October Newsletter | Towards media recovery through innovation and regulating platforms

Towards media recovery through innovation and regulating platforms

There are encouraging signs toward rebalancing the media ecosystem, and also renewing it, if actors move from legislation to actions, including resources to innovate. The US opens greater competition enquiries, which shows that tackling platforms is not anti-American. Also, regarding fair taxation of platforms, it is now clear that the OECD route is blocked: after 8 years of procrastination, not waiting for a Biden administration, individual countries and the EU will seize the initiative. Meanwhile, the EU is updating its arsenal to regulate the GAFA, slowly but surely.

Given the Covid crisis, reducing further the means to modernise, 42 MEPS suggested in April to create a NEWS programme. The new Opinion Media recovery: a NEWS bundle across Creative Europe and Horizon, like MEDIA shows how to do it: “In addition to GAFA regulation, and learning from MEDIA dedicated to audiovisual and film, bundling scattered efforts under NEWS could sustain the media sector’s transformation.” We welcome your views on this Opinion, already co-signed by MEPs and media experts (also in FR and DE). Let’s join forces to help the media sector recover.

This is not just about large R&D funding, but renewing skills in the media sector itself. Hands-on innovation projects such as Stars4Media are relevant examples. Based on a ‘rising stars’ budget voted by the European Parliament, this cross-border programme already involved 105 media professionals from 42 news media based in 17 countries. Watch the 3 min video, featuring both the 5 prize winners, and what MEPS say about a NEWS bundle under Creative Europe.

Christophe Leclercq, Executive Chair fondateur@euractiv.com

Nathalie Bargues, Projects and Communications Manager at Europe’s MediaLab nathalie.bargues@euractiv.com

DO // Innovative solutions for journalism through Stars4Media

Stars4Media, the innovation training programme for media professionals, reinforced the capacities of the media and helped to test innovative solutions for journalism. The 5 outstanding initiatives were announced during the Stars4Media final event on 14 October, 2020 (press release).

Trust Prize: “Wounds of Europe”, developed by Linkiesta (IT) and Bulle Media (BE) for their Podcast series Oltre l’Europa focusing on six national conflicts, based on data journalism and historical research.

Cross-border cooperation Prize“On the run from the past”, by Centro di Giornalismo Permanente (IT), StreetPress (FR), El Salto (ES), which is a cross border investigation collecting stories of citizens who disappeared during the time of southern American dictatorships and found refuge in Europe. More: article on El Salto, in Spanish; article on Street Press, in French.

Data Prize: “Visual journalism without constraints”, by Frameright (FI) and EFE (ES), is enabling content creators to know what they publish and how the content is being shown to the public. Learn more here: What we learned during Stars4Media 2020.

Diversity Prize: “Black City Stories”, developed by 3 freelancers (IT, DE, PT), is a solution-oriented media platform dedicated to Black People living in Europe, investigating in-depth Black Lived Experiences. More here: https://blackcitystories.org/

Reacting to the Coronavirus Prize: “The summer of 2020”, led by 5 freelancers (BE, NL, DE), a cross-border collaboration of journalists reporting on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in the European Union during the summer of 2020. Discover it here: First trip (in Dutch).


Google is giving $1 billion to news publishers — to help convince governments not to take a whole lot more than that (Nieman Lab)
While this seems like good news, the article warns that ‘’Google’s interactions with the news industry are always fundamentally about its interests, not publishers’’. But what do platforms want? ‘’They want to pick which publishers get the money. And they want to determine (and keep quiet) how much each one gets. They want the money to “pay” for some small new side product, not their big moneymakers. They want the money to earn them happy headlines like “Google Pledges $1 Billion to News Publishers” get the press off their backs, and ideally lower the heat on calls for government regulation or taxation.’’

U.S. Accuses Google of Illegally Protecting Monopoly (New York Times)
A victory for the government could remake one of America’s most recognizable companies and the internet economy that it has helped define. 

More on GAFA:
The Big Tech antitrust report has one big conclusion: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are anti-competitive (Vox)
Digital Services Act should avoid rules on ‘harmful’ content, Big Tech tells EU (EURACTIV)
Face aux Gafa, l’Europe se résout à changer de stratégie (Les Echos)
Google and Facebook Have a News Labeling Problem (Columbia Journalism Review)


Budget culture : Roselyne Bachelot obtient une augmentation de 167 millions d’euros pour son ministère (Le Monde)
French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot obtained an unprecedented increase of 167 million € (nearly 5%) for her ministry.

APPLE Vs French publishers: Une lettre ouverte écrite par les médias français à été envoyée à Tim Cook, pour critiquer la commission de 30% demandée par Apple pour chaque transaction effectuée via ses applications.

Covid-19 intensifies challenges for freelance journalists in Italy (Ipi.Media)
The media landscape in Italy is suffering as much as in the rest of Europe. A survey found that even before the pandemic, 68% of Italian freelance journalists earned less than €10,000 gross per year, with 48% of them earning less than €5,000 per year.

How the government can help save local news without endangering its editorial independence (Poynter)
The gravity of the crisis the local press is facing has brought the US Congress to start working on a legislation to help local news. The problem is that journalism must at the same time safeguard its independence and ask the government for support. In this article the solution proposed is to involve citizens in the plan to save local news.