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List of selected Stars4Media initiatives

Stars4Media, the exchange and training programme for young media professionals, is a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation in the media sector and test ideas to address urgent needs. Media professionals with 2 to 10 years of experience are cooperating on innovative solutions for journalism, around the media response to the Coronavirus, Trust in Media and Data for Media. We invite them to join the Stars4Media Community on LinkedIn to exchange ideas with other media professionals and get access to training.

The 5 outstanding initiatives were announced during the Stras4Media final event on Wednesday 14 October, 2020:

  • 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 of El Salto, in Spanish; article of 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 (AT, PT, UK), 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).

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The list of 10 shortlisted Stars4Media initiatives, which were nominated for the Stars4Media Prizes can be found below:

1) Wounds of Europe

Initiative formed by the online Italian news outlet Linkiesta and by the podcasts production agency Bulle Media, specialized in journalistic production. The purpose of the project was to produce a podcast series on European integration, based on data journalism and thorough historical research. The series has dealt with six social and economic topics (wounds) that are relevant to the politics of European nation-states and, beyond that, to the Union as a whole. Six episodes of the podcast have been produced, according to the plan, each focusing on a specific issue:

  • The Catalan issue
  • The integration process of Germany after 1989
  • The open wound between the two Irelands
  • The fallout of the Rule of Law in Poland and Hungary
  • The division of Cyprus
  • Scenarios of a post-Brexit England

Deliverables: Podcast series Oltre l’Europa (language: Italian)

 

2) Visual journalism without constraints

Initiative formed by the Finnish start-up Frameright and the news agency EFE, ranked as the first news agency in Spanish and the fourth in the world.

The initiative aimed to enable content creators to know what they publish and how the content is being shown to the public. Image files contain information that is not visible to regular viewers. It is called embedded metadata. In the metadata, a lot of useful information about the image file can be stored. The idea is to use such information to enable flexible image handling by setting specific coordinates that the receiving system can decode. Saving this information inside the image file makes it possible to gather everyone around the same drawing table, even when working remotely. Deliverables: Article describing the Initiative’s work and results – What we learned during Stars4Media 2020 | by Marina Ekroos | Frameright | Oct, 2020 (language: English)

  

3) Managing Stress & Digital Overload for Journalists

Initiative formed by four freelancers from the Netherlands and Spain. The initiative aimed to address the immediate and long-term physical, mental and emotional health of journalists, who are among the frontline responders to the global public health crisis. Focusing on preventative strategies to mitigate the threat of depression, burnout or other stress-related ailments, the initiative created an online space that offers journalists practical tools & ongoing support to navigate the COVID-19 emergency as it evolves and beyond, on the topics of stress management and digital overload.

This initiative was specific, practical, and ongoing: journalists learned techniques they can use in their daily lives, for example by meeting with the Initiative’s team weekly, in a virtual space, to practice specific stress management techniques and exchange information about what they find challenging. Deliverables: The Self Investigation website: https://theselfinvestigation.com/ (languages: English and Spanish)

4) Black City Stories

Initiative formed by three professional freelancers from Austria, the UK and Portugal. The goal of the initiative was to initiate a solution-oriented media platform dedicated to Black People living in Europe. The initiative was committed to investigating in-depth Black Lived Experiences, breaking down the systems and contexts of structural racism and its ties with other forms of social disparities, and amplifying the successes, strategies, and solutions created.

The initiative produced a multimedia website with in-depth multimedia interviews with victims of racism, plus background information in order to help media consumers better to understand some faces of institutional racism within European cities (parallels and differences).

Deliverables: https://blackcitystories.org/ (language: English)

5) LucidAreEurope

Initiative formed by the online EU news outlet Euractiv and by the Belgian tech agency Lucidweb, specialized in VR and AR solutions for broadcasters and publishers. The initiative’s goal was to create a citizen engagement tool to debunk and demystify the European Union, its Institutions, via WebAR. As a result of the initiative, in a creative way, several buildings in Brussels can now be “scanned” to instantly get insights into the site’s objectives and how the European Union is contributing to its activities to reach its goals. The collaboration has been strong, multidisciplinary and led to an innovative solution for bridging the gap between citizens and EU Institutions. Markers can be found on the buildings listed on the website.

