MDIF today announced the launch of Amplify Asia, a program to strengthen independent media in the region through an innovative coaching program to build their business capacity and financial sustainability. It is also calling for applications from media organizations in Southeast Asia or Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka for eight openings in the program.
Building on three years of MDIF’s successful business capacity development program in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asia Technical Assistance Initiative (SEATAI), MDIF is expanding its geographic reach to include Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The expanded program is now renamed Amplify Asia to better capture its extended reach and align it with MDIF’s growing range of regional Amplify programs.
“Business skills-building is often overlooked in media development yet is vital if independent media are to maximize their impact in providing audiences with access to reliable news and information,” said Tessa Piper, MDIF Program Director for Asia. “As in Southeast Asia, independent media across South Asia continue to operate in challenging political and economic environments. Threats to journalists, media outlets and press freedom are widespread. At the same time, growing media concentration and a fast-changing business environment, coupled with the lingering impact of Covid-19, create further challenges for independent media. The imperative to harness the potential for financial sustainability is more critical than ever.”
Amplify Asia matches the specific business development needs of each of its media partners with the knowledge and skills of a senior regional 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, Amplify Asia 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 are also small grants and a seed equity investment facility for those participating media that meet program criteria.
Eight openings in the program are available for eligible media from Southeast Asia or Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka to join 11 existing media participants. The deadline for submissions is 9 January 2023. Eligibility criteria include:
- Media companies (for-profit) or not-for-profit organizations committed to providing credible, independent news, information or public interest debate for audiences based primarily in South and Southeast Asia.
- Independent from the government or any other political or economic interest group.
- Supportive of democratic practices and institutions, political pluralism, transparency, human rights, dignity and equal rights for all, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion and other subjects of discrimination.
- Operating in countries where access to reliable information is limited.
- Legally registered, except in extraordinary circumstances.
- Committed to developing a path to financial sustainability.
- Having sufficient capacity to produce regular financial reports.
- Willing to commit sufficient time to work with coaches/mentors and carry out assigned tasks.
Applicants from Southeast Asia or Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka who meet the above criteria and are interested in participating in Amplify Asia should complete the application form here.
The deadline for applications is 9 January 2023.