Accelerating Digital Businesses aims to help Brazilian media innovate for the digital era, building stronger, financially sustainable news organizations that better serve the public.
A total of 80 organizations and 80 independent journalists were selected to participate in the second phase of the Accelerating Digital Businesses program run by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). Participants will receive five months of exclusive mentoring with media and business experts, as well as innovation funds of up to $15,000 to develop their projects.
Accelerating Digital Businesses is an ICFJ program, supported by Meta and developed in partnership with several media associations (Abert, Aner, ANJ, Ajor, Abraji and ABMD), in order to meet the specific needs and challenges based on their different business models.
The grant recipients are from news organizations in 20 Brazilian states plus the Federal District, covering all regions of the country. In addition to regional diversity, Accelerating Digital Businesses supports a wide range of different kinds of media, from radio and TV to digital and print news outlets, ranging in size from small startup teams to large, legacy media.
The program will support projects that include developing new media products, implementing new revenue/monetization models, launching data journalism initiatives, pursuing special reports on fundamental topics for Brazilian society, and developing better ways to reach audiences in so-called “news deserts.”
The selected grant recipients initially took part in a training phase that drew 1,534 people. These included staff from 473 media organizations, as well as freelance journalists. Today, Accelerating Digital Businesses is one of ICFJ’s biggest programs.
During the training sessions, media producers from 254 different Brazilian cities learned from national and international guests on topics such as the present and future of digital media, new platforms and formats for media, audience-centered media approaches, audience retention, product development, data-driven decision-making processes, innovative revenue models, how media organizations can benefit from Customer Life-Time Value (CLV) calculations, digital security, and cultural transformation. See the toolkit with articles about all topics covered by the training sessions.
Guest speakers on the program included Jeremy Caplan, director of teaching and learning at CUNY's Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York City; Jon Laurence, executive production supervisor for AJ+; and Jennifer Brandel, co-founder of Hearken.
Accelerating Digital Businesses is part of ICFJ's efforts to help independent newsrooms thrive financially, adopting effective business models to ensure they can serve their audiences well into the future. Learn more about ICFJ’s Thrive programming.