Factchecking crossborder collaboration: how Facta.news and Maldita.es thrived under the Stars4Media NEWS programme

How did Facta.news and Maldita.es build on each other’s strengths to create a collaboration that went beyond their expectations? How did the Whatsapp daily newsletter built on Maldita’s previous experiment develop Facta.news’ audience?


Facta.news (IT), the news media fact-checking sister company of Pagella Politica and Maldita.es (ES), an independent non-profit foundation that fights disinformation, already know each other quite well before their collaboration in the Stars4Media NEWS programme. Both members of the International Fact-checking Network and verified members of the European Fact-Checking Standards Network, they indeed shared common objectives towards debunking disinformation through factchecking. During this collaboration, they definitely complemented each other as Maldita.es had grown a considerable experience regarding community engagement and Facta.news already had the experience regarding community business model.


Through weekly meetings, both teams gathered to exchange ideas and best practices involving social media and editorial teams. From Facta.news, one of the greatest challenges that turned into a strength was the fact that Maldita.es was a much bigger organisation than Facta.news. As a result, the first weeks of the collaboration involved getting to know the objectives of each media and understand the deliverables better. In this sense, Maldita.es has been a way of inspiration for Facta.news who had a way to look at the future seeing the concrete results they would be able to get by following Maldita.es’ steps.


The Stars4Media NEWS programme was not unknown to Facta.news who participated in its second edition, alongside another Factchecking Spanish partner, Verificat. They already acknowledged a great experience through the support of the programme, notably thanks to concrete deliverables the Stars4Media team put together and their reactivity all along the process. 


This amazing collaboration would not have been possible without the support of their coach Marco Nurra Ruggiu, who perfectly understood the main Facta.news issues to involve its community and internal work. His guidance helped them strengthen their organisation, as well as implementing a strategy to connect better with their audience. 

This is indeed what Camilla Vagnozzi, Editor in Chief at Facta.news, explained to us: “A lot of people knew what Facta.news was but not what we were doing. Through these coachings, we manage to develop our audience thanks to new methods and shared material that we will keep using in the future.”


One of the key successes of this collaboration was the development of a daily newsletter from Whatsapp ChatBot inspired by Maldita.es’ previous achievements. With this new tool, the users would get a regular notification allowing them to know what Facta.news is precisely working on. Through Whatsapp, this newsletter became a source of interaction for users who were also able to send requests regarding precise questions they had on specific topics. If Facta.news already had developed an article on the subject, the ChatBot would automatically answer with the corresponding information. In the other case, it would allow the user to directly chat with a member of Facta.news newsroom that would get together to provide an article on the topic. The latter resulted in two major achievements: much more interaction with the audience and new topics debunked directly addressing the users needs.


Facta.news will continue working on these daily Whatsapp newsletters through the end of the BOOST phase, as well as implementing the key strategy elements their coach delivered. For both teams, this collaboration showed once again the strength of cross border collaboration for innovative media transformation.


From the Stars4Media consortium, we are proud to showcase the achievements of our boosters and to be part of their business and news transformation. We are looking forward to following the developments of their upcoming projects and upcoming results of their collaboration.


Interested in knowing Maldita’s experience about their collaboration? Read our recent article interviewing Samuel Allan, Projects and Impact Coordinator at Maldita.

Join our Stars4Media community to get to know more about our initiatives and future projects, and engage with media innovators all around Europe!


This article is part of a series of articles aiming to promote the Stars4Media Third Edition Boosters. Discover the full list of beneficiaries and their area of media innovations. Read the recap of our latest event Stars4Media Day ‘Ready for AI and enlargement’ and discover our latest Stars4Media projects.