PRESS RELEASE – BRUSSELS – October 1st, 2020
Set-up in 2003 as a THINK-and-DO tank, Fondation EURACTIV has developed media innovation projects and a more proactive EU media policy to support a healthy media sector. To reflect this approach, it now becomes Europe’s MediaLab (“MediaLab”). In view of the current health and economic crises, this non-profit organisation advocates for media independence and media pluralism in Europe, helping to spread novel business models for news media. Media freedom depends on the financial sustainability of the sector and better regulation of social media platforms. This change of identity echoes the current context.
Christophe Leclercq, Executive Chairman of the MediaLab, declared: “This greater autonomy between the EURACTIV Media Network and our MediaLab reflects several goals. First, we are chiefly about media innovations, and their prerequisites: skills, regulatory framework, funding and technology. Second, while I founded the namesake media company, I am now neither on its management nor its board. Third, the MediaLab cares for the whole news media sector, in Europe’s general interest.”
Thierry Leroy, Secretary General of the MediaLab, stated: “Our logo and name change, but we retain the same values: media independence, transparency, multilingualism, and a pro-European and constructive approach.”
Marc Sundermann, Senior Fellow at the MediaLab (and former EU representative of Bertelsmann): “The COVID 19 crisis impacted the media ecosystem dramatically. The EU has a key role to play in ensuring a balanced and healthy media ecosystem. Safeguarding media freedom and media pluralism, regulating social media platforms and combating disinformation is essential. An integrated strategy for Europe’s media sector is urgently needed. The announced Media Action Plan must be more than a simple stock-taking exercise. The Digital Services Act has to address the issue of systemic publishing platforms as well as ex-ante regulation.”
Nathalie Bargues, in charge of European projects and communications: “For its first year, The Stars4Media training programme supported 105 media professionals, from 30 news media based in 17 countries. They had the opportunity to cooperate across borders through virtual cooperation, and test innovative tools, content and services, while taking part in a vibrant community of media innovators. On October 14th, the best 5 Initiatives will be awarded the Stars4media prizes.”
This new brand identity builds upon a track record in media innovation and quality journalism. There are many ‘media labs’ around the world: this one focuses on the European dimension. For the moment, for the sake of transparency and continuity, a connection is kept to Fondation EURACTIV’s roots (still using the French word “Fondation” – given our continental roots in Belgium and the need for multilingualism). After some time, the full name will be shortened to Europe’s MediaLab (registered trademark).
Note to the Editors:
Why a Think-and-Do tank?
– THINK: On the media policy side, the MediaLab publishes a number of OpEds, typically with other stakeholders and MEPs. It also answered the recent consultations on the Digital Services Act and the Democracy Action Plan, summarising its positions here.
– DO: Regarding media innovation, the MediaLab’s commitment to training young media professionals is even greater today, thanks to Stars4Media, the training programme it initiated. This is managed together with the VUB University, the publishers at WAN-IFRA and the journalists’ unions at EFJ. Thanks to the flexibility of this consortium in view of COVID pandemic, and to the expertise of the juries, the 21 initiatives developed under Stars4Media, are innovative, practical and promising. To learn more, or get the Medialab’s newsletter, please visit the website or contact directly:
Our website https://europemedialab.eu/ will progressively to be changed to EuropeMediaLab.eu
Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV) is a ‘Fondation d’Utilité Publique’ (by Royal decree under Belgian law).