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Taktak Project: the Integrated Collaborative donation solution for Journalism

Eight European media organizations launched Taktak, a donation solution backed by the European Commission. Its aim: to create a new revenue stream for news media and journalists through collaborative reader donations per article, facilitated by user-friendly tech tools. It addresses the ongoing challenge of sustaining quality journalism with innovative economic models.

What is it?

The Taktak project, originally called Do-Jo, changed its name as it was associated with prominent international brands which would have certainly reduced its visibility. The project needs to have its own unique identity for the release of the product we aim to build and launch on the market. Tak meaning “Thank you” in Scandinavian languages, we felt like Taktak would better reflect the philosophy of the project. #TaktakSolution

The consortium’s diversity in scale and geographic coverage, which includes media covering individual cities (Mensagem in Lisbon, Pod Tepeto in Plovdiv in Bulgaria), countries (La Marea in Spain, Livy Bereg in Ukraine) and international (Worldcrunch) can bring the tool from local, regions, national and transnational levels. It can create solutions that address the needs of the youngest journalists who must face the risks of job and income instability in the future.

As a project, the objective of the Taktak solution is to increase revenue and promote quality journalism by fusing three key realities in the current economic context of the industry:

1. the collaborative relationship between media and freelance journalists, who hold an increasingly important place in the news ecosystem as staff positions are reduced;

2. the untapped opportunities of media working together on joint reporting efforts, and across languages;

3. the growth in direct reader revenue, in particular in the form of donations.

The goal is to build an innovative technology donationpayment and revenue-share solution based on their existing needs and experience and integrate consolidated insights from the industry to be able to scale up the solution throughout Europe, and beyond.

By combining donation on a per-article basis with revenue share between parties, Taktak will encourage both journalists and media to commit to producing the kind of high-quality and diverse coverage that has proven to trigger more donation revenue.

Thanks to a new revenue stream and a direct connection with readers through donation features, the Taktak project’s secondary objectives are to encourage the production of more quality journalism, collaboration between different actors, a diversity of voices and plurality of media, increase engagement with readers, foster resilience and share best practices across the partners of consortium and the sector.

By combining donations on a per-article basis with revenue share between parties, Taktak will encourage both journalists and media to commit to producing the kind of high-quality and diverse coverage that has proven to trigger more donation revenue.

For whom?

Freelance journalists seeking to collaborate on a new revenue model that embraces post-advertising dynamics and prioritizes direct reader relationships while considering authors’ needs.

Budget

The Taktak project involves investing €1,376,040 over 2 years. This funding will directly benefit 5 independent news media outlets, their journalists, 2 news media associations, and the project’s technological partner. The European Commission will provide 80% (€1,100,832) of the funding through the Journalism Partnerships – Collaboration call, with the remaining 20% (€275,208) coming from the Taktak consortium partners’ own funds.

Consortium members

The jury will assess the applications based on the following criteria:

ATC

Founded in 1987, ATC (www.atc.gr) is an Information Technology Company (SME) offering solutions and services in specific business sectors, including the Media, Banking, and the Public Sector, developed on the latest technologies for Content Management, Enterprise Software, Web and Mobile Applications.

One of the primary commercial activities for ATC is the development of products and services for the media market, in which they have customers in several EU countries, Eastern Europe, the CIS countries, and the Balkans. Particularly in recent years, they have acknowledged misinformation as a major issue and have focused their work on designing tools to help media practitioners tackle the phenomenon. Since June 2020, ATC is part of the European Digital Media Observatory (www.edmo.eu) providing the technical infrastructure (based on Truly Media, the collaborative verification platform developed by ATC and Deutsche Welle) that supports EDMO’s communities of fact-checkers and researchers in studying and analyzing disinformation.

Since 2011, ATC has participated in several EU funded projects that deal with mis- and disinformation and social media analysis, through which they have acquired a more targeted experience in relevant technologies used to monitor and analyze disinformation. Some of these results have turned into products that are used by broadcasters, news agencies, and journalists worldwide to verify and fact-check online content. Finally, their market position as a commercial software provider in the media industry and their long term involvement in large scale R&I media projects have equipped them with a solid knowledge of how to design systems and products that are useful to and cover the needs of media professionals working in the disinformation domain.