Deliverable in English: https://eoscar.euractiv.com/

    

6) Euragora

Initiative implemented by the news agency EFE (Spain) and the news agency LUSA (Portugal). The initiative consisted of exchanging knowledge and experiences in order to organize a real debate, sponsored, on a topic of European interest designed to reach a multinational, multilingual audience. Based on this experience, the applicants drew conclusions from the results achieved and developed a model of organization and coverage of this kind of “European” debates and produced a code of conduct for handling sponsored information. Deliverables (in Spanish and Portuguese – subtitles in English):

  • Debates on the impact of COVID19 on the European tourism
  • Code of Conduct (ethical guidelines for sponsored events)

       

7) Building trust in Media

Initiative implemented by Live Magazine Belgium and ArtsFor (Italy). The Initiative aimed to educate, entertain and develop trust between the media and the general public. And to celebrate journalism at a time of profound perils. As a result, it created a media literacy toolkit aimed at educators, students and media literacy professionals in 2 languages (French and Italian). This was a completely new spin-off on the award-winning Live Mag Academy program in France which has so far involved 1730 students, 75 teachers and 36 journalists but was never formalized. Deliverables (in French and Italian):
– A comprehensive storytelling workshops programme aimed at 13 to 18-year-old

– An impact evaluation sheet

– Interactive videos (made by journalists explaining the way they work)

    

8) The summer of 2020

Initiative formed by Johannes de Bruycker, Kasper Goethals, Coen van de Ven, Olivia Kortas and Kyrill Hartog, freelancers from different European countries and Are We Europe. The goal of this initiative was to set up a cross-border collaboration of journalists from different EU member states that cover European affairs in an innovative way. The initiative reported on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for the European Union in the summer of 2020. The team travelled together and collaborated online, to improve their skill sets, while producing high-quality multilingual journalism that resonates with audiences in different European countries. Deliverables (in Dutch): 

9) Women for Women

Initiative formed by Monica Pelliccia, Elena Ledda and Andreu Quesada Baños, freelancers from Spain and Italy. This initiative investigated the issue of gender-based violence in times of Coronavirus in Europe through a series of podcasts. The results present the network-based resilience alternatives and solutions carried out by women and for women before this crisis. The journalistic work subverts the generally stereotyped and superficial narrative common in the media by giving voice to women committed to finding collective solutions, during an emergency outbreak. Deliverables: 

10) On the run from the past

Initiative formed by four partners: Centro di Giornalismo Permanente (Italy), Street Press (France), El Salto-Diagonal (Spain). The Initiative “On the run from the past” is part of Archivio Desaparecido, a multimedia archive on which the participants have been working for more than a year.

During the southern American dictatorships of the late 1900s, tens of thousands of people have lost their lives due to state-sanctioned terrorism. To suppress internal opposition, the army had built hundreds of extermination camps, whose victims were kidnapped, tortured, killed and then vanished. When the regimes were toppled, many army members were put on trial. To run from the law, many of those people have fled to Europe thanks to their heritage. The Initiative “On the run from the past” follows their stories. Following extensive research, four cases were investigated. Additionally, the team members interviewed the victims and family members of those who have disappeared, the lawyers involved in the trials, past and present. Deliverables:

  • Article La Repubblica: in progress

   

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In June 2020, twenty-one Stars4Media initiatives have been selected by the 12 jury members (media experts):

Title: Euragora
Participant(s): Catalina Guerrero, Sofia Branco
Media organisation(s): The news agency EFE (Spain) and the news agency LUSA (Portugal)
Summary: Media need to diversify their sources of income. One of the alternatives is the organization of sponsored events, in particular, discussion forums on topics of public interest. The initiative consists in exchanging knowledge and experiences in order to organize a real debate, sponsored, on a topic of European interest designed to reach a multinational, multilingual audience. The applicants believe that promoting public debate is one of the missions of every non-partisan media and that corporate or institutional sponsorship of this type of events poses less ethical and deontological problems if it complies with certain rules.

