Amplify Asia aims to strengthen independent media in the region through an innovative coaching program to build their business capacity and financial sustainability. Eight openings are currently available for eligible media from selected countries in South and Southeast Asia. The deadline for submissions is 9 January 2023.
What is Amplify Asia?
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.
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.
As in Southeast Asia, independent media in many countries in South Asia continue to operate in challenging political and economic environments. Threats to journalists, media outlets and press freedom are widespread in the region. 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 everywhere. 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.
Amplify Asia supports the business development of independent media. There are strict eligibility conditions for participation. 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.
For further information on Amplify Asia, see Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Media from which countries can apply?
Media from the following South Asian countries may apply: Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Media from the following Southeast Asian countries may apply: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
Will Amplify Asia be extended to other countries later?
We do not have an expansion planned at this time.
What time commitment is required to participate in Amplify Asia?
Coaching schedules are based on agreement between the media and the coach assigned to work with them, but virtual meetings are usually weekly, bi-weekly or monthly with periodic in-person coaching meetings as well. At least two of the media’s top executives should be ready to participate regularly in the coaching program.
Will you give me a grant?
Amplify Asia principally provides capacity-building support in the form of coaching and training. The program does have a small grant facility to support new initiatives designed to extend audience reach or increase revenue, provided the media’s coach endorses them.
How can I apply?
Click here. We look forward to hearing from you. The deadline for applications is January 9, 2023.
Will an application submitted in a language other than English be considered?
No. While Amplify Asia supports and encourages local language projects, the application must be in English.
Can non-profit media organizations apply?
Yes, but they must be committed to developing non-donor revenue streams.
I have another question that isn’t answered here.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact Program Officer for Asia Mayuri Mei Lin.
What is the deadline to apply?
The deadline to apply to participate in Amplify Asia is 9 January 2023.