After an intense summer that saw 48 projects by 90 media companies pitching their projects in July, Stars4Media NEWS is now proud to announce the 14 winning projects.
As a response to the Stars4Media NEWS Call for Projects, applicants presented 24 projects in Business transformation track, 20 in Newsroom transformation track and 4 tackling both. The winning projects are distinctly and equally divided between Business & Newsroom tracks with seven in each category. The 14 come from 20 countries and have been selected by a Jury of 12 media professionals. Winning projects come from a number of small, medium and large media, among which: Tagesspiegel (Germany), Ukrayinska Pravda (Ukraine), Suomen Tietotoimisto (Finland), POLITYKA (Poland), El Confidencial (Spain), Mediahuis (Belgium) and France Télévisions (France), among others.
Benefiting from tailored coaching and funding, the beneficiaries will soon kick off the programme’s first phase – EXPLORE.
“We are so excited to kick off this journey!” says Enrique Andrés Pretel from El Confidencial whose project tackles Newsroom Transformation. ”With a daily audience of 2,2 mil users, it is crucial we provide our journalists with tools that help them gather data quickly” continues Mr Pretel, the International Editor-in-Chief ”Digital transformation of our own mediahouse is only a first step. We plan to export our project to other companies, supporting Stars4Media’s ambition for the sector’s long-term business transformation”.
‘Disinformation affects everyone, not only media professionals”, says Nathalie Gallet, a journalist from France TV. “We aim to create a sort of a plug-in for both journalists and citizens that will help them verify the image source”, says Nathalie Gallet. “Thanks to Stars4media this media innovation will start to come to life. We will be able to export the concept immediately to European media. The news innovation department of Francetv will have the honour of leading this project, which will be useful to all.”
“One of Mediahuis’ priorities is building digital relationships (subscriptions) with our customers‘, highlights Heino Schaght, Innovation Manager at Mediahuis. “With local and regional news gradually bringing their voices to the table, we hope our text-to-speech platform can support them in the same way Stars4Media is supporting us in bringing this project to life”.
“We want to introduce innovative, community-based subscriptions to attract (and keep) customers who need to limit their expenses” explains Mariusz Herma, Editor at POLITYKA. “POLITYKA is Poland’s biggest weekly magazine, however, given the rapidly rising costs of living, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain and retain subscribers. We are extremely grateful to Stars4Media as the programme will allow us to test a new approach to group subscriptions” concludes Mariusz.”
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Rohn, media industry expert and Stars4Media NEWS Jury Member, stressed: “The quality of the applications and the ideas as well as the overall interest for the programme have exceeded my expectations! Choosing the final 14 was not easy.”
Stars4Media NEWS Project Coordinator Prof. Luciano Morganti from the VUB highlighted: “Arriving at the programme’s Third Edition reflects the sector’s needs for innovation and collaboration. With EU co-funding, the Stars4Media provides a framework to do exactly that, but we cannot do it alone! We call on the big tech industry and philanthropic organisations to move in parallel and complement our effort.“
Renate Schroeder, Director at the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) , and jury member said: “In times of news avoidance, media capture and rise of disinformation it has been a pleasure to read inspiring projects that promote cross-border, innovative, local and constructive journalism, be it with the help of data management, new ways of audience engagement or AI tools, all involving multidisciplinary teams. Both newsroom and business transformation are key for media pluralism, especially in small and medium scale media! That’s the beauty of Stars4Media NEWS!“
For Christophe Leclercq, Chairman of Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV) “The many applications and these results clearly show the recognition of Stars4Media and of its consortium partners: VUB, Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV), World Association of News Publishers WAN-IFRA and European Journalism Centre (EJC), plus help from the European Federation of Journalists. It also echoes the media sector’s wish to transform itself faster, and cooperate across borders.”
The selection enables these 14 projects to test their innovative ideas for a period of 4 months during the Stars4Media NEWS EXPLORE phase. Nine of them will have the opportunity to deepen their projects during the BOOST phase.
