MDIF is seeking five media companies or not-for-profit organizations committed to providing credible, independent news, information or public interest debate for audiences based primarily in Southeast Asia to join its Southeast Asia Technical Assistance Initiative (SEATAI) .
Business skills building is often overlooked in media development yet is vital if independent media are to maximise their impact by providing their audiences with access to reliable news and information.
MDIF launched SEATAI in early 2019 to respond to the need for important public interest media to build business capacity. Then, and now, Southeast Asian media are facing an increasingly challenging political and economic environment. Threats to journalists, media outlets and press freedom are widespread in the region. At the same time, growing media concentration and a fast-changing business environment, now coupled with the impact of COVID-19, create further challenges for independent media. The imperative to harness the potential for financial sustainability is more critical than ever.
SEATAI matches the specific business development requirements of each of its media partners with the knowledge and skills of a senior Southeast Asian media executive who acts as their coach. These coaches are tasked with advising on company strategy and designing capacity-building plans tailored to the media’s individual needs. In addition, SEATAI media partners have access to regional specialists who can provide short-term technical assistance in areas such as website redesign, SEO services, sales and marketing training, etc. There is also a small grants and a seed equity investment facility for those participating media that meet program criteria.
This unique program builds upon the lessons learned from MDIF’s Myanmar Media Program, a business capacity building program for independent media in Myanmar that has been running since November 2015 and will continue until the end of 2022.
For full eligibility criteria and an application form follow this link. The program closes to applications on 25 September, 2020.