Lab News | Oct 27, 2021


Photo: MLB

Media Lab Bayern, the European Journalism Center and the Google News Initiative are excited to announce the participants of the first ever GNI Startups Lab Europe - a six month programme designed to put news startups on the track to sustainability. The programme offers group workshops, individual coachings, peer learning and networking opportunities with media professionals from all over Europe. Participating teams can also profit from up to 25,000 EUR funding for revenue generating experiments.

The deciding pitch

The teams were chosen from amongst 120 applicants from 28 European countries showcasing an impressive variety of independent journalism - submissions included investigative journalism outlets, novel local news initiatives or publications giving a voice to underrepresented communities. As a first step, 18 teams were invited to Trial Run, a four day workshop on user needs and product development ending with a Pitch Day. On pitch day, the teams presented their projects to a jury consisting of GNI Startups Lab, Media Lab Bayern and EJC representatives as well as Czech-American startup founder Douglas Arellanes. It was a tough final call to make for the jurors - they based their decision on factors like the level of maturity, the founding team and the overall fit for the GNI Startups Lab program.

The GNI Startups Lab Teams

The GNI Startups Lab Teams

  • The publications range in age from 6 months to 6 years and have been around for 2 years on average.
  • Most companies have fewer than 10 employees, whilst some are working together with multiple freelancers.
  • The topics addressed range from community issues in Lisbon to climate change awareness in Italy and regional politics in Transylvania.

Media Lab Bayern is excited to support the GNI Startups Lab teams on their journey, starting with a 5 day deep-dive workshop in November. These startups are giving a voice to underrepresented communities, filling blanks left in the news content currently available, and are exploring the future of quality journalism in Europe. We are honored to help them reach the next stage of their development.

The participating startups are based in 8 different European countries: France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, UK.

Here are the teams (in their own words):


Átlátszó Erdély
Country: Romania

Átlátszó Erdély (meaning Transparent Transylvania) is the only independent, nonprofit newsroom in Romania doing investigative journalism in the public interest focusing on the 1,2 million Hungarians living in Transylvania, Romania. Átlátszó Erdély works to make public expenditures more transparent, expose abuse of power and betrayal of the public trust by public officials and institutions and use investigative journalism to reform institutions.

Baynana Magazine
Country: Spain

Baynana is a digital magazine founded by refugees for migrants and refugees. It is the first magazine written in Arabic and Spanish about migration that is committed to social and public service journalism. The magazine aims to offer useful information to the Arabic-speaking community in Spain and, at the same time, to build bridges between migrants, refugees and Spaniards.

Country: Slovenia

Časoris is an award-winning online newspaper for children. Our vision is to inform, guide and inspire children by publishing news they can trust. We offer timely, relevant articles on current affairs, sports, science and entertainment in a kids-friendly language, accompanied by questions for reflection and a glossary.

Country: United Kingdom

Girlhood is a community and media platform powered by girls and young women around the world. To create a platform that reflects ordinary girls' stories, we're creating a pipeline and a community-powered media organization: we train girls in storytelling, edit and produce their work, and curate & publish their stories. This is the world, as seen through girls' eyes.

Média'Pi !
Country: France

Média'Pi! association fights against the social exclusion of deaf and hearing impaired people in France by giving them access to information. Média'Pi is a generalist bilingual online media in French and French Sign Language. It offers articles, photo reports, comics, photos and videos on general news and on the deaf community. It is also a learning platform - a "beacon" for the deaf community.

Mensagem de Lisboa
Country: Portugal

Mensagem is a local online magazine for Portugal’s capital. Its mission is community - bringing to light what our neighbours are doing in the city, for the city. Mensagem covers local politics and social issues as well as putting real people at the center of its reporting. The editorial office is based in a café downtown called Brasileira, acting as a connection point to the city and its people.

Radar Magazine
Country: Italy

We live in an age of environmental transition. To understand the global issues that have an impact on our lives locally, as well as possible solutions, we need journalism that explains the complexity. We do just that with RADAR, a monthly online magazine in which storytelling meets sound scientific content and award-winning photojournalism.

Country: Romania

Recorder is an independent online publication, founded in 2017 by four journalists who wanted to create a public service media platform guided by honesty. Today, it is Romania’s

most important independent video journalism platform. "Journalism made for our readers, not for obscure interests" is our tagline. We believe that the future of journalism lies in images, but we also publish reports and video investigations.

shado mag
Country: United Kingdom

shado mag CIC is a multimedia platform operating at the intersection of arts, activism and academia. We bring together voices from diverse fields, which are currently working in silos, to encourage collaboration and to create greater impact. shado exists as a site for self-representation: we believe those with lived experience of an issue or injustice are best placed to advocate for meaningful change within that space.

SideStreet Malta
Country: Malta

SideStreet is a content creation initiative delivering news directly affecting our online community. Our promise and ultimate goal is to create an open space where people can express their views, share their ideas and make their voices heard. Keeping this in mind, our main focus is innovating the way news is delivered, making it accessible and consumable to younger audiences. SideStreet is among the first media companies in Malta to be born totally out of social media.



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