Navigating Challenges: Media1’s Road to Growth

Media1
Case Study

Name of the media:

Media1

Mentor:

Eva Vajda

Founded in:

2019
4

Employees

From present state to future goals

Founded in 2019, Media1 represents one of Hungary’s freshest independent online magazines. Dedicated to providing a comprehensive look into the country’s vibrant media industry, Media1 is a trusted source for news spanning Hungarian radios, television channels, online platforms, and print publications. Despite its size, it is a well-known outlet offering daily reports, exclusive interviews, and insightful content and is frequently cited by independent news media for its specialised coverage.

As part of the Deeping Digital project, their primary goal was to expand reach through news aggregator sites, cultivate a leadership base, and increase the size of their permanent team, all in pursuit of offering unparalleled insights into Hungary’s media landscape.

Media1 gathers news and information mainly related to the Hungarian media industry

Challenges faced

Media1’s challenges in the starting phase revolved around staffing transitions, the need for editorial efficiency, the goal of fostering diversity through a permanent female journalist, and the imperative to enhance visibility on news aggregator platforms. Addressing these challenges required strategic hiring decisions, a reevaluation of news distribution, a commitment to inclusivity, and a focused approach to expanding their reach within the Hungarian media landscape.

The mentoring process

Creating Media1’s business plan presented a series of challenges and opportunities for the team.

Initially, the organisational issues required careful mediation and mentoring processes, demanding a delicate balance of aligning visions and fostering collaboration within the editorial team. Additionally, the looming threats of DDoS attacks and legal disputes posed significant hurdles, demanding strategic planning for mitigating risks and ensuring operational continuity.

Moving their server to France solved one piece of the puzzle but also brought them four lawsuits, which took up much of their time and effort. Luckily, these cases were settled in their favour. Unfortunately, their troubles did not stop there – their editor left at the end of the grant period, so they still needed to hire and integrate a new person into the team.

Amidst these challenges, the team has persevered and achieved significant milestones. They have successfully refreshed the site, improved efficiency in breaking news stories, and fostered a more cohesive work environment.

Despite the adversities, Media1’s intern has emerged as a standout contributor, demonstrating the potential for growth within the team.

“Eva’s work and insights were very useful, and her mentoring provided tangible help. Last year,  a large number of lawsuits were initiated against us by government-related players, which were a significant financial and resource burden. She helped us find a lawyer and financing, but also provided support in creating articles on gender topics while mentoring a female colleague, who learned a lot from Eva.”

 

Daniel Szalay, Media1 Editor-in-Chief

As Daniel, the founder, leaned into the support of his team and mentor, the focus shifted towards enhancing editorial output and managing the resources effectively.  The small editorial team has excelled in producing notably accurate news reports and an increased number of engaging podcasts.

Recording one of the podcast’s episodes

This progress highlights their commitment to delivering high-quality journalism in a challenging media landscape. Although they have yet to venture into producing newsletters or video content like TikTok videos, their active presence on Facebook has allowed them to connect with their audience effectively.

Over 24k followers on Facebook and counting

Future prospects

Looking ahead, Media1 aims to achieve goals such as expanding its content offerings and integrating talented journalists into its permanent staff as it continues to grow and innovate within the Hungarian media sphere. The team recognized the crucial role of the mentor’s support in sustaining their operations, indicating the need for a resilient and adaptive business plan to successfully navigate the turbulent media landscape.