What is Stars4Media?
Developed by the media and for the media, and co-funded by the EU, Stars4Media is supporting collaborative initiatives developed by at least two media organisations from two different EU countries. These initiatives should contribute to innovation in new editorial products and formats, emerging technologies or other innovations at the organisational level.
Who can participate?
Participants are media professionals (mainly young “rising stars”, plus their optional senior mentors), either acting from within a media organisation or as freelancers, collaborating around an innovative idea: a Stars4Media ‘initiative’. Stars4Media ‘initiatives’ and teams must involve a mix of different media profiles: reporters, data journalists, graphic designers, web developers, social media managers, user experience and marketing specialists, data and AI experts, etc.
Stars4Media ‘Initiatives’ are innovative ideas developed during 4 months by small cross-border and cross-disciplinary teams of media professionals, focusing on one of the three thematic waves:
- Journalism, Trust and Participation
- Media Technology and Marketing
- Other Innovations
Typically a Stars4Media initiative revolves around one topic, under one wave. However, it is possible that applicants propose a topic of their choice which is cross-wave (e.g. data journalism addressing the topic of diversity). These topics are only indicative. Stars4Media welcomes bottom-up ideas.
As a media professional you will:
- Cooperate with another European media organisation for 4 months
- Benefit from the guidance and coaching of international 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 (in the ideal case of 3 individuals per organisation*)
- Exchange best practices with innovative media organisations
How can you participate?
1) Propose your initiative
To participate you have two options:
- If you choose to submit directly a well-developed Proposal for Initiative, there are two deadlines: May 1st 2021, or July 1st 2021. Applicants who will submit by 1st of May will have the opportunity to pitch their idea at the Stars4Media Lab event on June 1st and receive further coaching. One can submit a Proposal just for the July 1st deadline but we encourage early submissions.
You can submit your initiative by downloading the form here, filling it in and uploading it below.
- You also have the option to send us first a draft Proposal for Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org, by pre-filling the application form. In this case, a team of media experts and practitioners can provide coaching and guide you to design your initiative. To benefit from the support and guidance of a Stars4Media media expert during the application phase, you will need to submit your draft idea before 15/04/2021. The expert assigned to you will help you develop an application in line with the Stars4Media objectives, and will challenge your ideas and help you find partners in case you apply as an unpaired applicant.
2) Get Coaching and Selection
Applicants will benefit from coaching by media experts from February to June. An independent jury of media experts will assess the applications by May 15th. They will receive constructive feedback during the Stars4Media Lab virtual training event in early June: the applicants will be invited to pitch their initiatives and attend coaching sessions. They may submit their reworked proposals by the July 1st deadline. Around 30 initiatives will be eventually selected and participants will be able to start their collaboration as soon as September 2021.
3) Implement your initiative with other media professionals in the EU
- Physical mobility and virtual cooperation: starting on 15 September 2021, for a period of a maximum of 4 months per initiative, the selected media professionals will carry out their initiative.
- Monitoring and evaluation: the development of the initiative will be monitored, evaluated, guided and facilitated by the Stars4Media expert/coaches team. The reporting and administrative process will be light. For details, please check the Stars4Media Second Edition Specific Rules, available below.
Find more details and apply here.