Stars4Media is an innovation exchange programme aiming at facilitating cooperation between media professionals, to accelerate media innovation and cross-border cooperation.

Media professionals, media organisations and tech companies from EU countries have the chance to cooperate around bottom-up Initiatives to test ideas and technologies, develop new business models and produce journalistic content.

Partners of the project are the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Europe’s Media Lab (Fondation EURACTIV), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The project is co-funded by the European Commission. Read more about the project team.

You can learn here about the first edition, which ran from November 2019 to October 2020, and supported 21 cross-border initiatives, involving 42 media organisations and 105 media professionals from all over Europe.

Why Stars4Media?

European news media today face an unprecedented crisis. It is a crisis of identity as well as an economic and societal crisis: financial resources and trust have been declining in the media sector for several years. The Stars4Media pilot project is responding to a proposal voted by the European Parliament in 2018. Read more about the policy context here.

The objectives of the Stars4Media exchange programme are to:

  • Foster media innovation: editorial, technological and marketing innovation
  • Build new media partnerships and support mobility and virtual cooperation across Europe
  • Foster quality journalism and media pluralism
  • Boost the careers of future “stars” via a vibrant community of media innovators

How does it work?

A Stars4Media initiative is a 4-month innovative collaborative project, in which at least two media organisations from two different EU countries cooperate on  innovative practices, at editorial, technological or organisational levels. Media organisations can participate with a multidisciplinary team, typically composed of three media professionals. Participants in a Stars4Media initiative do not have to suspend their usual work. The implementation of the cross-border cooperation can be carried out in parallel to the day-to-day activities of the media professionals.

Why participate?

As a media professional you will:

  • Cooperate with another European media organisation for 4 months
  • Benefit from the guidance and coaching of media experts to test an innovative idea
  • Gain practical skills in areas such as quality reporting, data journalism, AI and translation technologies, marketing, business development, and social media
  • Join a community of media innovators from all over the European Union
  • Receive a grant of 5 400€ per participant

As a media organisation or tech company you will:

  • Test new editorial and technological products and new business models across borders
  • Grow your network with innovative media and tech companies in Europe
  • Develop and motivate your staff and future management
  • Receive a grant: up to 16 200€ per media organisation (3 involved participants)
  • Exchange best practices with like-minded media organisations

How to participate?

In order to participate in Stars4Media, interested media professionals and media organisations should read carefully the Call for initiatives and submit an application by the two deadlines: May 1st, 2021 and July 1st, 2021. Following the two opportunities for submission, an independent jury composed of media experts will select the proposals for initiative which will receive funding.

While applicants can apply independently, Stars4Media provides guidance and coaching during the application phase: a pool of media experts will guide the applicants to facilitate the process of submitting a proposal. Read more about the timeline.