Open Call for Applications for the European Media Hackathon

EU | March 9, 2023, Thursday // 12:15|  views

@Media Blend

Open call for applications for the European media hackathon to boost innovative synergy on the cutting edge of journalism and technologies

The European media hackathon Media Blend is pleased to announce that applications are now open for its main event which will take place in Vienna, Austria, and starts on the 22nd of May. It is a three-day competition for media managers, journalists, and technologists from newsrooms and media startups around Europe to explore tech-powered solutions to improve and enhance journalism operations, sustainability, production, and storytelling.

Participants will have the opportunity to delve further into developing their project ideas with industry-leading mentors, and, eventually, pitch them to the jury, media investors, philanthropists and experts in the field and compete for a chance to win kick-off grants of €5,000. The deadline for applications is the 17th of March.

The program is primarily co-funded by the Creative Europe Program and is a part of a bigger project, which is coordinated and administered by the International Press Institute and implemented by a consortium of media organizations including BIRN, and Thomson Foundation. Media Blend Hackathons are designed and implemented by a Ukrainian media development organization, Media Development Foundation.

At the Media Innovation Europe consortium, our goal is to unlock innovation to help newsrooms in Europe, both young and old, achieve sustainability. The Media Blend Hackathons are a critical step toward rethinking how media can become more resilient to the fast-changing realities around them, from building closer relationships with audiences to ensuring the financial viability of their news products”, said Ryan Powell, Product and Innovation Manager at the International Press Institute. 

Anyone interested can apply within a team of up to four people or alone (Media Blend will help individual applicants find the team with matching or similar ideas). We expect the applicants to have rough ideas of projects related to the following workstreams:

  • Analytics and Monetization: this year the key focus for many publishers will be looking to hang on to new subscribers gained during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and COVID-19. That’s why we encourage the participants to tackle this challenge and use technologies for improving subscriber retention.

  • Media research and data analytics: there is a negative trend of dropping trust in the media, accelerated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic. The main reason for that might be the spread of fake news and messages from the sources of information. Therefore we identify countering fake news and verifying the information as our second challenge.

  • Content production and distribution: growing news avoidance among audiences seemingly keeps many newsrooms up at night. During this hackathon, we’d like to focus on people under 25, who due to their news consumption behavior are less interested in traditional news subjects and don’t have a strong affiliation with specific media brands. So our last objective is to find a way to make Gen Z users engaged and instantly aware of the information that matters most to them.

The main challenges are identified in each category to help potential participants focus their efforts, but the Media Blend team also encourages applicants to bring in other innovative ideas solving different challenges in the media sector.

Applicants can participate in an ideation session curated by media and tech experts in order to refine their project ideas. Although participation in the ideation sessions is not mandatory – it will give those taking part an upper hand in the selection process. To apply for the participation in the ideation session, applicants have to submit their details here.

The selection of the participants for the hackathon will be administered by the project team and led by an independent jury consisting of European media market leaders. The selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Team participants come from at least 2 different countries and 2 different companies;

  • Suggested idea provides a viable and innovative solution to a challenge related to the 3 main hackathon’s workstreams (mentioned above).

During the event, all participants will be supported by experts to develop their products, create a business, promo- and action plan, and prepare for the pitching session. Overall, it’s a great networking opportunity as the most innovative media start-ups from all over Europe will be gathered under one roof. 

Applicants must be based in one of the following countries: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine.

Media Blend Hackathon will take place in the same week as IPI World Congress and Media Innovation Festival 2023: New frontiers in the age of AI. Successful Hackathon participants will get the chance to present their pitches in parallel with the event.

Hackathon participants will be eligible to apply for IPI’s New Media Incubator, a new programme supporting the launch and growth of new media ventures.

Follow the link to the application and more details:

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Tags: Media Blend, hackathon, media, europe


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