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Title: Black City Stories 
Participant(s): Evangelista Sie, Juliana da Penha, Ari Yehudit Richter
Media organisation(s): Freelance (AT, IT/UK, PT)
Summary: The goal is to initiate a solution-oriented media platform dedicated to Black People living in Europe. The initiative is committed to investigating in-depth Black Lived Experiences, breaking down the systems and contexts of structural racism and its ties with other forms of social disparities, and amplify the successes, strategies, and solutions created.

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Title: Building Trust in the Media with a digital media literacy toolkit
Participant(s): Elodie Emery, Ariane Papeians, Margherita Bocchi
Media organisation(s): Live Magazine Belgium (BE), Arts for (IT)
Summary: The idea is to build a media literacy toolkit aimed at educators, students, and media
literacy professionals in 2 languages (French and Italian). It will be a completely new
A spin-off on the award-winning Live Mag Academy programme in France which has so
far involved 1730 students, 75 teachers, and 36 journalists.

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Title: The Summer of 2020
Participant(s): Johannes de Bruycker, Kasper Goethals, Coen van de Ven, Olivia Kortas, Willem-Kyrill Hartog
Media organisation(s): Are We Europe (NL), Freelancers
Summary: The goal of this project is to set up a cross-border collaboration of journalists from different EU member states that cover European affairs in an innovative way. Kicking off a new sustainable method of journalistic collaboration, this project plans to report on the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic for the European Union in the summer of 2020.

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Title: Wounds of Europe
Participant(s): Andrea Firovanti, Francesco Maseli, Pietro Mecarozzi, Antoine Lheureux, Loïc Le Foll, Alexander Damiano Ricci
Media organisation(s): Linkiesta (IT), Bulle Media (BE)
Summary: The purpose of the project is to produce a podcast series on European integration, based on data journalism and thorough historical research. The series will deal with six social and economic topics (wounds) that are relevant to the politics of European nation-states and, beyond that, to the Union as a whole.

 

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Title: Transparency over Objectivity: How to build a membership model by sharing our journalism craft
Participant(s): India Bouquerel, Bernadette Kuiper, Vera Born
Media organisation(s): Live Magazine France (FR), Impact Makers
Summary: The initiative aims to produce financially sustainable online events with top-notch
journalists giving illuminating insights over the craft of journalism. The idea is to
migrate successful live events to create a new format of online journalism, testing
out ways to let the audience discover more context around a story — how the story was produced, how it fits into a larger narrative or the editorial values that back the journalism while designing a new membership model.

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Title: LucidAREurope
Participant(s): Leen Segers, Maelle Quevillard, Maxence Koch, Pol Fortuny
Media organisation(s): LucidWeb (BE) and EURACTIV (NL)
Summary: This initiative is providing a citizen engagement tool to debunk and demystify the European Union, its Institutions, and spending via WebAR. In a creative way, every building can be “scanned” to instantly give insight into the site’s objectives & how the European Union is contributing to its activities to reach its goals and objectives.

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Title: Women for women
Participant(s): Monica Pelliccia, Elena Ledda, Andreu Quesada Baños
Media organisation(s): Freelance (IT, ES)
Summary: This series of podcasts will investigate the issue of gender-based violence in times of Coronavirus in Europe. Specifically, we aim at telling the network-based resilience alternatives and solutions carried out by women and for women before this crisis. We will tell this systemic issue with the tools of constructive journalism.

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Title: LIVA – a software live video & audio production framework
Participant(s): Floris Daelemans, Benjamin Poels, Henrik Vandeput, Loic De Visscher, Hugo Ortiz, Benoit Leloutre, Morten Brandstrup
Media organisation(s): VRT (BE), RTBF (BE), TV2 Denmark (DK)
Summary: The initiative aims at using a solution approach commonly found in the creative industry and digital arts in order to apply it to live production technologies. The final goal is to create a community-driven software framework for media production and technology innovators that enables the rapid design, testing, and validation of new smart services for live production scenarios in a collaborative, cost-effective, and scalable way.

