“Actually, we didn’t tell you the whole truth.“ A big smile settles on the face of the woman who’s doing the interview with us. She’s one in a crew of six (plus a dog) who is paying us a visit after we applied for this year’s Google Impact Challenge Germany. The woman takes a pause, then drops the bomb: “Congratulations, you made it — Hostwriter is a finalist!“

Have you ever wondered how you’d react when someone tells you that you just won 250,000 Euros?

Would you break out in tears? Scream? Shout? To be perfectly honest, I remember thinking “Is this an episode of ‘Germany’s Next Topmodel’? What on earth is happening?“ It took a moment before I realized that the woman wasn’t kidding. We really were one of the finalists. We had just won 250K.


The founders (from left to right): Sandra Zistl, Tabea Grzeszyk, Tamara Anthony

When Tamara Anthony, Sandra Zistl and I started Hostwriter as a voluntary project back in 2013, we never imagined the network of more than 3,400 colleagues from 128 countries that Hostwriter has currently grown into. We believe that transparency is crucial for us as a non-profit organization, especially now with a budget much larger than ever before. That’s why I’d like to share an update of Hostwriter: Where we’re coming from, where we’re headed, and what we plan to do with the money from Google’s Impact Challenge!

Our Mission

Hostwriter connects journalists to easily collaborate across borders. We enable better reporting by making cross-border contacts accessible to journalists worldwide.

The Problem

Be it migration, climate change, or international crime: in the connected world of the 21st Century, events have effects around the globe. To tell the whole story, journalists need to collaborate to keep fulfilling the watchdog function of the press. However, young professional journalists often lack the necessary connections with international colleagues.

Our Solution

Hostwriter is an open network that helps journalists to easily collaborate across borders. It’s open to any journalist — from journalism students to Pulitzer prize winners.

Where We Stand Now

Today, more than 3,300 journalists from 128 countries are using Hostwriter as a launchpad for collaboration and exchange. Members can connect for advice, collaborative reporting or couchsurfing. Membership is free of charge.

Where We’re Headed

With the funding from the Google Impact Challenge, we want to focus on:

Diversity: Reaching more journalists from all continents.
Ambassadors: Connecting Hostwriter ambassadors at a physical networking Summit.
Technology: Relaunch mobile-first & develop interaction tools.

The good news is that this is only the beginning!

From 18 May to 6 June 2018, the public can vote on the overall winner of the Impact Challenge. This winner receives additional funding of €250,000 — for a total prize of €500,000! If Hostwriter is selected as winner of the additional €250,000, our organization will go “truly global”:

Crossing Borders Across Continents: We will organize a cross-border collaboration program like the “Agora Project“ on all continents.

That’s where we need your vote: Please vote for Hostwriter!

Click on “Abstimmen” (= vote) and then “Ja” (= yes).

If you’d like to support our social media campaign, please share our big news on Twitter or Facebook.

?Hostwriter is a finalist in the Google.org Impact Challenge!
The team wins an award of €250K. And this is just the start: They can double the grant in a public vote! Please support: Vote for Hostwriter ✊? https://goo.gl/pTaSMd #GICDeutschland #Vote4Hostwriter

You can click here for our online press kit, including fact sheets, bios, and high-res photos. A big thank you to all our supporters!

(This article was also published on Hostwriter’s Medium channel.)