ICFJ selects two Nigerian media outlets for new cohort

TWO Nigerian media organisations have been selected to join the second cohort of the business hub of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Elevate.

The second cohort of the business hub will support 20 small and medium-sized independent news organisations that provide vital reporting to their communities on issues such as human rights, gender, local news and politics. 

The two media organisations from Nigeria – Informant 247 and Sobi FM -would join other participants to identify the biggest business obstacles in the way of growth and will innovate to overcome them.

A statement released by the ICFJ on Friday, May 5, said the news organisations, which were selected from 17 countries, will supercharge their efforts this year to build stronger, more resilient media outlets through the Elevate program.

According to ICFJ, “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”.

The hub also 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. 

The ICFJ President Sharon Moshavi said financial stability is one of the biggest threats to independent media, adding that the organisation is focused on building more resilient news operations. 

“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,” Moshavi said.

“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,” he said.

The statement added: “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 organisations 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.”

    The ICIR was among 18 media organisations selected to participate in the first cohort of the International Center for Journalists Business Hub, Elevate.

    The media organisations were selected from different regions of the world, with focus on various types of journalism.

    According to ICFJ, an independent evaluation of the 18 news organisations that went through Elevate in 2022 found that, in just eight months, they had achieved overall average growth of 13 per cent in revenue and 18 per cent in monthly users.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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