Stars4Media Call for initiatives

Innovate your media and cooperate across borders on new solutions for journalism! 

WHAT is Stars4Media?

Developed by the media and for the media, and co-funded by the EU, Stars4Media is supporting collaborative initiatives developed by at least two media organizations from two different EU countries. These initiatives should contribute to innovation in new editorial products and formats, emerging technologies or other innovations at the organisational level. Stars4Media Second Edition is the continuation of the first European training programme for media professionals to accelerate innovation and cross-border cooperation. 

WHO can participate?

Participants are media professionals (mainly young “rising stars”, plus their optional senior mentors), either acting from within a media organisation or as freelancers, collaborating around an innovative idea: a Stars4Media ‘initiative’. Stars4Media ‘initiatives’ and teams must involve a mix of different media profiles: reporters, data journalists, graphic designers, web developers, social media managers, user experience and marketing specialists, data and AI experts, etc. 

Stars4Media ‘Initiatives’ are innovative ideas developed during 4 months by small cross-border and cross-disciplinary teams of media professionals, focusing on one of the three thematic waves:

  • Journalism, Trust and Participation
  • Media Technology and Marketing
  • Other Innovations

Typically a Stars4Media initiative revolves around one topic, under one wave. However, it is possible that applicants propose a topic of their choice which is cross-wave (e.g. data journalism addressing the topic of diversity). These topics are only indicative. Stars4Media welcomes bottom-up ideas.

WHY participate? 

As a media professional you will:

  • Cooperate with another European media organisation for 4 months
  • Benefit from the guidance and coaching of international media experts to test an innovative idea
  • Gain practical skills in areas such as quality reporting, data journalism, AI and translation technologies, marketing, business development, and social media
  • Join a community of media innovators from all over the European Union
  • Receive a grant of 5 400€ per participant


As a media organisation or tech company you will:

  • Test new editorial and technological products and new business models across borders
  • Grow your network with innovative media and tech companies in Europe
  • Develop and motivate your staff and future management
  • Receive a grant: up to 16 200€ per media organisation (in the ideal case of 3 individuals per organisation*)
  • Exchange best practices with innovative media organisations

HOW can you participate?

1) Propose your initiative

To participate you have two options: 

  • If you choose to submit directly a well-developed Proposal for Initiative, there are two deadlines: May 1st 2021, or July 1st 2021. Applicants who will submit by the 1st of May will have the opportunity to pitch their idea at the Stars4Media Lab, at the end of May, and receive further coaching. One can submit a Proposal just for the July 1st deadline but we encourage early submissions.

You can submit your initiative by downloading the application form here, filling it in and uploading it below.

  • You also have the option to send us first a draft Proposal for Initiative at, by pre-filling the application form. In this case, a team of media experts and practitioners can provide coaching and guide you to design your initiative. The expert assigned to you will help you develop an application in line with the Stars4Media objectives, she/he will challenge your ideas, and help you find partners in case you apply as an unpaired applicant.

2) Implement your initiative with other media professionals in the EU

  • Physical mobility and virtual cooperation: starting on 15 September 2021, for a period of a maximum of 4 months per initiative, the selected media professionals will carry out their initiative. 
  • Monitoring and evaluation: the development of the initiative will be monitored, evaluated, guided and facilitated by the Stars4Media expert/coaches team. The reporting and administrative process will be light. For details, please check the Stars4Media Second Edition Specific Rules, available below.  

Stars4Media Helpdesk: Contact us at

Join now the Stars4Media LinkedIn Community to exchange ideas and find partners! Are you interested in tips to find partners and get inspiration from best practices developed during the first edition of the project? Discover the Stars4Media Handbook (pdf).

WHAT do we mean by innovation? 

For more information and insights, you can read the Stars4Media Innovation and business sustainability checklist document (pdf).Check out the examples of successful Initiatives from the first edition.


NB: There are some requirements and conditions to participate in the programme:

1) Requirements for participating in the Stars4Media Project

  • The media organisations and/or freelancers submitting a Proposal for Initiative must be residents of the European Union;
  • The media organisations and/or freelancers behind the proposed initiatives will endorse the project’s terms and conditions (see below);
  • When submitting a draft idea and/or a proposal, the applicant has to confirm the commitment of its media organisation (or individual commitment, if freelancer) to (i) international professional journalistic standards and codes of ethics, and (ii) applicable national rules concerning, in particular, impartiality and accuracy.
  • As a general rule, the media professionals engaged in an Initiative should have more than 2 and less than 10 years of professional experience in the media sector.
  • Experienced professionals are encouraged to take part in each initiative as “senior mentors”. Applicants with more than 10 years of experience in the media sector can join any initiative, providing that in no single Initiative a majority of the participants can have more than 10 years of experience.
  • Both media professionals with less than 10 years of professional experience in the media sector and the senior mentors are eligible for receiving a Stars4Media grant.
  • *Exceptionally, 4 individuals per media organisation could be accepted to take part in the programme.

2) Successful initiatives will be governed by the provisions stated in the following documents. By submitting your initiative, you acknowledge and accept the provisions of the following rules: