th Sessions: Basic monitoring of EU news  

It could also very useful for students to have some tips in how to watch EU news and policies quickly. Being a good reporter or lobbyist means often efficient monitoring tools. With Twitter, tweetdeck, RSS feeds and others, this course will provide some easy to use tools for students to follow EU news in almost real time.

  • 5th Session: A visit to the European Commission midday daily briefing, plus a potential visit to a Permanent Representation with diplomats in charge of spokesperson service.

The European Commission holds every weekday a press conference at lunchtime. This ‘midday briefing’ is often central for reporters for monitoring purposes, asking questions to Commission official to get on the record statements, a way to speak informally to those officials afterwards for their stories etc. Therefore, organizing a visit of this press conference along with a quick chat with a Commission spokesperson could be very useful for students. This visit will be prepared in advance with students.

Besides visiting the European Commission, it could also interesting for students to meet diplomats working with reporters in the national Permanent Representations. It will give to students another perspective of different EU affairs professionals working with the media.