3 November, 2022: MDIF today introduced ‘Amplify,’ its model for nurturing young independent media companies on the path to greater effectiveness and sustainable growth.
Amplify brings together MDIF’s years of experience and learnings from operating successful localized media innovation and capacity building programs in challenging environments across Africa and Asia. Uniquely tailored for the specific countries and regions they serve, MDIF’s Amplify programs provide coaching, training and strategic support for media leaders seeking to develop financially sustainable and resilient organisations, particularly digital media, in challenging environments.
MDIF launched its first country-based management capacity program in Myanmar in 2015, building on its two decades of experience providing capacity building for its global portfolio of borrowers and equity investments. Since then, MDIF’s regional programs have provided support to more than 80 independent news organizations in 12 countries, including South and Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
No two Amplify programs are identical – in fact, a tailored approach to capacity assistance is a hallmark of Amplify – but they share common characteristics, including:
One-on-one coaching: Intensive, tailored coaching to help media leaders acquire the practical skills needed to develop their organization’s sustainability lie at the heart of Amplify programs. Careful matchmaking helps ensure that the right expert coach from the region or with experience of the region is identified to provide one-one-one capacity support.
Specialist technical assistance: Specialist expertise complements the coach’s input, offering detailed support for specific elements of a media business, such as membership, crowdfunding, sales, events, human resource management, financial management and graphic design. MDIF draws on its global network of media professionals to provide the most relevant intensive, short-term expertise.
Workshops: Where several participants require capacity assistance in the same subject area, Amplify provides virtual or actual workshops to provide targeted training. Workshops also provide time and space for participants to discuss their organization’s specific challenges one-on-one with trainers.
Long-term approach: Interventions are conducted over the long term, often 3-5 years or more. Achieving sustainability is a process that requires constant attention, which Amplify supports by committing to multi-year assistance and building enduring relationships.
Networking and community-building: Amplify fosters a community of like-minded media through calls, meetings and events. It also organizes visits outside the program country or region to media companies that have succeeded in tackling challenges faced by program media.
Small technical assistance grants: Small targeted grants tied to capacity support are an effective way to maximize the effectiveness of assistance. Amplify programs support skills-building with small grants that address specific capacity needs.
Innovation and experimentation: While innovation is not needed in every case, Amplify encourages media to experiment, particularly with different revenue sources so that they can build a range of income streams that will make them more resilient to the changing markets they operate in.
Pathway to investment: As a media organization grows, at some point it will require additional capital to continue its development, covering costs such as new working capital or launching new products or services. Amplify provides a pathway to loan and equity investment and ongoing capacity and venture support through MDIF and its Media Advisory Services technical assistance hub, ensuring growing media have support throughout their sustainability journey.
About Media Development Investment Fund
Media Development Investment Fund is a not-for-profit investment fund based in New York, United States. It provides debt and equity financing supported by technical assistance from its Media Advisory Services management capacity hub to independent media companies in countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. With more than $144 million assets under management, since 1996 MDIF has invested $285 million in 143 independent media businesses in 46 countries. Its investments help independent media around the world provide the news, information and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies.
For more information contact Peter Whitehead, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org