Many are the challenges the media sector is facing currently. In the series of recently published articles, Stars4Media has been searching for ways to talk about the importance of constructive journalism, and the role and relevance of data in investigative journalism. We tried to shed light on the financial constraints under which the news media operate, exploring the new revenue models developed by the Stars4Media second edition beneficiaries, that aim to bring financial independence and business sustainability to the sector.
Yet, this list of the challenges is everything but exhausted. One of the main challenges for the media professionals is the format of delivering the news per se. The Digital News Report 2021 issued by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism noted a shift even in social media news consumption. According to the data gathered across 46 countries worldwide, Facebook is becoming less important with new, visual networks like Instagram and TikTok taking the central stage with 73% of respondents stating they prefered to access the news ‘side door’, meaning via a search engine or social media.
It is therefore not surprising to see among the Stars4Media innovations one named – TikTok for Journalism. “The TikTok for Journalism project enables us to establish a direct and sincere relationship with the young followers among our audience”, says Ataberk Ozcan, from Are We Europe, the project leader. Ataberk continues “The initiative seeks to find new income models for TikTok production, widen the overall business model to a different social media platform and reach out to a new range of audiences’. Together with Civinc from the Netherlands and Nüwa Digital Media Content Production Studios Ltd from Ireland, the initiative aims to motivate the youth by raising awareness on the impact it can have on influencing positive change.
Exploring the same theme, Are We Europe is working on yet another media innovation under the Stars4Media belt. The ‘Interactive Map for Audio Stories’ initiative the organisation is delivering together with Novasaga from the Netherlands and Bear Radio from Germany aims to create an interactive online map where visitors can discover audio stories by clicking on different locations on the map. ‘The goal of our Interactive Audio Map project is divided into two sub-goals’ says Mick ter Reehorst. ‘The first is to create a brand new business model that will hopefully contain lessons for other independent media and independent audio journalists at large. The second is to make finding relatable content easier, to engage the audience more with audio stories and create a sustainable, well-designed, interactive platform for audio story journalism’.
The initiative ‘Virtual Humans in media contexts’ continues in a similar vein. The project partners VRT from Belgium, BCE from Luxembourg and YLE from Finland explore how to ’[…]make virtual humans more familiar and easier to approach for European media companies by showing how to create and use them’ says Robin Rymenans from VRT. Robin continues ‘’Moreover [we explore], how can these virtual humans -who are in different geographical locations- meet each other live in the metaverse?’.
Benjamin Oberle from French DNA Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace says about the project TemplAR (Templates in Augmented Reality) they are delivering together with German Les DNA ‘The challenge of this project is to succeed in making it sustainable’. Benjamin continues ‘Our project “templAR” is the stepping stone for a new digital approach for “Les Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace” with the aim to bring the Augmented Reality technology to
- the journalist in a no-code, easy to use way that enables new storytelling opportunities
- the marketing and sales department, with new content to sell and more added value with richer KPI’s, and
- younger readers who can interact in a new way that bridges the gap between the traditional newspaper with the full web experience.‘’
And the benefits of delivering the initiative within the Stars4Media? Benjamin says ‘Star4Media allowed us to launch the project in a controlled timeline with diminished financial risks and quality support’.
This article is part of a series of articles aiming to promote the Stars4Media Second Edition Beneficiaries. Discover the full list of beneficiaries and their area of media innovations. Learn more about the first macro-theme presented Constructive Journalism and the innovations tackling the topic here, Data & Constructive Journalism here and New Revenue Models here.