Supporting Eastern Europe independent media: The Tellers Agency and The Kiyv Independent’s Stars4Media collaboration

How did The Tellers Agency and The Kiyv Independent’s collaboration thrive under the Stars4Media NEWS programme? What are the strengths and learnings of this crossborder partnership?


The Tellers Agency (LT), an advertising and communications firm for socially conscious business and NGOs in Ukraine and The Kiyv Independent (UA), Ukraine’s fastest-growing English-language media outlet, had collaborated together before the Stars4Media NEWS programme, which greatly enhanced their collaboration. This partnership was an obvious choice for The Tellers Agency that aimed to support independent media to ensure a regular income. This was the perfect match between a public relations agency and an independent media. Indeed, the Kiyv Independent was looking to develop its commercial presence, while The Tellers Agency had the expertise to make their social stories more attractive for businesses.


One of the challenges of the project was to start selling advertising on UA media platforms for international sponsors. Finding international advertisers did not work out, but the Ukrainian audience was definitely interested in it, as it occurred that many UA companies want to raise their visibility abroad to promote Ukraine.

To this purpose, one of the core activities during the boost phase was the development of educational events, impulsed by the guidance of their  Stars4Media NEWS coaches. They managed to attract a loyal audience with whom they shared the expertise of how to capture the attention of audiences globally.


Indeed, Mariia Leonova, Managing Director of The Tellers Agency, told us: ”Martin Beck, Euractiv NED / Strategic Advisor, and Dan Luca, Vice President Strategic Innovations at Euractiv, really supported us to think out of the box and get a broader vision of how to reshape our current product line to make it more relevant for business partners.”


Through these bi-weekly meetings, the coaches brought not only business expertise but also international market perspective, especially in defining how Ukraine is relevant to Europe.


This project could not have been possible without the support of the Stars4Media programme, that facilitated this cross border collaboration combinated with the unique expertise of the coaches. This successful partnership will continue even after the Stars4Media NEWS programme as the two companies plan to expand their events to other formats.


From the Stars4Media consortium, we are thrilled to showcase and follow our boosters’ accomplishments that led to these inspiring news transformations. We are looking forward to learn from their future projects and witnessing the continued impact of their collaborations.


Join our Stars4Media community to learn more about our initiatives and future projects, and connect with media innovators from all around Europe! 



Mariia Leonova was one of the panellists of our session on disinformation in Eastern Europe at our Stars4Media Day event “Ready for AI and enlargement” (15th March in Résidence Palace, Brussels). Save the date for our next Stars4Media event on 23rd September.

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.