Polityka’s cross border collaboration with Delfi: newsroom transformation and business development

When curating a project on cross-border collaboration and innovation like Stars4Media NEWS, the first concern is how to make it sustainable. Sure, our consortium expected that the networks created during the event would last for years but they were well aware of the obstacles and difficulties they could face. This is the reason why today’s story is an encouraging tale of success for us.  


When Polityka (PL), Poland’s biggest weekly magazine of general opinion with almost 70 years of history, joined Delfi (LT), the biggest news website in Lithuania, they were a bit skeptical of the results of their partnership as both were as different as they could be. But in the end, Stars4Media NEWS matchmaking did not fail and they soon found out that their differences were complementary:


Polityka and Delfi could inspire each other and share valuable insights as each of them has developed or experimented with some things in their subscriptions models that the other was only planning to yet. Lessons learned by one partner helped the other save time and money, and avoid mistakes.


Their collaboration went beyond the scope of the Stars4Media grant as it also includes newsroom transformation and business development. During our discussion with Mariusz Herma, editor and project coordinator from Polityka, he disclosed the three working pillars around which Polityka structured their work during the programme:


The first pillar was the initial objective of their Stars4Media NEWS project: designing and implementation of group subscription model to attract audiences who want to share their reading experience and save money. Their work during the programme allowed them to tackle down this objective and to implement swiftly a new model whose first results should be known by the end of the boost phase.


The second pillar is one of the unexpected results from their meetings with Delfi and their coach Lyndsey Jones, who proposed both boosters a content sprint that would allow them to define new target readers (read here to learn more about Delfi’s example). For Polityka, the topic of this experiment was inspired by articles published by Polish teacher Dariusz Chętkowski that tend to attract massive interest. To reach even more readers interested in education, Polityka decided to offer more content like that, create a separate landing page about school and launch a podcast hosted by Joanna Cieśla, whose first guest was the very Dariusz Chętkowski.


Another unexpected result from these meetings was what became their third pillar: numerous improvements of the website. Their exchanges with Delfi and Lyndsey allowed Polityka to revise their paywall, some landing pages and subscription plan among others, usually as the result of A/B testing.


Mariusz Herma believes the collaboration started during the programme will continue. Stars4Media NEWS created for them a safe space for collaboration and honest sharing of advice and best practices without the shadow of competition. In fact, both Delfi and Polityka might continue the partnership through occasional meetings to share their ideas and their progress.


From our side, we are pleased to see how they are carrying out the collaboration and to be part of their business and newsroom transformation. We are looking forward to learning what else they are capable of.


Remember to follow us to know more about our boosters and their latest achievements. Join us in 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.