Factory – Filtering Fakes From Facts

About RTL Group’s Factory

RTL Group’s 'Factory – Filtering Fakes From Facts' is an innovation challenge, comprised of a virtual training programme, a two-day hackathon in spring 2019 and lots of RTL Group team spirit!

Aimed at talents from all disciplines and from all RTL Group business units, being part of RTL Group’s Factory means learning, engaging and networking. With design thinking methods we support participants in imagining and developing their ideas in the field of media and digital literacy in an international setting.

Learn more about RTL Group's Factory!

"Disinformation online is one of the biggest challenges for democratic societies right now."

Sonja Schwetje, Editor-in-Chief of N-TV, is a jury member for the Factory hackathon.

The RTL Group Factory process for participants


1) How to register

The RTL Group Factory was open to talents from RTL Group business units with a journalistic or IT development background or anyone who is passionate about the topic of media literacy, meaning journalists, developers, digital product specialists, controllers, strategists, IT experts with a strong interest in news. Participants developed ideas on how to empower young media users with skills that will enable them to separate trustworthy media from online disinformation.

2) Virtual training

  • The virtual training programme taught design thinking methods and allowed participants to interact with each other and the moderators, and delve into the topic with video podcasts, further reading material and assignments.

  • The training programme started on 4 February 2019 with consecutive sessions on 18 February and 4 March. Participants could join the sessions on a flexible basis timewise.

  • The topics for the training sessions were: Context discovery, Customer discovery and Customer validation for a media literacy consumer product

  • At the end of the sessions, participants were invited to hand in a specific proposal for a media literacy consumer product which they would like to work on during our two-day hackathon.

  • All training participants were invited to engage, collaborate and vote for ideas on a shared virtual platform.

3) Ideas

  • During the virtual training participants developed their idea for a media literacy consumer product. They received support from experienced mentors the whole way throughout the idea development phase.

  • Participants submitted their ideas after the completion of the virtual training by 17 March 2019.

  • The proposal could be any digital service for young news consumers in the age of 15 to 20. What the end product may be was very open but it should not amount to an advertising campaign, a verification tool or educational material on media literacy or the like.

  • After using the final product, consumers should be more aware of online disinformation dangers and should become more skilled in distinguishing fake from real.

  • Five ideas will be selected as winners through a combination vote (50/50) by the jury and virtual training participants, and will proceed on to the hackathon stage.

  • The 30 hackathon participants will be selected by the Factory jury to work on the five winning ideas in the hackathon.

4) Hackathon

  • An expert jury including heads of news from various RTL Group business units selected 30 participants to be invited to the hackathon.

  • The hackathon is organised in cooperation with our partner Hackastory, a Dutch innovation agency with extensive experience in hackathons.

  • The hackathon will take place on 29 and 30 April 2019 at Bertelsmann Unter den Linden 1 in Berlin, Germany.

  • The winning idea of the hackathon will be selected by the votes of the Factory jury.

Who to contact

For all organisational questions or if you need advice when developing your project ideas, please contact:



Don't miss the deadlines!

  • Hackathon: 29 and 30 April 2019 in Berlin

What our Factory jury members say

Mark Evans, Head of News at Enex

"The ability of society to hold itself and its actions to account is vital for the well-being of us all. The exchange of news and information is key to that process and if it is tainted by deliberately false or malicious actors we all suffer. It’s important that we start to better educate people – particularly the younger generations – about how to tell the good from the bad. It’s essential, not only for our business, but also for society and the democratic process as a whole."

Mark Evans is a jury member for the Factory hackathon.

Philipp Trunk, Head of Content Pool TV & Online, Infonetwork

"Young media users are growing up with an ever-increasing flood of information from a variety of channels and sources. Including more and more manipulation, fake news and algorithm-oriented filter bubbles. However, dealing with information properly is the prerequisite for social participation."

Philipp Trunk is a jury member for the Factory hackathon.

Photo credits: © Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland/Guido Engels

Marc Schreuder, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of RTL Nieuws, RTL Nederland

“Fake news and hoaxes have been around for a long time, but they are spreading fast due to the internet and social media. Anyone can post content and it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish fake news from fact. It’s therefore important that we help our audiences develop the right skills to recognise what is true or false.”

Marc Schreuder is a jury member for the Factory hackathon.

Photo credits: © William Rutten

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