Maldita’s collaboration with Facta: Boosting community engagement model for European fact-checkers

How did Maldita and Facta develop a crossborder fact-checking community engagement model to enhance the sustainability of their business model? What are the key learnings both teams acknowledge from working together under the Stars4Media programme? (ES), an independent non-profit foundation that fights disinformation, and (IT), the news media fact-checking sister company of Pagella Politica, definitely complemented each other in the Stars4Media NEWS programme. Maldita brought a wealth of innovative experience in developing community models for fact-checking organisations, while Facta was looking to strengthen their community engagement. Both organisations are members of the International Fact-checking Network and verified members of the European Fact-Checking Standards Network, and share many common objectives, while Facta was already familiar with the Stars4Media NEWS programme, having participated in the previous Stars4Media edition.


When we talked to Samuel Allan, Projects and Impact Coordinator at Maldita, he told us that he was truly enthusiastic about the benefits of the Stars4Media NEWS programme: “it was a catalyst for important processes in each of our organisation’s development, showing that collaboration with different countries sharing common challenges can be a true added-value”. and collaborated well together, building on a long record of collaboration between the two organisations. In the first phase of the project, a series of tests were realised to check the efficiency and sustainability of the community model. One key element of surprise was the result of two social media campaigns produced by Facta, under the support of Maldita. Indeed, the organic campaign was much more effective than the paid campaign. This result was explained by the value of building upon Facta’s already established community base, and their strengthened capacities to keep building on this engagement with their community.


The most challenging part was the adaptation of the process between both news media, as they constantly had to respond and adjust to new findings and results from their testing together. The solution? Planning rigorously their tests and meeting sessions  in order to get the best results. They concluded that the collaboration was much more effective if based on regular meetings instead of a unique workshop, developing an interactive process of testing and listening to the needs of each other and their audience.


This partnership was definitely enhanced by the support of their coach Martin Beck, independent Stars4Media coach, through weekly meetings during the explore phase and especially during the final stages of the boost phase to finalise the development of community model development programme as a product ready for commercialization. Meanwhile, Facta hired another external coach with specific social media engagement expertise who will keep working with their team in upcoming projects.


In the next phase, they plan to develop a playbook with key recommendations for Facta to be able to continue this work independently, while will prepare to take their tested Community Model Booster programme to market, engaging further fact-checking organisations in the service.


From the Stars4Media NEWS consortium and community, we are proud to see the achievements of our Boosters and to be part of their business and news transformation. We are looking forward to follow the next steps and upcoming results of their collaboration.


Do not miss the opportunity to join our Stars4Media community to learn more about our programmes and to share insights with other media professionals.



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.