Factory – Filtering Fakes From Facts

Be part of RTL Group’s Factory!

Are you a journalist, developer, digital product specialist? Or a controller, strategist, IT expert with a strong interest in news? Do you have ideas on how to empower young media users with skills that will enable them to separate trustworthy media from online disinformation? Do you think you can help young people understand what is fake and what is real? If so, you are cordially invited to be part of RTL Group’s Factory – 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 you in imagining and developing your ideas in the field of media and digital literacy in an international setting.

Get ready for the RTL Group Factory challenge and register now!

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.

How to become part of RTL Group's Factory


1) How to register

  • The RTL Group Factory is 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.

  • If you want to join this innovation challenge just fill in the registration form below.

  • What we need from you? Your contact details and a short statement about why you are excited about the challenge to develop consumer products for young media users who want to learn more about distinguishing trustworthy media content from online disinformation.

  • Register by 18 January 2019.

2) Virtual training

  • The virtual training programme teaches design thinking methods and will allow 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 will start on 4 February 2019 with consecutive sessions on 18 February and 4 March. You can join the sessions on a flexible basis timewise.

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

  • We have 100 places for the trainings on a first-come, first-served basis!

  • Participants will be informed by 24 January 2019 if they are eligible for the training sessions.

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

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

3) Your ideas

  • During the virtual training you will develop your idea for a media literacy consumer product. You will receive support from experienced mentors the whole way throughout the idea development phase.

  • Submit your ideas after the completion of the virtual training by 17 March 2019.

  • Your proposal can be any digital service for young news consumers in the age of 15 to 20. What the end product may be is 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 your 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 will select the 30 participants to be invited to the hackathon.

  • A precondition for participating in the hackathon is completion of all four virtual training sessions.

  • Please note that your line manager must agree to send you on the two-day hackathon and pay your travel costs.

  • The nominated hackathon participants will be informed by 29 March 2019.

  • 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!

  • Register by 18 January 2019 for the virtual training

  • The virtual training programme will be launched on: 4 February, 18 February, 4 March 2019

  • Submit your ideas by 17 March 2019

  • Vote for your favourite idea from 18 to 22 March 2019

  • Notification of winning ideas and hackathon participants by 25 March 2019

  • Hackathon: 29 and 30 April 2019 in Berlin

Become part of RTL Group’s Factory – register here!

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Do you already have experience in design thinking?*

Do you already have experience in the development of digital products?*

Terms of use*

Read our terms of use here. 

All personal information related to the hackathon will be shared with and processed by Hackastory for the purpose of this project.

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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.

Anna-Beeke Gretemeier, Editor-in-Chief of Stern Digital

"In our digital age, user-generated posts via smartphone and the like are increasingly finding their way into reporting, which unfortunately also includes (deliberately spread) false reports. Or vice versa: established facts are deliberately discredited – partly by the public – as in the case of the riots in Chemnitz. At that time, Hans-Georg Maaßen, who has since been dismissed as the President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, described web-based scenes of gangs hounding immigrants in the city centre as ‘targeted misinformation.’ Various media, including Stern, proved the opposite.

In the future too, at Stern we want to expose such 'classic' fake news early on and have set up a specially trained verification team to do so. We have already had good experiences with it. Nevertheless, we are looking for other tools, opportunities for cooperation, etc., to avoid fake news. I'm really looking forward to the ideas from the hackathon!"

Anna-Beeke Gretemeier is a jury member for the Factory hackathon.

Photo credits: © Guido Rottmann

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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