The Circle

The Circle is a new approach to cross-border journalism and collaboration. Four European media partners join forces to create media knowledge hubs in eight European cities.

Together with Are We Europe (NL), Hostwriter (DE) and Arty Farty (FR), we train professionals in the journalism sector in state-of-the-art digital storytelling through Design Sprints. 

The project focusses on mostly non-capital cities across Europe (including outside of the EU) that are often left out of European media's discourse and representation: Tbilisi, Porto, Vilnius, Lyon, Gothenburg, Naples, Cluj, and Mostar.

What are Design Sprints?

Design Sprints are high-pressure workshops aimed at developing a creative idea from scratch in a short period of time. They include mapping, sketching, deciding and prototyping phases. In the case of The Circle, the two-week sprints will be less focussed on production or design, but more on scoping out the local media landscape and then building a business case for a hub that can address a gap in it.

During Week 1, participants map the local media ecosystem through brainstorming and co-creation sessions as well as presentations from local partners. By the end of the week, a solution to the challenges identified in the local ecosystem will start taking shape in the form of a media hub idea.

During Week 2, teams run through a business case design sprint to set up and test their idea for a hub tailored to specific media production needs. At the end of the two weeks, the hub structure and working team will be sketched out and the terms of administration and allocation of the kickstart grant will be agreed upon.

What can participants expect?

  • Over a two-week period, participants in each city work together with the Circle partners to design solutions to the needs and challenges of the local media landscape.
  • After the two-week Media Design Sprint, local hubs have access to a kickstart grant of up to €10,000 and mentoring with the Circle partners for a period of three months to keep developing their hub idea on the ground.
  • Teams are also offered support in areas of partnership search, funding opportunities, and connection to local and European media workers, with a view to making their hub sustainable in the long run.

What are the outcomes of the project?

Please subsribe to the Circle Newsletter for further information about the activities of the Hubs.

Brainstorming Session: How Might We...
Recording Session @Palanga Street Radio
Ideating and Sketching
The first Circle Hub: Tbilisi, October 2022