ICFJ's News Business Hub Announces New Cohort

By: 05/04/2023

News leaders from 18 countries will supercharge their efforts this year to build stronger, more resilient media outlets through Elevate, ICFJ’s news business hub.

The hub, in its second year, will support a cohort of 21 small- and medium-sized independent news organizations that provide vital reporting to their communities on everything from human rights and gender to local news and politics. Participants hail from across the world, including Afghanistan, South Sudan, Ukraine, Venezuela and other countries where journalists face numerous difficulties in addition to funding challenges.

Through Elevate, participants will identify the biggest business obstacles in the way of growth and will innovate to overcome them. The hub provides intensive training, mentorship and funding, equipping news leaders with skills and knowledge around four key areas: business strategy, operations and finance, technology and new media, and communications and marketing. 

“A lack of financial stability presents a threat to independent media wherever they operate, and that’s why ICFJ is focused on building more resilient news operations,” said ICFJ President Sharon Moshavi. “The new Elevate cohort is a fantastic group, often working in difficult circumstances, to serve their communities with much-needed, accurate reporting. We’re proud to help them deliver meaningful journalism longterm.”


How It Works

The Elevate cohort will start with a “knowledge sprint” that includes master classes and coaching sessions with professors from Babson College Executive Education, the no. 1 institution for entrepreneurship according to several rankings. This four-month phase will also include expert-led workshops, town halls and collective mentorship. Participants will come out of the knowledge sprint with fully revamped business plans, comprehensive finance strategies, marketing roadmaps, and new technology strategies to help their organizations thrive.

Afterward, a braintrust of business experts – executives from the corporate world, technologists and top-notch trainers – will provide tailored mentorship to participants selected to advance. The final participants will be eligible to apply for up to USD$10,000 in grant funding to implement innovative business solutions.

In March, the Elevate team hosted four pre-Elevate webinars to introduce participants to the basics of media business sustainability. Led by Elevate’s expert mentors, pre-Elevate reached over 600 participants.

Who Is Participating

ICFJ selected the 21 news organizations listed below from more than 70 applicants. The vast majority are digital outlets reaching their audiences first and foremost with online content,  focusing on a variety of types of journalism, such as local news, political coverage, data journalism, education, gender and health. On average, Elevate’s participants have seven to ten people in their newsrooms, and an annual revenue between $50,000 and 250,000. 

 


The selection process included several ICFJ staff and consultants with specialized expertise, incorporating lessons learned from Elevate’s first cohort. 

This initiative is supported by ICFJ's It Takes a Journalist campaign, which was designed to help journalists meet the most urgent challenges of today. ICFJ is grateful to the dozens of individual donors who have contributed to the campaign fund to date, allowing the organization to flexibly deploy resources where they are most needed.

An independent evaluation of the 17 news organizations that went through Elevate in 2022 found that, in just eight months, they had achieved overall average growth of 13% in revenue and 18% in monthly users. Learn more.

Learn more about our grantees and their projects below.

 

Region

Organization

Country

Organization's Focus

Africa
 
iHubOnline Malawi Local/City/Region
Africa
 
SOBI FM Nigeria Other

Africa

The Informant247

Nigeria

Politics

Africa

TRC

South Sudan

Education

Americas
 

100fronteiras

Brazil

Local/City/Region

Americas

Arepita

Venezuela

Human Rights

Americas
 
Convoca Peru Data Journalism
Americas
 
Data Crítica Mexico Data Journalism

Americas

Periodismo de Barrio

Cuba

Human Rights

Americas

Serendipia

Mexico

Data Journalism

Asia

Himal

Nepal

Local/City/Region

Asia

Infocom

Armenia

Politics

Asia
 
Suno India India Other
Asia TOK Pakistan Local/City/Region
Europe
 
CINS Serbia Other

Europe

DFWatch

Georgia

Human Rights

Europe

Geneva Health Files

Switzerland

Health

Europe

Publika

Georgia

Data Journalism

Europe

Socportal Media Agency

Ukraine

Other

MENA (Middle East + North of Africa) APA Images State of Palestine Politics

MENA (Middle East + North of Africa)

AWNA

Afghanistan

Gender

 

Editor's note: this story was updated on May 8, 2023 to include the organization TOK.

News Category
Country/Region

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