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Sixteen media selected for Membership in News Fund

We are pleased to announce the 16 newsrooms selected to join the Membership in News Fund, a global fund to catalyze membership design in newsrooms around the world.

Participating media cover a wide range of editorial approaches and geographies, from an Arab-language satirical newsroom to a Colombian podcast studio, from a hyperlocal news organisation in southwestern Zimbabwe to a legacy investigative newsroom in Indonesia. See below for a full list of participants.

The Membership in News Fund helps news organizations build strong and flexible relationships with their audience members that can drive greater sustainability and impact. Implemented by the Membership Puzzle Project and Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) and supported by Luminate, participants will receive targeted coaching and access to membership experts as they further engage with the communities they serve to increase reader engagement and membership outreach.

“We’re excited about everything these newsrooms and Membership Puzzle Project will learn about how membership works – and doesn’t work – in a wide variety of political, social, and economic contexts,” said Ariel Zirulnick, director of the Membership in News Fund. “MPP will document and share those lessons after the cohort concludes in summer 2021.”

“We are thrilled to be working with some of the most imaginative and dynamic independent media in the world,” said Harlan Mandel, MDIF CEO. “We aim to provide them with the support they need to further deepen their understanding of their audiences and build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with their communities.”

In addition to funds, the grantees – which comprise 14 news organizations serving communities in 12 countries on five continents, plus one regional and one global outlet – will receive dedicated coaching and newsroom expertise in topics such as marketing, newsletters, community building, and audience development.

The $400,000 Membership in News Fund initiative received 219 applications from news organizations worldwide whose efforts to sustain their newsrooms and bring them closer to their audience members are vital in today’s media environment. Work with the grantees has already started and will run until August 2021.

 

The full list of participating media is:

Agência Lupa Agência Lupa is a Brazilian hub against misinformation that provides fact checked content for other media organizations and develops media literacy programs. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to deepen audience engagement and diversify their revenue sources through the launch of a membership program.

AlhudoodAlhudood is an Arab satirical news organization that uses humor to cover politics, social and economic trends, religion and sectarianism, and other critical issues. The Membership in News Fund will support the re-launch of their membership program, which was put on hold during the pandemic.

BOOM (India) – BOOM (boomlive) is an India-based news organization that fights misinformation through fact checking, media literacy, and explanatory journalism in India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to deepen audience engagement and diversify their revenue sources through the launch of a membership program.

CIPER– CIPER is a Chilean investigative news organization that strengthens democracy and promotes an informed public by making critical policy issues more accessible and developing tools to empower citizens. They launched their membership program in August 2019, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

Daily Trust The Daily Trust is one of Nigeria’s largest daily news organizations. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to deepen audience engagement and diversify their revenue sources through the launch of a membership program.

El Faro El Faro is an investigative news organization covering Central America. They launched their membership program in 2017, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

Global Voices – Global Voices is an international, multilingual community of writers, journalists, translators, academics, and digital rights and freedom of expression activists who cover issues and stories vital to their communities, primarily in the Global South. The Membership in News Fund will support the launch of a membership program to complement their Community Council and contributor network.

La No Ficción – La No Ficción is a Colombian podcast studio company that specializes in investigative storytelling. They launched their membership program in November 2019, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

444 444 is an independent Hungarian digital news organization that publishes news, on-the-ground reporting, analysis, and in-depth investigation journalism so that Hungarians can make informed decisions about their lives, health, and security. They launched their membership program in 2020, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

Mail & Guardian – The Mail & Guardian was founded at the height of apartheid to inform the South African public through quality journalism, and continues to set the news agenda and hold power to account. The Membership in News Fund will support the development of a membership strategy for their online opinion community, Thought Leader.

ShoTam – ShoTam is a Ukrainian news organization that produces constructive journalism in an effort to support social trust, cohesion, and civic engagement. They launched their membership program in 2020, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

TempoTempo is an independent Indonesian news organization that launched as a weekly magazine in 1971 and now publishes daily investigative and in-depth news coverage as well. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to deepen audience engagement and explore a membership strategy for Tempo.

The Citizen BulletinThe Citizen Bulletin is a Zimbabwean nonprofit news organization that produces hard-hitting, hyperlocal reporting and analysis for the southwestern region of Matabeleland. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to build a loyal community around their news products and launch a membership program that matches the capacity of their audience members.

The News Minute The News Minute is an Indian news organization that produces journalism about south India, from south India. They launched their membership program in 2020, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

The Ukrainians MediaThe Ukrainians Media is a Ukrainian independent media ecosystem comprising a number of media projects (The Ukrainians, Reporters, Creatives, NZL, Chytanka) to shape proactive urban youth and facilitate positive social change through longread interviews and reporting. They launched their membership program in 2020, and the Membership in News Fund will support further development of their membership strategy.

Volume – Volume is a podcasting company based in South Africa that produces quality longform audio reporting. The Membership in News Fund will support their effort to build a membership program across their full suite of podcasts.

 

For more information contact:

Peter Whitehead, MDIF Director of Communications: peter.whitehead@mdif.org

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