MDIF has initiated a wide range of projects to support independent media in emerging and frontier markets. Our initiatives focus on three areas at the intersection of philanthropy and media development: building future media; impact investing in media; and creating and measuring social impact.

Activities include:

Myanmar Media Program (MMP)

MDIF is implementing a unique media development program for independent media institutions in Myanmar. The Myanmar Media Program supports the sustainability of the media sector by improving select organisations’ business and management capacity. It provides intensive mentoring and other tailored technical assistance to a dozen national and local independent media organizations. An additional two dozen media have access to a less intensive capacity building program designed to fit their specific needs.


South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP)

Launched in August 2017, SAMIP is a $4 million, 3-year initiative to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets and encourage new entrants to the South African market. It provides funding and mentorship to help startups and established companies diversify digital revenues and build products that resonate with their audiences. SAMIP fosters innovation in how media find and tell stories, and innovation in developing new and sustainable business models.


European Press Prize

Quality journalism is of vital importance to healthy democracies, especially during a global epidemic of misinformation. Formed by seven media-owning foundations committed to enhancing public debate, including MDIF, the EPP salutes and encourages journalism of the highest quality from all 47 countries of Europe. Prizes are awarded annually for the best investigative reporting, reportage, opinion and journalism innovation.


Beyond Disruption

In 2016, MDIF curated a gathering of 50 global practitioners, scholars and thinkers - funded by Open Society Foundations' Program on Independent Journalism and Stichting Democratie en Media - to explore the state of public debate and the crisis in civic media. After three days of discussions and explorations, participants devised a series of practical philanthropy-driven experiments to explore new ways of nurturing a well-informed society. Discussions and experimentation continue. These discussions have sparked a range of actions to support the flow of meaningful information in civil society, and continue to inform MDIF’s initiatives around the world.