Dear friend of the media and of Europe’s MediaLab,
We are preparing a new phase, with a new strategy and priorities. Indeed, the EURACTIV/Mediahuis deal has freed more management, time and resources.
At MédiaLab’s Board meeting, on 21 June, we decided to focus our energies on existing and new Stars4Media programmes, with two main directions: innovation and Eastern European media supported by two related “infrastructures” – yes, now physical facilities in this virtual world!
Innovation: at the core of all our programmes and of our office project “Europe MédiaLab-COWORKING‘‘. We will trigger more collaboration, leading potentially to consortia within the media landscape. The location and concept are not final, but we explain this in a co-construction spirit.
Eastern Europe: not only Stars4Media – FACTCHECKING, which is ongoing. But also Maison du MédiaLab which would host correspondents from Eastern Europe in Brussels. No need to apply yet: we wait for you in 2024!
All this will take most time of your think-and-do tank until the end of the year. We welcome your feedback and indeed relevant contacts!
🗞 Media trends
The latest Digital News Report of the Reuters Institute – one of the most prestigious studies on the world news consumption trends – is out.
A few quick remarks: publishers still struggle to keep afloat on the markets while the duopoly of Google and Meta stays strong as more people access the news via social media.
In general, the digital subscribers prefer a few upmarket national brands – this is why cross-border consolidation is more important than ever, as already discussed in this op-ed (EURACTIV).
As Matthieu Gallet called on Le Monde for an industrial policy for the audio-visual sector, we ask: Why limit this to audiovisual media? News media gets less public attention, despite MAAP and fast decreasing journalist ranks.
This is what 217 (and counting) AI-generated news and information sites operating with little to no human oversight look like: unreliable.
AI is the hottest topic of the moment but we should stick to making good use of it, especially within the media sector: the EU-funded AI4Media opened a call for researchers and entrepreneurs to develop new applications. If you are looking for AI tools for journalists, this is your place.
However, AI is cool unless it replaces journalists: German tabloid Bild just cut 200 jobs. (The Guardian)
On the costs of generative AI for the information industry, we recommend you to watch here the Hybrid conference that our network partner EURACTIV hosted as part of the Horizon Europe project AI4TRUST.
🎙️Trust & Media vs Disinformation
Russian propaganda and disinformation spread more easily given the war in Ukraine and ça va sans dire they are within the focus area of the EU, ahead of the European elections in 2024.
In fact, 15 media freedom, journalist and human rights organisations called on the EU institutions “to secure a strong and effective Media Freedom Act”.
How the Russian “troll factory” works and who is behind it, is well explained in a long investigative piece by the Russian exile news outlet Meduza, that we also translated in English and re-published on our website.
In mid-June, the French websites of Le Monde, 20 Minutes, Le Parisien and Le Figaro were replicated with fake content, disseminating Kremlin communications relayed by fake social media accounts. (EFJ)
The good news is that Twitter agreed to comply with the Digital Service Act, soon after a group of EU officials visited its headquarters to stress test its capacity to operate legally in Europe. (The Guardian) Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft also joined the list of Big Tech companies subject to the new EU anti-competitive rules (The Brussels Times)
Not only the EU but also Australia is planning a new legislation that would fine Big Tech and other social media platforms if they don’t fight fake news. (Firstpost)
A good relationship between trust, media & tech is the basis for a healthy media sector. We discussed this in our #Voices4Media podcast – exactly one year ago – with Luciano Morganti, professor at the VUB University in Brussels and leader of our flagship programme Stars4Media.
📺 Media resilience in Eastern Europe
Not only the European info space is in danger but also the Russian media sector is on the edge of a total shutdown.
RSF and Russian Independent media urged the CEOs of Big Tech to form an alliance against Kremlin interference and help Russian citizens get access to uncensored information. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
On this topic, Europe MédiaLab considers launching a new programme to host Eastern Journalists in Brussels.