In the six months since it was launched, the CAP Health Check blog has established itself as the best place on the web for news, views and debate on the future of European food, farming and rural policy. We are now looking to expand our team with new voices and have secured funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation so that we can now pay bloggers a modest amount in recognition of their contribution to the debate on the future of the CAP.
Who are we looking for? It goes without saying that our bloggers need to have a sound knowledge of European agriculture policy and be well attuned to the economic and political forces at play. We want people with good ideas and strong views who are ready to stand them up in debate. Those with a specialist knowledge of those areas of food, rural, farming and environment policy are currently not well covered by CAP Health Check are particularly welcome. Similarly, we are keen to attract people from countries not already represented among our existing team.
On policy substance, there is no official ‘party line’ and bloggers are free to write what they believe. In general, we want people who are ready to face up to the shortcomings of current CAP but who recognise that things are not as bad as they once were. Most important, bloggers need to have imaginative and politically viable ideas for improving European farm, food and rural policies. Just as we don’t want swivel-eyed Eurosceptics who see the CAP primarily as a stick to beat the EU, we don’t want die-hard Euro-enthusiasts who are unable to criticise Brussels. We want realists with an entreprenerial streak, pragmatists with a vision.
You’ll need to have a clear writing style and the ability to craft engaging, well-informed and thought-provoking blog posts (300-500 words). Each blog post will be paid at a rate of 75 euros per post up to a maximum of 10 posts per blogger in the period 1 July 2007 to 31 June 2008. The next ten posts will be paid at a rate of 50 euros/post. A bonus pool of 1200 euros will be shared among the top three posts each quarter-year, judged by the impact of the post as measured by incoming links, site traffic, comment/discussion and the views of other CAP Health Check bloggers.
If you want to apply to join the team or want to get in touch find out more, contact me, Jack Thurston, using the form here.