Our work

Investing in Media

MDIF provides affordable debt and equity financing to independent news and information businesses in countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. Our capital and technical assistance help independent companies to compete with media that represent the interests of governments and the powerful, enabling them to build robust businesses around the values of fact-based news, informed opinion and open debate. We invest in companies from early to growth-stage and operate our investments through a fund structure.

Since
1995

MDIF has invested
$236.2m

in 122
independent media businesses

in 42 countries where access to information is under threat

The media industry is in a period of rapid technological change presenting unprecedented challenges - and opportunities for well-placed companies - to media businesses. We support our investments with specialist advice and assistance to help clients maximize the impact of our financing. Our in-house specialists and outside consultants provide clients with one-on-one advice and group training on issues ranging from the granular to the strategic, from optimizing ad networks to developing new products. Our Media Advisory Services equips clients with the information they need to make critical decisions about the direction of their business.

Initiatives

MDIF innovates at the intersection of philanthropy, investing and media development. Our work to develop the sector focuses on three areas: building future media; impact investing in media; and creating and measuring social impact. Our initiatives range from pioneering mentoring and digital development programs in Myanmar and South Africa to launching the leading European prize for excellence in journalism. Centered on the twin principles of editorial independence and sustainable business, our initiatives provide pioneering support for media that expose corruption, hold the powerful to account and provide a platform for debate.

Myanmar Media Program (MMP)

MMP is a unique program for independent media organisations in Myanmar, helping to build news companies that can support the country’s ongoing democratic transition.

South African Media Innovation Program (SAMIP)

SAMIP is a 3-year, $4 million initiative to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets and encourage new entrants to the South African market.

Southeast Asia Technical Assistance Initiative (SEATAI)

SEATAI strengthens independent media across Southeast Asia through an innovative coaching program to build business capacity.

Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED)

MDIF is partnering with a consortium of other media development organisations in the Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED) programme to support the provision of public interest media in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.

European Press Prize
 (EPP)

Quality journalism is of vital importance to healthy democracies. Co-founded by MDIF in 2012, the EPP salutes and encourages journalism of the highest quality from all 47 countries of Europe.

Membership Puzzle Project

MDIF is the institutional home of the Membership Puzzle Project and the $400,000 Membership in News Fund, which provide world-leading knowledge and assistance to media seeking to build sustainable membership models.

Apply for financing

Applying for financing is a detailed process - it is a major commitment for a news company and for MDIF. We need to fully understand your business, and applicants need to understand the demands that we will make on them should they be successful. We select clients based on three broad criteria: mission impact in relation to investment; potential for long-term viability; and editorial integrity.

Follow these three steps to apply:

1

Eligibility criteria

Check whether your news company might be eligible for MDIF financing.

2

Application process

Take a look at the application process so you know what we will ask of you and what you can expect from us.

3

Inquiry form

If you would like to apply,
 complete an inquiry form.

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