Media Leaders from ICFJ’s ‘Elevate’ Receive Grants to Pursue Business-Bolstering Projects

By: ICFJ | 01/05/2024

Media leaders from an investigative journalism organization in Peru, a multilingual news outlet covering human rights and more in Ukraine, and a news organization tracking global health policy from Geneva are among those that will receive grant funding from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to strengthen their businesses.

The five recipients – in Georgia, Nepal, Peru, Switzerland and Ukraine – were selected after taking part in Elevate, ICFJ’s news business hub. They will use the $10,000 grants to develop new revenue streams and expand existing ones.

“The select news organizations are investing in pivotal projects to accelerate their growth, expanding on initiatives they developed with mentors during our intensive, eight-month program,” said Renata Salvini, who manages the program for ICFJ. 

ICFJ’s Elevate develops business skills among C-level executives in order to promote sustainable newsroom growth. In 2023, it provided expert training and mentorship to 21 small- and medium-sized news organizations in 18 countries. Participants are supported with four tracks: business strategy, operations and finance, technology and new media, and communications and marketing. Highlights from the most recent cohort include:
 

  • 100Fronteiras in Brazil is projecting a 20% revenue increase and 15% cost reduction based on changes made as a result of the program.
  • Socportal in Ukraine launched a PR service for nonprofits that is expected to be its primary revenue source moving forward.
  • Geneva Health Files in Switzerland increased its subscribers, a quarter of which are now paying for their subscriptions.


“The media leaders we work with are often journalists first, skilled at chasing the story and committed to informing the public,” Salvini said. “But in order to keep the truth flowing, they also must figure out how to sustain their media organizations, a huge challenge. Elevate provides critical support that strengthens business savvy and fosters a fundamental mindset shift.”

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.

Read more about the grant recipients from this cohort and their projects below.
 

Convoca
 

Location: Peru

About: Convoca is an investigative journalism organization founded in 2014 by reporters, data analysts and programmers in Peru. They created the data-driven investigative journalistic platform Convoca.pe to systematically investigate the networks of political and corporate power that affect the lives of citizens.

Project description: Develop two new platforms for schools and other paying clients: Games for News, an educational video game platform, and Escuela Convoca, an education space dedicated to teaching investigative journalism, data analysis, and fact-checking. Convoca will also develop a marketing and sales strategy for the products.


Socportal Media Agency
 

Location: Ukraine

About: Socportal shares fair, detailed news on Ukraine in four languages, with regular coverage of the war and its impact on civilians. They focus on human rights, social inclusion, education, health, retirement, and work trends. Their special reports include a video project on the war and a reporting series on refugees and displaced persons.

Project description: Build out a new revenue stream developed through Elevate - a specialized PR service for nonprofits and social services organizations interested in serving Ukraine, amplifying the voices of NGOs and thus contributing to social awareness and change


Geneva Health Files
 

Location: Switzerland

About: Geneva Health Files is an investigative, inter-disciplinary reporting initiative that seeks to report on power and politics in global health. The independent reporting initiative tracks international health policy as it unfolds in the capital of global health – Geneva, Switzerland.

Project description: Create a subscription revenue model using audience analysis to determine a pricing structure to convert free readers into paid subscribers
 

Publika
 

Location: Georgia

About: Publika is an online publication produced by a team of experienced editors and reporters that offers its readers factual, impartial, quality journalism.The outlet’s purpose aims to equip citizens with the information they need to make the informed decisions necessary for a vibrant, healthy democracy.

Project description: Launch new digital distribution channels and pursue ad revenue for niche audiences,  decreasing reliance on grants and donors as a revenue stream
 

Himalmedia
 

Location: Nepal

About: Himalmedia is a multi-platform media company that publishes the Nepali-language Himal Khabarpatrika and the English-language Nepali Times. It strives through nonpartisan journalism to safeguard Nepal's democracy, freedom of press, pluralism and progress.

Project description: Prepare the infrastructure to transition a legacy media to a digital publication through reformulating the website to be more mobile-friendly and investing in multimedia content production

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