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. We invest capital and technical assistance to 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.
Investing in Media
MDIF has invested
independent media businesses
in 46 countries where access to information is under threat
media advisory services
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 maximise 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 optimising 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.
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 programmes in South Africa to launching the leading European prize for excellence in journalism. Centred 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.
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.
MDIF Ventures invests in young media ventures with a positive social impact and the potential to scale. It focuses on projects located or serving audiences in countries where access to free and independent news and information is under threat.
Southeast Asia Technical Assistance Initiative (SEATAI)
SEATAI strengthens independent media across Southeast Asia through an innovative coaching program to build business capacity.
Nigeria Media Innovation Program (NAMIP)
NAMIP is a 3-year initiative working to increase capacity, generate sustainable and diverse revenue streams, and build audiences of independent media in Nigeria, particularly those reaching underserved communities. Launched in February 2022, it supports editorial independence by strengthening financial sustainability.
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.