Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Call for Initiatives – Stars4Media Exchange and Training Programme for Young Media Professionals

Call for initiatives

Are you a young media professional eager to gain skills, boost your career, test your ideas, and expand your network? Are you a publisher or an editor whose media needs innovation backed by business, to develop future management, and to grow its network with top media leaders in Europe?

Stars4Media, the exchange and training programme for young media professionals (“rising stars”) announces an extension of the deadline for submitting innovative proposals. Media professionals with 2 to 10 years of experience can now present their proposals by Wednesday 20 May 2020. 

Proposals addressing the media response to the Coronavirus are now welcome, additionally to proposals revolving around Trust in Media and Data for Media.

Stars4Media aims to accelerate media innovation and cross-border coverage in Europe,  through skill-building activities to test ideas, produce contents and develop initiatives around key themes. Participants of this project are young media professionals (“rising stars”) with 2-10 years of media experience, coming from different backgrounds (journalists, graphic designers, tech developers, marketing and social media managers).

Around what THEMES?

Wave A – TRUST in media

  • Topic A.1) Constructive journalism;
  • Topic A.2) Fact-checking;
  • Topic A.3) your own topic.

Wave B – DATA for media

  • Topic B.1) Data-journalism;
  • Topic B.2) Artificial Intelligence / Language technologies;
  • Topic B.3) your own topic.

NEW: WAVE C – Coronavirus media response and coverage

The Stars4Media ‘Initiatives’ are innovative ideas developed by small cross-border and cross-disciplinary teams of young media professionals around three thematic waves: DATA for media, TRUST in media, and Coronavirus  (for example, an initiative can be a new service, a new editorial format, a new product, or a new process).

HOW will it work? 

  • Propose your initiative: The last window of opportunity to propose your Initiative is 20 May 2020
    You can submit your Initiative by downloading the form here, filling it in, and submitting it to
  • Guidance, Coaching and Selection: A Jury made of relevant experts will assess the Proposals for Initiatives by the end of the month following the window of opportunity above. The applicants will be invited to elaborate on their initiatives virtually and attend one-on-one coaching sessions online. The best initiatives will be selected and applicants will be able to start their collaboration (mainly virtual) as soon as June 2020.
  • The earlier applicants who received constructive feedback after the Stars4Media Lab virtual training event may submit their reworked proposals by the 20 May deadline.
  • Development of the initiative and exchange:
    • Physical and virtual Mobility:  as soon as possible after their successful selections, and for a period of 4 to 12 weeks per initiative, the selected media professionals will carry out their initiative based on physical and virtual mobility.
    • Monitoring and evaluation: the development of the initiative will be monitored, evaluated, guided and facilitated by the Stars4Media consortium partners.

Stars4Media Helpdesk: Questions? Need for guidance? Contact us at or call us at: +32 (0)2 61 48 620.

We invite you to join the Stars4Media LinkedIn group to exchange ideas with other media professionals and find partners.

WHY should you participate?

As a young media professional you will:

  • work with another European media than your own for 4 to 12 weeks
  • gain practical skills on quality reporting, data journalism, fact-checking, AI and translation technologies, marketing, and social media
  • be part of a network of young media innovators in Europe

As a media outlet you will:

  • grow your network with the best innovative media companies in Europe and top media leaders
  • test ideas, develop new products and new business models and innovate
  • develop and motivate your staff and future management


1) Requirements for participating in the Stars4Media Project

  • The media outlets behind the proposed initiatives will endorse the project’s terms and conditions;
  • 80% of the eligible costs will be reimbursed. Eligible costs are: travelling, subsistence and training costs incurred during the initiative;
  • A maximum of 6000 euros expenses per person will be eligible to be reimbursed of which 80% is reimbursed by the project and 20% by the media outlet participating;
  • The ratio 80/20% also applies for reimbursing expenses lower than 6000 euros;
  • We will give priority to initiatives of at least 2 media professionals from 2 different media outlets (this is a “Stars4Media Pair”). Exceptionally initiatives can have more than 2 media outlets;
  • Initiatives already indicating a Stars4Media Pair will be given priority and are more likely to be selected;
  • 10% freelance media professionals might be accepted provided they have a VAT number;
  • The final selection will also take into account the gender and geographical balance, as well as the variety of professional profiles (to ensure impactful media business innovation, these profiles are: journalists, editors, graphic designers, developers, marketing managers, social media managers.)

2) Successful initiatives will be governed by the provisions stated in the following documents, by submitting your initiative you acknowledge and accept the provisions of the following rules:

This project is developed by VUB University, Fondation EURACTIV, WAN-IFRA, and the European Federation of Journalists, and it is co-funded by the European Union.