The Journalism Lab of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia

The Journalism Lab of the Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia promotes the advancement and plurality of journalism in North Rhine-Westphalia. We support journalists and organisations in developing and realising innovative media products.

Why do we do this?

We want people to be able to form their opinions freely and comprehensively since our democratic society is based on these opinions. Professional journalism is a central requirement for this and acts as oxygen for our democracy.
This is the exact kind of journalism we aim to facilitate. 

Why are we the right organisation for the job?

The Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia stands up for the freedom of speech and media plurality. The organisation is separate from the state and financially independent. It is a trustworthy authority whose actions are free of economic or political party interests. This environment allows us to provide media professionals with a protected setting and to support them in developing sustainable media. In this way, we offer a launch pad for journalistic start-ups without pursuing our own economic interests.

How exactly do we manage that?

  • We enable journalists throughout North Rhine-Westphalia to be able to afford high-quality continuing education with regard to product development, business development, and start-up skills.
  • We also award prototyping budgets to put innovative journalistic ideas into practice.
  • We welcome media professionals to join our extensive innovation community. We offer sparring partners and exclusive expertise.
  • We visualise projects wherever appropriate.
  • In addition to traditional funding instruments, we concentrate in particular on start-up support as a component of our “Reinvent Local Media” programme.

We offer a variety of events and funding programmes

  1. Our fellows present their projects at our Local Media Innovation Day (January).
  2. During our “Idea Sprint” we offer intensive coaching sessions to transform a journalistic idea into a concept (April).
  3. At our hackathon, we provide a setting and mentoring to allow participants to develop their concepts into prototypes (July).
  4. As part of our fellowships, we support our fellows with their start-ups for several months, both by means of coaching and workshops, as well as with financial start-up aid for developing their products further (beginning in September).