Building Towards Stars4Media NEWS

STARS4MEDIA NEWS: What happened before?

During the two previous successful Stars4Media pilot projects—where a total of 51 initiatives involving 290 media professionals from 118 media were supported with funds and expertise—it became clear that in order to make media more resilient in the face of external and internal shocks, this would require more intensive in-depth coaching of projects that can achieve a viable scale. The viability of the European media ecosystem depends on a need for agile adaptation of media institutions’ transformative innovation management, in the face of economical, technological, and audience-related shocks.

With this in mind, together with consortium members VUB, WAN-IFRA and EJC, MediaLab presented a proposal to the EU’s Call for Journalism Partnership. The funding would help a new phase of Stars4Media programme called NEWS. Interested co-funders are also welcome to join in and support these activities, where their goals and principles are mutually beneficial.

The focus is on creating new business models and leading newsroom transformation while facilitating adaptation and implementing sustainable change management. Stars4Media NEWS proposes a two-phase coaching programme, where applicants respond to an open call with an independent jury that shortlists 15 projects to be funded and enter the EXPLORE phase. Subsequently, 10 of these projects will be selected to scale-up to the BOOST phase. Each collaborative project will focus either on: business transformation & new business models (products, services, financial, and/or organisational design transformations), or Newsroom transformation & innovative processes. Participants will receive specialised coaching to steer processes and strategies. Stars4Media NEWS aims to enhance knowledge transfer in view of building resilience in the EU news media sector.

As of March 2022, Europe’s MediaLab, Stars4Media initiator continues the journey in the new phase, Stars4Media NEWS together with consortia partners  Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) – the project coordinator; the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA)Read more.


The call for Projects is currently in preparation and will be published in Spring 2022. All those interested should please:

  • Closely monitor Stars4Media webpage and social media, and/or 
  • Indicate ‘nascent ideas’
  • Register their interest in receiving more information at a later stage




Structured across two phases, Stars4Media NEWS  will fund project ideas focused on:

  • Business transformation—experimentation with new business models in its broader scope (product, service, financial, and/or organisational design transformations), and / or
  • Newsroom transformation—novel ways of reaching, engaging with and informing news audiences.

In four months, the first EXPLORE Phase total of 15 proposals will receive funding and tailored coaching to implement their ideas. Those projects with the best assessment will move to a second, BOOST Phase benefitting from further coaching and financing.