European Federation of Journalists


Stars4Media is a training programme for European media organisations aiming at facilitating cooperation between media professionals (“rising stars”) to accelerate media innovation and cross-border coverage.

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 CommissionRead 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 training 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

Stars4Media: 30 projects for media innovation selected

After two rounds of jury evaluation, the Stars4Media is proud to announce the 185 media professionals, grouped around 30 initiatives, involving 76 media organisations, selected as the beneficiaries of the programme’s second edition. The media partners will now put their projects and ideas into practice, benefitting from co-funding for their innovative proposals while cooperating across borders. The selected initiatives were chosen from the total of 101 submissions, across two Calls for Initiatives. The first call resulted in 17 winning initiatives. “From the 101 proposals received, many more than 30 were innovative and relevant, we hope some others will come back for future competitions’’  stated  prof. Luciano…

Media4Europe summit called for greater collaboration between media professionals and outlets

The Media4Europe summit, organised on 3 March 2021 by Europe’s Media Lab (Fondation Euractiv), called for greater collaboration between media professionals and media outlets. Publishers, EU policy makers, media and journalists’ representatives, including EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregard, discussed solutions to make the media sector more financially sustainable and close to citizens’ needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that journalists and reliable news information are more necessary than ever. It has also tested the weaknesses and limitations of most of the European media business models. The awareness at the European level is growing: “the health of the news media sector…

Second edition: Stars4Media exchange and training programme call for application out

The second edition of the Stars4Media exchange and training programme is now open for media professionals from different EU countries who wish to develop new editorial products or test innovative ideas. The call for application will run until 1 July 2021. The EU-funded programme is born with the ambition to make the media sector more sustainable by fostering innovation and quality journalism and building new partnerships between media organisations across Europe. The first edition started at the end of 2019, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a turbulent year, it successfully supported 105 media professionals from 42 media outlets in…

Stars4Media EU programme awarded five innovative journalistic pieces

The EU training and exchange programme Stars4Media has delivered its promises despite the COVID-19 outbreak. During one year, the pilot project involved 105 media professionals from 42 media outlets in 17 European countries. At the occasion of the Media4Europe conference, which took place on 14 October, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) awarded the most outstanding Initiatives, among the 21 completed. “You are all winners, stressed EFJ director and jury member Renate Schroeder as the programme already selected 21 Initiatives in Spring 2020. Together with the jury members, we decided to…

Skills & innovation for media: discover the Stars4Media Pilot Project

The Stars4Media Pilot Project is supporting innovation in the media sector, through training and cross border cooperation. For its first edition, Stars4Media will support 22 innovative partnerships, bridging 100 media professionals from 17 countries. Out of all beneficiaries, 47% are women, 30% work as journalists, while the rest come from other professional backgrounds such as content marketing, social media management, editing, engineering,  and business. 18% of the total participants are freelancers.  The last call for initiatives, with deadline 20/05/20, was a success! Overall, 41 proposals have been evaluated and 22, the best and most promising, have been selected.  More information…

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…