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EL PAÍS among founders of new alliance of leading European papers

Former editor-in-chief Javier Moreno announces launch of LENA

The group of seven outlets will share content and digital projects

Left to right: Javier Moreno (director of LENA), Pier Paolo Cervi (La Repubblica), Marius Schneider (Die Welt), Sofia Bengana (Le Figaro), Juan Luis Cebrián (CEO of PRISA), Pietro Supino (Tages-Anzeiger and Tribune de Genève) and Bernard Marchand (Le Soir)

Seven European media outlets have joined forces to create the Leading European Newspaper Alliance (LENA), with the aim of pooling their resources and promoting quality journalism in Europe.

The founding members of the new group, which was announced on Tuesday, are Die Welt from Germany, La Repubblica from Italy, Le Figaro from France, Le Soir from Belgium, Tages-Anzeiger and Tribune de Genève from Switzerland, and Spain’s EL PAÍS.

Javier Moreno, who served as editor-in-chief for EL PAÍS from 2006 to 2014, is heading this pan-European project.

The genesis for the alliance was a dinner held in Switzerland a year ago today, the founding members explained.

All the founding members “share a series of common values regarding the importance of quality journalism”

At a presentation held in Brussels, Bernard Marchand, CEO of Rossel, which publishes Le Soir, said that the alliance will seek to promote product quality and to consolidate European public opinion through shared content.

All the founding members “share a series of common values regarding the importance of quality journalism in the structuring of open and democratic societies with a message of economic progress and social justice,” said PRISA, the parent company of EL PAÍS, in a statement.

The alliance, which will be open to new members in future, “will also undertake joint digital developments,” while “a program for the exchange of personnel will allow journalists and other employees to spend time in other newspapers of the Alliance and thus widen their fields of expertise.”

Another major pillar of this project, according to Moreno, is to advance on the technological and digital front, sharing acquired knowledge and exploring new techniques. LENA intends to keep its members on the edge of technological, commercial and editorial progress, said the statement.

One of the main focuses of the cooperation will be the creation and exchange of editorial content. Each newspaper will provide selected articles to a joint platform from which the Alliance members will be able to draw on according to their needs. In addition, interviews, features and comments will be especially commissioned for simultaneous publication in all LENA partners, according to the founders.

Concern over the “future of newspapers,” said PRISA chairman Juan Luis Cebrián, is one of the reasons that brought together the heads of these seven European media outlets.

“We all need to learn from one another,” said Sofia Bengana, editor of Le Figaro.

Moreno, who now faces the challenge of coordinating seven newspapers that work in four different languages, said that “enthusiasm” must be the spirit that moves the alliance.

“That is how great things are achieved,” he concluded.