   

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Title: Generating revenue with constructive journalism: how to turn the Coronavirus crisis into an opportunity
Participant(s): Paloma Scharfhausen, Alfredo Casares, Esther Barrio, Carmen Dumitrescu, Stefan Onica, Raul Sanchez Costa, Bogdan Mircea Neagu, Catalina Mihai, Sebastian-Alin Rotaru
Media organisation(s): Compromiso Empresarial (ES), Freedom House Foundation Romania (RO), Euractiv Romania (RO)
Summary: Building on the Corona crisis, the aim of the project is to attract donors and contributors interested in supporting constructive, positive and reality-based journalism, to strengthen the quality of the editorial contents and to help create new sources of revenues, which could reinforce the independence and sustainability of the organisations involved.

   

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Title: Managing Stress & Digital Overload for Journalists
Participant(s): Kim Brice, Mar Cabra, Aldara Maritegui, Miguel Cabra
Media organisation(s): Freelancers
Summary: An online space which offers journalists practical tools & ongoing support to navigate the COVID-19 emergency as it evolves and beyond, on the topics of stress management and digital overload. This initiative is specific, practical, and ongoing: journalists will learn techniques they can use in their daily lives. The participants will also meet with them weekly during a month to help them practice specific stress management techniques and exchange about what they find challenging.

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Title: Visual journalism without constraints
Participant(s): Marina Ekroos; IIkka Järstä; Alberto Estévez; Javier Etxezarreta; Juan Carlos Cárdenas
Media organisation(s): Frameright (FI); EFE/EPA (ES)
Summary: The initiative aims to enable content creators to know what they publish and how the content is being shown to the public. Image files contain information that is not visible to regular viewers. It is called embedded metadata. In the metadata, we can store a lot of useful information about the image file. The idea is to use it to enable flexible image handling by setting specific coordinates that the receiving system can decode. Saving this information inside the image file makes it possible to gather everyone around the same drawing table, even when working remotely.

     

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Title: Future is Blue
Participant(s): Carlos Carnicero Urabayen; Nick Malkoutzis
Media organisation(s): Agenda Pública (ES); Macropolis (GR)
Summary: The initiative aims to bring “the Future is Blue”, a weekly newsletter analyzing European and economic affairs, which started in 2019, to the next level. The participants plan to do weekly video-talks, giving to experts the opportunity to share their insights on camera. The partnership with Macropolis will help reach broader audiences and benefit from the extensive network of EU experts that Macropolis has.

   

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Title: On the run from the past
Participant(s): Elena Basso, Marco Mastrandrea, Alfredo Sprovieri, Mathieu Molard, Matthieu Bidan, Caroline Varon, Ter Garcia, Pablo Elorduy, Alvaro Minguito
Media organisation(s): Centro di Giornalismo Permanente (IT); El Salto (ES), StreetPress (FR)
Summary: The project “On the run from the past” will be part of Archivio Desaparecido, a multimedia archive on which the participants have been working for more than a year already. It will contain dozens of biographies of Italian citizens who disappeared during the time of southern American dictatorships and first-hand accounts of the lives of those who have fled the countries and found refuge in Italy. Their stories will be collected on a website with videos, photographs, and written articles, while the social media platforms (Instagram and Facebook) will be used to publish relevant content every day. On top of these, relevant articles will be published every two weeks on different news outlets.

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Title: Media Integrity Report and Ranking
Participant(s): Elena Herrero Beaumont, Concepción Sacristán, Verena Ringler, Katharina Kropshofer, Andrea Menapace, Flaminia Delle Cese
Media organisation(s): Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia (ES), Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights (IT), European Commons (AT)
Summary: Use transparency and governance as effective tools to build integrity in the media sector in EU countries and the trust it needs among the general public. In Spain, they produced the ranking of media companies as in previous editions, including a detailed analysis of  PRISA’s governance and its impact on editorial integrity.  In Italy and Austria, they did the preliminary groundwork to undertake the ranking in these two jurisdictions. This groundwork includes a sample of media companies, the identification of best practices associated with the media integrity indicators developed by Fundación Compromiso y Transparencia and a reflection on the applicability of these indicators in their respective jurisdictions and ultimately across the EU. They completed the report with an analysis of the transparency and governance of the five major media companies in the US and UK. The ideal of media integrity can be reached, as the analysis of the US and UK media companies shows. The main conclusion is that, when it comes to governance and transparency there is big room for improvement in the EU Companies analyzed.

