Chapter 1 - Introduction, Why this publication?

The aim of this publication is to help both journalists and journalistically not trained adult education actors to write articles for print or for online media – to be read by interested citizens of other European countries.

Constructivism 440

Nowadays we experience increased cooperation across borders in Europe between adult educators, adult education institutions and adult education researchers. This is often supported by the European Union.
There is no doubt that the Adult education individual actors and communities can learn a lot from each other – making possible an increased quality and a higher number of adult learners.

Wanting to share with people from other countries and actually being able to do it is not the same, though. The barriers are many and sometimes high: language, cultural and knowledge differences, shortfalls in communication skills and methods, etc. To overcome these barriers and gradually create a European community of adult education, the Adult education actors must improve their competencies in communication with the actors of other countries, backgrounds and cultures. Therefore we also need the assistance of communication professionals.

For more than 10 years “The European InfoNet Adult Education” (read more in Chapter 9) has produced articles on adult education from most European countries and on European Adult Education developments of the sector. We have published them on a European platform and in (inter) national magazines and websites. From this experience we have realised that very few journalists specialise in adult education, and even fewer journalists regularly write about adult education for readers outside their own country. At the same time a high number of adult education actors want to communicate about their work, their particular experiences, their innovative methods and their projects with fellow Europeans. But – often for apparent reason - they lack both basic journalist training and competencies in communication with people of other nationalities.

The aim of this publication is to help both journalists and journalistically not trained adult education actors to write articles for print or for online media – to be read by interested citizens of other European countries.
This includes:
- the task of defining and understanding such target groups, especially target groups living in an another geographical, cultural, political and educational environment
- the task of writing articles that are relevant and even necessary for the target groups
- the task of writing articles that are understandable for the target groups

Even though our background is adult education, we think that much of this text may be relevant for authors in other fields and especially for writers who write for a European audience about other topics.  This publication focus on the journalist type of article, but we do think that some advices could be useful when writing press releases, project reports, social media texts and maybe also scientific academic articles and papers, even though they must adhere to a special set of rules and traditions.

We have very much enjoyed participating in InfoNet. Doing that, we have enhanced our own understanding of writing for a European audience. We are very pleased to share these competencies, and we hope that it will be useful to other journalists and adult education actors in Europe. All of us will continue these efforts in other frameworks after the project phase. It is our intention to find ways to develop and improve this concept of Writing for Europe, hopefully resulting in a new and more comprehensive publication later. We invite all readers to help us in that by sending comments and inputs to [one or two names and e-mail addresses]

September 2015, the Editorial Board of InfoNet:

Carlos Ribeiro, Portugal

Hetty Roth, Sweden

Markus Palmén, Finland

Maurice de Gref, Netherlands

Michael Sommer, Germany

Michael Voss, Denmark

Ricarda Motchilnig, Austria