Five projects – one third of the total – aim at Eastern Europe, using the languages Ukrainian, Russian,Belarussian. Winners and the political context are handled under this document: Media Freedom Act and Stars4Media: press innovation helps prevent the next war?
**** NOTE TO EDITORS****
Media contacts Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV) :
- Christophe Leclercq, Chairman, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: + 32 2 226 58 13, Twitter: @LeclercqEU
- Antonia Loncar, Senior Communications and Project Manager, email@example.com , phone +32 2 788 3680, Twitter: loncic85
Here is the full list of 14 winning proposals, also available here:
- Track 1: NEWSROOM TRANSFORMATION
- Data Management System for Newsrooms, El Confidencial (ES) (@elconfidencial) and Voxeurope (FR) (@VoxEuropFR)
- Upgrading slow journalism subscriptions: Distilled Membership: a mobile app for independent media, Are We Europe (NL) (@AreWeEurope) and Jnomics Media (UA) (Jnomics Media-LN)
- Providing access to fact checked images/videos for professionals and citizens, France Télévisions (FR) (@Francetele) and Faktisk.io (NO) (@faktisk_no)
- Real-time news coverage planning, Suomen Tietotoimisto (FI) (@STTuutiset) and Sourcefabric z.u. (CZ) (@Sourcefabric)
- European Cities Investigative Journalism Accelerator, Tagesspiegel (DE) (@Tagesspiegel) and Arena for Journalism in Europe (NL) (@journalismarena)
- Dron Media: building Russian-language explanatory journalism network (in partnership with Ukrayinska Pravda), The Fix Media Foundation (NL) (@TheFixMedia) and Ukrayinska Pravda (UA) (@ukrpravda_news)
- Data without borderers by Agora s.a. (PL) (@Agora_SA), Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) (@gazeta_wyborcza), Rossel & Cie SA and Le Soir (BE) (@lesoir)
- Track 2: BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION
- RePod, Bulle Media (BE) (@bulle_media) and Acast (SE) (@acast)
- APOLLOS, Mediahuis (BE) (@Mediahuis_BE) and BotTalk (DE) (@bottalk_de)
- Infopoint Agency: supporting Eastern European independent media, InfoPoint Agency (LT) (@InfopointMedia) and The Kyiv Independent (UA) (@KyivIndependent)
- Regional Business Practices: Sharing the Best of Western Balkans, Business Info Group (RS) (@Nova_ekonomija), MINA (ME), Udruzenje za promociju evropskih standarda i unapredjenje poslovnog ambijenta ( BiH)
- Boosting Community Engagement Models for European Fact-Checkers, Maldita (ES) (@maldita) and Facta (IT) (@facta_)
- Increasing the sustainability of investigative journalism in Eastern Europe through obtaining the crowdfunding skills, Belarusian Investigative Center (CZ) and Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (RS)
- Community-based subscriptions for readers who cut expenses, POLITYKA (PL) (@Polityka_pl) and Delfi UAB (LT) (@DELFILietuva)
This programme is co-founded by the European Commission Journalism Partnerships Call. Other programmes to support media transformation and also fact checking exist, which are mentioned in this editorial. Further thoughts on how to increase impact and cooperation between public, corporate and philanthropic funding.
As the next step, winners get ready for the Stars4Media Kick-Off meeting on October 13, marking the official launch of the programme.
The companies originally applying are mostly medium-sized (between 25 and 200 employees) followed by large (with more than 200 employees), and smaller numbers from small companies (less than 25 employees). Amongst the 14 winners there are 16% large companies, 34% medium-sized and 50% small companies, counting project initiators and partners. We are looking forward to working with them as well as seeing their results. The selected projects are geographically balanced: 31% Western Europe, 13% Southern and 34% in Central / Eastern Europe, 22% Northern Europe.