Deliverables: A full report in English with a comparative analysis of transparency and governance practices in media companies located in Spain, Italy, Austria, the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

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Title: Together we can rise: A data-driven approach to growing communities of women leaders in media in Spain and Portugal
Participant(s): Mariana Barbosa, Juliana Santos, Ximena Villagrán, Miriam Burges, Itziar Bernaola
Media organisation(s): Associação Chicas Poderosas Portugal (PT), Chicas Poderosas Spain (ES), Newtral (ES)
Summary: Chicas Poderosas will launch a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas on female leadership in the media. However, without an additional approach, the women journalists in the addressed communities won’t probably follow the course, as MOOC dropout rates are as high as 96%. The coronavirus crisis won’t help with MOOC completion either, as journalists are busier than ever. In order to solve this, live meetings with trainers will be created to follow the MOOC contents. They will be done either physically or virtually. These “immersion sessions” will be an opportunity to view the videos together and also to answer questions and build networks.

 

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Title: Overcoming nationalistic narratives in Eastern Europe
Participant(s): Bea Bakó; Martin Bukovics
Media Organisation(s): Azonnali (Hungary) and Transindex (Romania)
Summary: The project’s aim is to illustrate, to what extent are the attitudes of ordinary people similar or different to the political narratives about the Trianon treaty and memory politics, on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. The participants hope that through this perspective can contribute to a better understanding between the citizens of the two countries. The outcome of the Initiative will be videos and written materials with photos.

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Title: We are news
Participant(s): Alexandra Haderlein, Niko Möls, Alexander Zitzke, Tav Klitgaard
Media organisations: Freelance (Germany), cooperating with the “Constructive Journalism Institute” of the Aarhus University (Denmark)
Summary: The participant aims to fund an online magazine for millennials, which has new approaches to generate social impact in local communities, the city and the region:

  • a tidy web-surface, where you don’t feel buried in a mass of news
  • constructive journalism strictly on a local base
  • told on modern digital channels
  • engaging the audience on a wide range

   

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Title: On the other shore of the sea, what drives migrants to leave: beyond what is known, to explore what is yet not known
Participant(s): Michele Calamaio; Giuseppe Papalia; Piotr Maciej Kaczynski (Onet.pl);
Media organisation(s): Total EU Video Production (Belgium) and Secolo Trentino (Italy)
Summary: This storytelling project consists of a photo, video and narrative journalistic reportage focused on the phenomenon of human journey linked to migrations and current climate change problem. A deeper journalistic analysis of the topic will be put into practice by working out together the reality of the war conditions, the poor administration of economy finances and the climate change consequences straight on the field.

 

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Title: La chronique européenne de Cafébabel
Participant(s): Safouane Abdessalem
Media organisation(s): Cafébabel (France) and radio Arabel (Belgium)
Summary: Create collaboration with Arabel, a community-based radio approved by the Superior Council of Audiovisuals which aims to open up with the whole of Belgian and European society. The idea is to create radio content by dealing with a problem (economic, social, environmental), and providing a solution by talking about an initiative that has been taken in Europe to solve the problem. Through a solution journalism approach, the podcast will cover a European story in french, from different perspectives.


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Title: Strategies for quality evaluation in European journalism
Participant(s): Pamina Falck
Media organisation(s): Näringslivets medieinstitut (Sweden); Börsen (Denmark)
Summary: The main target of this initiative is to investigate how European news media manage the quality assessment of journalism. Näringslivets medieinstitut (NMI) is one of few think tank-funded organisations that provide evaluations of journalism at the Swedish national level. NMI is funded by The Swedish Free Enterprise Foundation, financed by the confederation of Swedish enterprise. Through this program, the applicants wish to learn more from a European comparative approach in media analysis.

 

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Stars4Media Helpdesk: Contact us at info@stars4media.eu or call us at: +32 (0)2 61 48 620.

The Stars4Media project is developed by VUB University, Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV), WAN-IFRA, and the European Federation of Journalists, and it is co-funded by the European Commission.