European Federation of Journalists

Discover the first Stars4Media selected participants

Applications open until 20 May 2020!

More than ever before media companies need new skills and innovation. The Stars4Media programme is offering financial and constructive support to inspire change in the media sector. The first selection awarded six innovative proposals to be implemented in the upcoming months.

The media professionals who have been pre-selected presented their initiatives during the Stars4Media Lab, the Stars4Media training and presentation virtual event, from 30 March to 1 April. After pitching their initiatives and one-on-one coaching sessions with the jury, five proposals received a green light and are ready to start implementing their projects.

Amongst them, two leading news agencies in the Iberian peninsula: the Spanish news agency EFE, cooperating with the news agency LUSA, from Portugal. Catalina Guerrero, head of the EuroEFE section, talking of their initiative called Euragora, describes the goals they aim to achieve: “Media need to diversify their sources of income. One of the alternatives is the organisation of sponsored events, particularly discussion forums on topics of public interest. Our initiative consists in exchanging knowledge and experiences in order to organise a real debate, sponsored, on a topic of European interest designed to reach a multinational, multilingual audience.” Mónica Garcia, Chief Marketing officer at LUSA, continues: “It aims to analyze how these events, which currently have a fundamentally local or at most national dimension, could be enlarged through the use of new technologies and social networks, to reach a trans-European, multilingual audience.” This initiative will test new techniques to transnational debates: webinars, live broadcasting, automatic translation, among others. 

Another promising initiative comes from Café Babel (France), working together with radio Arabel (Belgium), on “La Chronique européenne de Cafébabel”. The initiative talks about distrust in the media thanks to solutions journalism by presenting a weekly radio chronicle in french about a European story. The goal is to highlight initiatives done in Europe by actors of civil society, for the concrete solution of a specific problem. At a time when distrust of old media is increasing, the applicants realize that the audience is more attracted by the information that offers an alternative. “I will start from local news, stretch the question on a European scale and provide one element of answer by speaking of initiatives in Europe with a positive impact. In addition to broadcasting Cafébabel on FM frequency and growing visibility, it will also create new and publishable content on our different platforms”, explains Safouane Abdessalem, journalist and Senior Editor at Café Babel. 

The other successful initiatives come from the Swedish enterprise media monitor, which aims to investigate how European news media manage the quality assessment of journalism; from the Hungarian news portal Azonnali, cooperating with Transindex from Romania to address overcoming nationalistic narratives in Eastern Europe and from freelance journalists, all working on innovative ideas. 

Five other applicants received a conditional acceptance and are still looking for partners. For details and potential cooperation, join the active Stars4Media community.

“We selected initiatives which had thoroughly understood the philosophy behind Stars4Media: cross-border collaboration, cross-disciplinary teams and of course ambitious young media professionals!”, states Stephen Fozard, chair of the Trust Wave. “We are still looking for technically innovative proposals and particularly those with a focus on Data”, he adds.

List of successful initiatives


The last deadline for media professionals to present their proposals is Wednesday 20 May 2020. Proposals addressing the media response to the Coronavirus are now welcome, additionally to proposals revolving around Trust in Media and Data for Media. 

Stars4Media aims to accelerate media innovation and cross-border coverage in Europe, through skill-building activities to test ideas, produce contents and develop initiatives around key themes. Participants of this project are young 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).

The partners of this programme are VUB (SMIT-Imec), Fondation EURACTIV, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). 

This project is co-funded by the EU. 

Why participate in Stars4Media? 

As a young media professional, you will:

  • Cooperate with another European media team for 4 to 12 weeks (virtual cooperation is now allowed)
  • Gain interdisciplinary experience & training (for example on data journalism, fact-checking, AI, business development and social media)
  • Be part of a network of young media innovators in Europe

As an Editor, Publisher or media manager, you will:

  • Grow your network with the best innovative media companies and top media leaders in Europe
  • Have your ‘rising stars’ test ideas, innovate with new products and business models
  • Develop and motivate staff and future management, helped by EU co-funding


APPLY: Call for initiatives