European Federation of Journalists

Call for initiatives – Stars4Media exchange and training programme for young media professionals


Application form

Are you a young media professional eager to gain skills, boost your career, test your ideas, and expand your network?

Stars4Media is an exchange and training programme for young media professionals (“rising stars”) between cooperating media organisations, to accelerate media innovation and cross-border coverage in Europe. 

Stars4Media will encourage innovation through skill-building activities between paired media organisations to test ideas, produce contents and develop initiatives around 4 strategic themes. 

Who are we looking for ?

Participants of this project will be young working media professionals (“rising stars”) with 2-10 years of media experience, coming from different backgrounds (journalists, graphic designers, tech developers, marketing and social media managers), willing to join another European media for 4 to 12 weeks (physical and virtual mobility).

Around what themes ?

This pilot project call is structured around 2 waves divided in main topics:

Wave A – TRUST in media:

Topic A.1) Constructive journalism; 

Topic A.2) Fact-checking; 

Topic A.3) your own topic.

Wave B – DATA for media: 

Topic B.1) Data-journalism; 

Topic B.2) Artificial Intelligence / Language technologies; 

Topic B.3) your own topic. 

We are open to proposed topics. They will be assessed by the consortium members on their relevance, innovation aspects and expected impact. 

Why should you participate?

As a young media professional you will:

– work with another European media than your own for 4 to 12 weeks

– gain practical skills on quality reporting, data journalism, fact-checking, AI and translation technologies, marketing, and social media 

–  be part of a network of 100 young media professionals in Europe

Questions and clarifications

How will it work? 

  • Propose your initiative before 20 May

You can submit your Initiative by downloading the form here, fill-it in, and submit it to

  • Guidance, Coaching  and Selection

A Jury made of relevant experts will assess the Proposals for Initiatives by the end of each month following the windows of opportunity above. The best initiatives will be selected and applicants will be able to start their work after the Stars4Media Lab event – see point below. Those not selected will receive constructive feedback, and may submit their reworked proposals by the subsequent deadline. All Initiative representatives are welcome to come to the Stars4Media Lab event in Brussels

  • Stars4Media Lab: the Stars4Media Networking, Training and Presentation Event (30 March – 1 April 2020)

This event will help applicants to know more about Stars4Media, network, receive specific training from academics and practitioners. For interested applicants who did not submit an Initiative yet, this will be the perfect occasion to “test” their idea, fine-tune it with the help of experts, and network to find possible partners amongst peers and colleagues from other media outlets in Europe. 

  • Development of the initiative and exchange

Physical and virtual Mobility:  As soon as possible after their successful selections, and for a period of 4 to 12 weeks, the selected media professionals and their media outlets will carry out their initiative based on physical and virtual mobility.

Monitoring and evaluation: the development of the initiative will be monitored, evaluated, guided and facilitated by the stars4media consortium partners.

IMPORTANT: Requirements for participating in the Stars4Media Pilot Project

The media outlets behind the proposed initiatives will endorse the project’s terms and conditions;

80% of the eligible costs will be reimbursed. Eligible costs are: traveling, subsistence and training costs incurred during the initiative;

A maximum of 6000 euros expenses per person will be eligible to be reimbursed of which 80% is reimbursed by the project and 20% by the media outlet participating;

The ratio 80/20% also applies for reimbursing expenses lower than 6000 euros;  

We will give priority to initiatives of at least 2 media professionals from 2 different media outlets (this is a “Stars4Media Pair”). Exceptionally initiatives can have more than 2 media outlets;

Initiatives already indicating a Stars4Media Pair will be given priority and are more likely to be selected;

The final selection will also take into account the gender and geographical balance, as well as the variety of professional profiles (to ensure impactful media business innovation, these profiles are: journalists, editors, graphic designers, developers, marketing managers, social media managers);

10% freelance media professionals might be accepted provided they have a VAT number.

Successful initiatives will be governed by the provisions stated in the following documents, by submitting your initiative you acknowledge and accept the provisions of the following rules :


This project is developed by VUB University, Fondation EURACTIV, WAN-IFRA, and the European Federation of Journalists, and it is co-funded by the European Union.