New year’s greetings (and MediaLab January newsletter)



Dear friends of the media & Europe’s MediaLab, Chèr(e)s ami(e)s, Liebe partners, 


We send to you our warmest New Years greetings: may 2023 be filled with new ideas, fresh minds and big dreams! Meanwhile, our work goes on, ‘‘for the media, by the media and in the media’’. 




As 2023 kicks-in, Europe’s MediaLab continues its commitment of  consolidating business innovation and fostering partnerships. Therefore: Same Media Challenges, Same partners, with a renewed team & a New logo

Bridging media, tech & innovation to support the fight against disinformation in 2023  is part of our contribution to the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO). The  European Commission has renewed support to the European University Institute-headed consortium for a second mandate of EDMO. In the next 30 months, EDMO will tackle disinformation through an extended network of national & regional hubs. As an upgraded consortium partner, Europe’s MediaLab will work on strategy and facilitate a dialogue with media stakeholders. 

Our Secretary General Thierry Leroy joins the EDMO management committee, while, from the Advisory Council, I will chair the strategy working group, notably for outreach to third parties. 

The MediaLab continues its projects fostering the media sector’s innovation and skills, such as our flagship programme, Stars4Media. This 3rd edition, Stars4Media NEWS, approaches the EXPLORE phase of its 14 projects. From March 2023, only 9 projects will continue into the next phase BOOST. The remaining projects will benefit from networking with public and private funders during the Community event on 30th March. This will also be an opportunity to share solutions and best practices.

As recently published by the Reuters Institute’s Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2023, disinformation remains one of the main challenges, especially as AI becomes a more reliant tool for news production.                                                                                             

Checks4Media East – MediaLab’s initiative funded by the European and Media Information Fund (EMIF) – just started with a successful kick off meeting in Bratislava with the partners MediaLab, Comenius University (SK) + 3 EURACTIV partners (SK, PL, BG). This project will help the media in Central and Eastern Countries to make fact-checking sustainable. 

Both Stars4Media and Checks4Media bring a fresh perspective “from the ground”, indeed from the frontlines to EU circles. However, we are not limited to EU territory. For example, I often addressed the Club of Venice Strategic Conference in London, and will again address the yearly conference of ASBU (Arab State Broadcasters’ Union to the Arab League: what EBU is to the EU). 

Twitter Suspends Accounts of Half a Dozen Journalists and – as EURACTIV reports – more than half of EU citizens want the dissemination of disinformation to be made illegal. In such turbulent times, our hope is that both EMIF and EDMO will become more established, and diversify the support they can provide to the media at large.


Christophe Leclercq, 



Finally: our legal name remains for the moment Europe’s MediaLab (Fondation EURACTIV) explaining our roots. We simplified our logo, but we keep the extended legal version with Fondation EURACTIV and remain based at EURACTIV’s Brussels office. 


Team News: Europe’s MediaLab is delighted to announce two new team members joining the boat: 

  • Claudia Bianconi becomes Partnership Manager at Europe’s MediaLab,  developing the network’s partners for Stars4Media. Her role is in line with MediaLab’s thinking on the convergence between public, corporate and philanthropic sources. 




Stars4Media NEWS – Community Event 

Europe’s MediaLab will host the first ever Stars4Media Community Event on 30th March at EURACTIV premises. The event will gather the 29 media and tech companies participating in Stars4Media EXPLORE phase, together with policy makers and industry experts. It will also offer Stars4Media beneficiaries the opportunity to find partners for future collaborations. All those interested in attending the event can visit the web page for more information on how to register. 

→ If you are interested in further supporting media innovation please reach back at to discuss various options available.

*Stars4Media NEWS is delivered with consortium partners Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB); the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and European Journalism Centre  (EJC). 


Checks4Media Bratislava kick-off meeting 

This programme, funded by EMIF, started in October 2022 for a period of 18 months. It will help the media from Belarus (exile), Ukraine and Russia (exile) to improve their business model. A list of potential media from these countries has been established and some of them have been selected. The kick-off meeting in Bratislava (9 Dec. 2022) explained the project to the selected media.


THINK: Policies 


DMA: EU institutions agree on new rules for Big Tech (EURACTIV)  

The new EU regulation targeting tech giants becomes fully applicable in 2023, following an agreement reached between the EU co-legislators in March. The European Council, Parliament and Commission have bridged their differences on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a proposal targeted to a handful of platforms considered to have such a dominant market position to play a gatekeeper role between other companies and internet users.


Digital policy ranks low on Swedish EU presidency’s priority list (EURACTIV)

Sweden took the helm of the EU Council for the first half of 2023 and already set a priority list for its leadership which does not include digital policies.


EU plans new transparency laws on foreign media (EURACTIV)

The plans are set to be the latest planks of the European Democracy Action Plan adopted by the European Commission in 2020, which seeks to establish a framework for protecting media freedom and pluralism.


AI Act: Leadings MEPs want to expand Commission’s revision powers (EURACTIV)

The most relevant amendment would significantly extend the Commission’s revision powers after the legislation on AI becomes effective.


THINK: Other 


That’s where Factchequeado comes in (Factchequeado) 

Started as a collaboration between Malditacurrent Stars4Media NEWS grantee – and Chequeado – a Spanish NGO, Factchequeado seeks to use the learnings from both to create a Latino community of citizens and journalists to counter Spanish-language disinformation in the United States. 


NiemanLab’s predictions for journalism in 2023 (Nieman Lab) 

A collection of ideas about the future of journalism from the smartest people in the sector, according to NiemanLab. What’s the role of philanthropy, AI content flood and the new reality of platforms are the main topics featured. Ahead of the curve, MediaLab already discussed philanthropy as a potential source of support for the media, in its Summer 2022 newsletter, also available on our website here.


22 findings from the Reuters Institute’s research in 2022 still relevant in 2023 (Reuters Institute)

Reuters Institute’s researchers have covered key issues in the past 12 months. Among the most relevant: news avoidance is growing sharply, Facebook is still the most-used social network for news, misinformation and harassment are considered by many the leading problems with digital platforms.


2022: The Year That Podcasting Died (Medium) 

A deep analysis by Podcast entrepreneur Nick Hilton on the business of podcasting and the role of mainstream media, according to the trends from last year. 


Tolerating disinformation leads to coup attempts: in both Washington and Brasilia (Politico)

After the Trump-inspired riots in the US capital, MediaLab advisers showed the responsibility of social media. A previous conference was held in Brasilia, at the very Supreme Court ransacked by Bolsonaro supporters, well before his election based on fake news spread by WhatsApp. At this event about transferring the EU’s experience, Christophe Leclercq called for quick (self-)regulation of the platform. Not only was this not done, triggering a disastrous mandate: press reports again show the GAFA’s responsibility in most recent riots in Brazil.