What is Stars4Media?
Stars4Media is a training programme for media professionals and the first pilot project for European media organisations, aiming at facilitating cooperation between media professionals (“rising stars”) to accelerate media innovation and cross-border coverage in Europe.
Media professionals residing in different EU countries have the chance to cooperate around bottom-up Initiatives, to test ideas and technologies, develop new business models and produce journalistic content.
Partners of the project are the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Europe’s Media Lab (Fondation EURACTIV), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The project is co-funded by the European Commission.
Who can participate?
The main target group of Stars4Media Second Edition are media professionals with a promising future (“rising stars”) of any nationality, and professionally active within the European Union. Senior mentors can be part of an Initiative, but should not constitute the majority of the team.
The media professionals will be selected from both legacy media, start-up media organisations, and tech companies based in any EU country, ensuring a mix of different functions and profiles, such as journalists, product managers, graphic designers, developers, marketing managers, community managers, technology managers.
I have only been a media professional for a few months. Can I participate?
Only those with a minimum of 2 years of proven media experience can participate.
Is it open only to journalists or can other media professionals participate as well?
Professionals coming from different departments / professional backgrounds (e.g. journalists, data journalists, graphic designers, developers, and managers for social media, products, marketing) are eligible. In fact, cross-disciplinary approaches are privileged, especially if they include business innovation.
Is there any age limit?
There is no age limit for taking part in the project, what counts is the professional experience in the media field.
Young media professionals with more than 2 and less than 10 years of professional experience in the media sector are the main target group of the programme.
Professionals with more than 10 years of experience in the media sector can optionally join an initiative as “senior mentors”, in order to maximise its outcome, strengthen the ownership and internal company support for the Initiative’s activities. However, the majority of the participants in each Initiative should be “young media professionals”.
Can freelance journalists participate?
The participation of freelancers is welcome. Particularly, proposals involving individual freelancers partnering with a media organisation for implementing a joint Initiative are encouraged.
Can researchers/media policy experts participate?
Researchers and media policy experts can take part in the project on their own/company costs. If they submit and implement their idea on behalf of a media organisation, then they would also be eligible for co-funding.
Is there a minimum language level required to participate?
Participants should have a good command of spoken and written English.
Which language can the applications be submitted in?
Applications should be submitted in English.
What is an “Initiative”?
We consider an “Initiative” a proposal with clear objectives, proposed by a small cross-border and cross-disciplinary team of media professionals, aiming at fostering innovation in the media sector (a new service, content, tool, approach, etc).
Each initiative shall be composed of media professionals from 2 or more different media organisations and/or freelancers based in different EU countries.
How many people from the same media organisation can take part in a team?
Stars4Media encourages cross-disciplinary teams to work together on a joint and innovative initiative. The applicants are required to elaborate on the cooperation that they envisage with colleagues from other media outlets and the respective roles in the initiative.
The size of a team should be determined by the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Ideally, 3 individuals per media organisation should be involved in an initiative. Exceptionally, 4 individuals per media organisation could be accepted.
Can a team be composed of only one person?
Yes, a team can be composed of one individual per media organisation. In the ideal case, a team would include several professionals with complementary backgrounds, working together on an initiative.
There should be one “lead” professional, who will act as a contact point with the other media organisations, and with the Stars4Media project team. This lead media professional will also coordinate internally with the other participants, ensure the timely reporting on progress, and communicate to the media organisation’s management. This will ensure an efficient, collaborative, transparent, and decentralised process.