La Marea

La Marea is a leading independent Spanish magazine focused on human rights and politics, launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Currently the media has a bimonthly print edition and online presence, with over 4,000 subscribers.

Since La Marea was born, it has enabled readers’ donations through the articles published online and has also launched 6 specific crowdfunding campaigns, including one in collaboration with another media. During its last crowd-funding campaign La Marea has raised more than 285 000 euros of revenue – leading, at that time, the ranking of number of patrons on the Goteo crowdfunding platform, Spain’s most influential-. Moreover, the cooperative behind the media is funded primarily by its readers and shareholders. Overall, more than 200 freelancers have collaborated with La Marea over the past ten years.

Livy Bereg

LB.UA (Leviy Bereg) is an independent Ukrainian mass media. LB.ua has been covering social and political developments in Ukraine since 2009. The website is updated simultaneously in Ukrainian and English languages. LB.UA has more than 5 million unique visitors per month.

Over the years the website has featured thousands of articles, investigations and interviews, many of which have had a direct impact on key political decisions in the country. The independence of our publication is our main value. And the support of our readers is our pride and responsibility.

LB.UA has a YouTube channel LB Live. The team produces interviews with top Ukrainian politicians, opinion leaders, volunteers, military, etc. LB Live also makes documentary films.

LB.UA is regularly cited by both national and international mass media outlets.

Mensagem de Lisboa

Mensagem de Lisboa is a hiper-local, digital and community journalism project, based in a café in the historic downtown of Lisboa, aiming to connect all parts of the city. It was founded in 2021 by a diverse small team (age diverse, genre diverse and origin diverse), with the firm idea of bringing a new constructive and inspirational form of local journalism to a capital city that can sometimes be a news desert. Its motto is to promote empathy through knowledge and it covers all the metropolitan areas regarding urban matters (development, environment, mobility), social matters (housing, equality, poverty), cultural (history, urban studies, arts), and communities (underserved, expats, ethnically diverse.) It’s funded by a main backer – an entrepreneur in Lisbon – and it relies on donations and special sponsored projects.

Pod Tepeto

Founded in 2009 by journalists Ivaylo Dernev and Dimitar Semkov, Pod tepeto is a pioneering digital media outlet that was established in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It was one of the first regional media organizations in the country and has since remained dedicated to providing unbiased and independent news coverage. The newsroom has won numerous awards for its exceptional journalism, including the Plovdiv Award, the Courageous Reporters Award, and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and SBZ Award. The influence of Pod tepeto extends beyond its regional base and is regularly cited by national news channels.

Transitions

Transitions is a non-profit organization based in Prague in 1999, established to strengthen the professionalism, independence and impact of news media, especially in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We do this through a combination of journalism and media training programs, and the publication of Transitions magazine. Our mission is to support high-quality, independent journalism and foster an informed and engaged public. We have developed our own online learning platform for both mentored and self-learning courses and regularly run webinars and workshops. More than 10,000 people have passed through our training programs, including journalism students and journalists under-30, with courses specializing in traditional journalism skills; the latest digital techniques; media literacy; and combatting disinformation.

WAN-IFRA

WAN-IFRA, the World Association of News Publishers, is the global organisation of the world’s press. Its mission is to protect the rights of journalists and publishers around the world to operate independent media. We provide our members with expertise and services to innovate and prosper in a digital world and perform their crucial role in society. It derives its authority from its global network of 3,000 news publishing companies and technology entrepreneurs, and its legitimacy from its 60 member publisher associations representing 18,000 publications in 120 countries. See more at wan-ifra.org.

WorldcrunchWorldcrunch is a Paris-based digital magazine which delivers the best international journalism in English for the first time, by working in partnership with the world’s top media sources (Die Welt, Les Echos, Jeune Afrique, Kommersant, 端傳媒; El Espectador and 25+ others) and a team of multilingual journalists and translators to publish exclusive reportage and provide a uniquely global view of events.

Project updates

June 11, 2024

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