Media advisory services

Our approach

The media industry is undergoing one of the most intensive periods of disruption in its history, with rapid technological changes presenting unprecedented challenges - and opportunities - to news businesses. While traditional print and broadcast media may prosper for years to come in some emerging markets, as audiences and advertising budgets move online, all news businesses that don't already have a strong online presence need to move towards a digital future. At the same time, the continuing disruption in the market means that even the newest digital native companies must keep evolving to stay relevant - change is the only constant.

Ever since we made our first loan in 1996, we have used technical assistance (TA) to support our investments. This capacity support is an integral part of our mission, reflecting our commitment to help clients leverage the financing we provide so they can build sustainable businesses around their core values. Our global practice has served virtually every one of our clients. We provide clients with the advice and information they need to make critical decisions about their business. We believe that to achieve its full potential, a news organization must continuously improve its performance, and we work to help clients build a culture of ongoing reflection and improvement.

MAS helps clients navigate the complex challenges they face by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, tools and systems they need to implement change. Our in-house and external professionals deliver measurable and sustainable improvements in business performance to clients, strengthening capacity in the following areas:

Editorial tools, audience development

Improving editorial efficiency and audience engagement with content

Senior management
 and execution

Shifting skills and strategy to build more comprehensive operations

Technology

Using emerging technologies, platforms, security and analytics tools to improve news delivery and accelerate growth

Financial management and sustainability

Improving financial analysis and deepening its role in decision-making and planning

Revenue, business development

Understanding digital media ecosystem, redefining revenue strategy, setting and attaining organizational goals

Corporate

governance

Enhancing the capacity to effectively govern the organization's operations

Targeted TA

MAS responds to the specific needs of clients in line with our Media Capability Model - an internally developed evaluation framework to facilitate assessment, systematic planning and monitoring of capacity development across a client company. We use a results-based management approach to monitor and evaluate these activities and to further develop the assistance we provide.

Our TA activities provide different levels of training and consulting, depending on the specific needs of the client. We provide dozens of interventions each year, from one-on-one consultancies to group workshops, mentoring and certified courses. We develop resources for media managers, including handbooks and guidelines, and foster cross-client learning through visits and other knowledge-sharing events. MAS also provides clients with small grants to support its TA.

Optimizing impact

MAS collaborates with a number of partner organizations. For example, our clients participate in events organized by, or in cooperation with, other institutions, such as Media Party in Buenos Aires, WAN-IFRA India in Chennai and Google News Lab. We also use a network of external consultants to provide TA in areas where we lack in-house subject expertise.

We carry out systematic monitoring and evaluation of our activities to ensure that we meet the objectives of each training or intervention. For example, we may require a client to define KPIs as a measurable outcome of an activity, which we track over time to assess the effectiveness of our support. Workshop participants are required to fill in feedback questionnaires to indicate their satisfaction level and effectiveness of the training they have received, which helps us to continually improve our services.

With MDIF’s expert assistance, we almost doubled the size of our audience. We produced twice as many articles and blog content in 2018

Nómada, Guatemala

[The MAS] visit was an exceptional moment. The intense work done in those days helped us determine costs and revenue margins to products and services … We consider it a turning point in the history of GK … With MDIF we feel we don’t walk alone.

GK, Ecuador

Thanks to a grant received, we were able to organize training and significantly improve the professionalism of our reporters in all aspects of online journalism

Molodoy Bukowinetz, Ukraine

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