#Media4Europe Conference: ”Innovation, content & data to transform the NEWS business”

The #Media4Europe event on “Business Transformation of NEWS: Content sharing, Data and Stars4Media” took place on Wednesday, October 6th, in hybrid format: both at EURACTIV facilities and online. Gathering some 200 participants across different platforms policy makers, media professionals and opinion leaders, the event discussed media and policy trends exemplified by media innovation and infrastructure projects. 

First, a strategy study was presented, on the feasibility of European content sharing platforms. In the words of Jacques Bajon from the consortium partner IDATE:“Our feasibility study defines conditions for the creation of a new European content sharing platform to meet quality requirements, while being attractive to the target audience. The study explores potential changes in the news market over the next three years, based on stakeholders’ input. It recommends three practical ways for content sharing.” Read the Executive Summary.

EU efforts to create a sustainable media environment were highlighted in a keynote by Commission Vice-President Vĕra Jourová: “ […] we continue increasing our funding support and our work to bring funding opportunities together under a NEWS banner.” In line with what President von der Leyen stated in the State of the EU  speech 2021 , VP Jourová added  “[…] no journalist should die or be harmed for doing their job.

Maria Joao Rodrigues President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) mentioned how: “Europe needs a more integrated strategy for the media sector: economic + social + technology + gatekeeper regulation.This could both accompany the next EU initiative, the Media Freedom Act, and also prepare the media landscape for the next EU elections.” 

During a panel on industrial strategy and content sharing, Roman Imielski from Gazeta Wyborcza highlighted: “For us in Poland, on the front of press freedom, cooperations across borders are a lifeline. This includes LENA, the Leading European Newspaper Alliance. And platforms to help share content and data may make this more efficient, notably regarding languages.’ The Polish Editor added: “As for new EU initiatives, we welcome support on journalist protection, but we need more than freedom: we need sustainable revenues to pay for journalists’ jobs. Newsroom transformation is essential for our survival, and for democracy.” 

The conference then shifted to media business transformation thanks to cross-border innovation projects. In discussion with recent Stars4Media beneficiaries, moderator Stephen Fozard from WAN-IFRA, highlighted the sector’s need for a more sustainable programme to foster the business transformation. This would allow for a higher number of media innovations that would subsequently allow a higher number of participants to experience newsroom-changes-in-the-making. 

As mentioned by VP Jourová: “Over the summer, we published a €7.6 million call for journalism partnerships financed for the first time through the Creative Europe programme. We strongly believe that cooperation across borders and across media can bring new ideas and nurture innovation. This is what we see today with Stars4Media.” In concluding her intervention, she stressed ”This is an excellent preparation as we will hold in November a European News Media Forum, focused on the industrial transformation of the media sector.” 

Christophe Leclercq, founder of the media EURACTIV and of the think-tank Europe’s MediaLab, summarized the event: “EU subsidies and online market regulation cannot mandate press freedom and democracy. But they help transform newsroom , and promote quality reporting versus ‘fake news’. If our media sector becomes more competitive versus US platforms, then we can continue hiring journalists. This fits with the three project consortia presented today: two strategy studies to share across borders content and data, and innovations from 60 media, under Stars4Media projects.”

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Editor’s note

This new event under the #Media4Europe series also prepares the ground for the NEWS Media forum on November 29. It is also a follow-up to the NEWS initiative of the European Commission Media Action Plan (MAAP). The #Media4Europe series of events helps ‘connect the dots’ for national publishers and editors, on several projects and policy trends. The last #Media4Europe event took place in March 2020. 

 

Project partners:

Stars4Media: 

The project is co-funded by the European Commission

Content Sharing Study

The feasibility study is used as a basis by the “blueprint” study on media dataspaces starting in October . This project is funded by the European Commission.

Media dataspaces

This study is funded by the European Commission