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.
Amplify Asia is an innovative coaching program to strengthen the business capacity and financial sustainability of independent media in the region. It provides assistance on issues ranging from business strategy to SEO and sales training. 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.
Amplify Europe supports the business sustainability of promising independent digital media companies from selected countries in Europe. Its tailored mentoring and other assistance seek to help media increase their management capacity, build audiences and generate sustainable and diverse revenue streams. Amplify Europe is piloting its support in Bulgaria and Romania from November 2022 before expanding to other countries of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe in 2023.
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.
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. Building on the success of DNV I, which from 2012 to 2015 invested $3.8 million in early-stage digital media companies, MDIF Ventures invests in companies along the early-stage spectrum, from pre-seed ("friends and family" and angel rounds) through to participating in growth or Series A financing rounds.
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 seeks to support the editorial independence of Nigerian media organisations by strengthening their financial sustainability. NAMIP fosters innovation and experimentation through coaching and training, supported by small grants.
Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED)
MDIF is partnering in the Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED) program to support the provision of public interest media in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the program is implemented by a consortium of media support organisations with expertise in different aspects of media and development. MDIF has Ethiopia as its main target country, focusing on capacity building and mentoring of selected media companies, with the aim of increasing their sustainability and strengthening their ability to provide the public with accurate, balanced information that enables them to make informed decisions.
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.
Membership Puzzle Project
Founded in 2017 with funding from Luminate, the Membership Puzzle Project:
- Collects what's already known about making membership work.
- Researches all the ways that community members can contribute.
- Funds innovative membership models to identify best practices.
- Synthesizes the key membership lessons.
Since September 2020, MDIF has provided an institutional home for the Membership Puzzle Project.