“What now?” is perhaps the most often asked question of humankind. Nowadays it is especially true. The pandemic has disrupted the plans of many young people, in their studies, the first steps in their careers and sometimes in love.
“It’s an uncertain time, corona has shaken up everything everywhere in Europe,” says Gönna Ketels, who is responsible for content in the . “What now?” is ENTR’s guiding question, and it provides plenty of material for the target audience of people between 18 and 34.
The good and the bad
It is important to her team that they are not seen as an extended PR arm of the EU’s headquarters in Brussels, even though it provides ENTR with funding. “We’re not going to uncritically celebrate EU-Europe, but also look directly at the problem areas,” adds Coordinating Editor Caroline Schmitt.
The audience determines the topics and perspectives. They have to be true-to-life and told openly. One of the first videos is about a German-Italian couple who have different habits when it comes to dealing money.
“For people in education and at the beginning of a career, money is an extremely important topic,” says Ketels. This is especially true since the pandemic has put money jobs on hold, at least for now.
Teamwork across Europe
The idea for ENTR comes from DW and France Medias Monde. At the moment other media partners in Romania, Portugal, Poland and Ireland are involved — and more should be joining. Twice a week there is a conference to decide on topics, and then the ideas that peak interest everywhere — such as questions about money or the experiences of the LGBTQ community — are brought to life. DW Director General Peter Limbourg calls it a “unique pan-European teamwork.”
Most of the stories are videos and appear on , and . But posting content is not the end of the story. For the partners involved, including DW’s editorial team, that’s when things really get going.
“There are interactive elements for every topic,” says Ketels, “we just want to kick things off and then let the users discuss and share their own stories.” The goal is for ENTR to become a community in which a variety of voices have their say.
Picking up on skepticism
One group is particularly important to ENTR: young people who have not already studied in another country through Erasmus or had their first working experience outside of their home country. The ENTR team also doesn’t want to focus on issues that are solely aimed at an academic audience.
There are many people in ENTR’s target group who do not see themselves reflected in the EU. “We want to pick up on their topics and also on their skepticism,” says Ketels.
So what comes next? Across ENTR people are hoping for a quick end to the pandemic. You don’t have to look far for what younger people are missing most at the moment: being able to meet in person, any way you want to — “Interrail not internet,” you could say!
This piece has been translated from German.
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