Media
Garage

Extensive tuning
of your media operation

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Solidarity Fund PL in cooperation with Outriders Studio introduces new media support programme Media Garage addressed to independent media creators in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. We aim at strengthening media accountability, improving their capacities and providing selected outlets with financial support. With a series of workshops and an elaborate mentoring agenda, we strive to improve not only the quality of produced content but also to help the participants with their day-to-day management and distribution strategies.

In the nine-month-long pilot programme, the selected participants will have an opportunity to take part in intensive consultations led by the professional media experts and practitioners, as well as receive training during workshops and seminars tailored specifically to their needs. All parts of the programme will have a strictly practical character related to various aspects of media activity.

How
will it work?

Who can apply?

The programme is addressed to every active independent media creator regardless of the medium, experience or position one may have. You don’t have to be a registered media outlet to participate, but you should have a track record of activity in the media sphere and be willing to develop it further. It is possible that you are registered not as a media outlet, but as a civil society organisation. This programme is aimed at independent media creators, which means that you should not represent the public broadcasters.

The programme focuses on media outlets active in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. While you don’t have to be based in these countries to be eligible for the programme, your activity must be linked to the local media markets.

All participants invited to the programme need to know English fluently. Training sessions and mentoring programme will be held exclusively in this language. There won’t be time to catch up on language during the programme.

What is at stake

If you are selected to participate in the programme, you will be invited to a series of initatives organised for you by the Outriders team. First of all, the experts will analyse your current situation in terms of your needs and plans. You will be provided with a series of at least three training sessions held in Warsaw, 3-5 days each, during which you will learn modern content creation techniques, media management and business strategies. Then, you will be expected to introduce these solutions into your daily practice. To facilitate the process, you will be offered an experienced mentor. Finally, if you stay committed to improving your performance, your outlet will be supported with a grant of a total sum up to 25.000 EUR.

What will I have to do?

In order to be eligible, you must prove your independence from political parties and other political actors. To be considered for participation, you will have to disclose your financing scheme and agree to become subject to content screening. 

You will be required to sign a contract specifying your and our obligations as well as code of conduct. We also expect you to participate in the offered training sessions and to accept the mentoring programme. Finally, you need to be ready to embrace the change in the way your outlet functions. Only then we will be ready to finance your ideas and further development. 

Apply

How to apply?

Check if you are eligible. If you are, please fill in the questionnaire. The deadline for applications is May 20th at 23:59. Please be concise and honest in your answers. If any of what you wrote turns out to be false, you will be disqualified. Then, a maximum of ten applicants/media outlets will be selected to participate in the Outriders session from June 4th till June 6th 2019 in Warsaw, Poland. You may come only for one or two days depending on how will your schedule allow. Our experts will hold interviews with you in order to better know your needs and expectations. Do not worry about the costs, your participation will be covered by the Solidarity Fund PL. By May 25th 2019 you will be notified whether you have been accepted to join the programme. We expect to help 3-5 media outlets in this edition of the programme. Don’t worry if you don’t succeed, you may be selected in case someone resigns and you still stand a chance in potential future editions. For more information please consult our FAQ section.

Apply now

Timeline

We are waiting for your application until May 20th until 23:59. Media Garage project will last from 7 till 10 months – depending on your needs. 

30.04.2019
Recruitment process starts.
20.05.2019
Final deadline to submit your proposal.
4-6.06.2019
Interviews in Warsaw with finalists.
15.06.2019
Winners announced!
15-19.07.2019
First workshop session
2-7.09.2019
Second workshop session
25-27.11.2019
Third workshop session

FAQ

How much time will I need to participate in the programme?

Participation in the programme is a considerable commitment. If selected, you will have to join us for one day in Warsaw  between 4-6 June 2019 for interviews. Then, if selected again, you will have to participate in at least three training sessions in Warsaw, each taking between 3 and 5 days. You also need to secure time for consulting your mentor. Finally, the work on your own project will most likely take much time. 

I really want to take part in the programme, but I don't speak English very well. What should I do?

We are sorry, but this time we need participants that are able to communicate in English. If you speak some English, but are not sure if it is enough, do apply. We will verify that during the interviews. If you don’t speak English at all, don’t worry. We hope to accommodate your needs next time, stay tuned.  

I don't need training, I need money. Can I get it?

Sorry, the programme is a package deal. We hope to go beyond simple financing and provide our participants with ideas and know-how. If you want funding, you have to go through the entire cycle and apply the knowledge you will get. 

I don't need money, but I would love to use training. Can I get it?

Once again, the programme is a package deal. We hope to get participants that are interested in joining us for the training sessions and then introduce substantial changes in their projects. However, you can still apply and try to convince us at the interviews. 

What if I don't like what you offer and quit?

You can quit at any stage of the process. However, you will lose the opportunity of receiving funding and will not be considered in any future calls. 

What if I fail to do what you request?

Failing is a part of the learning process. If you fail due to external circumstances, you will not face any consequences on our side. If you fail because of negligence, your funding will be cancelled. 

How much money can I get?

We can contribute to your development with an amount up to 25.000 EUR. The exact sum will be determined basing on your needs and our experts’ assessment. If you go through the programme and follow the advice you receive, you will get the funding in tranches: advance payment and final payment upon completion of the programme. 

How many people can join training sessions?

There is no maximum and no minimum of trainees per one media outlet. It largely depends on the size of your organisation. However, to secure optimal effectiveness, we suggest delegating no more than 1/3 of your core team or no more than 5 persons, whichever is applicable in your case. The participants should be selected basing on the theme of a particular workshop, i.e. journalists should join the content-related sessions, managers the ones related to their tasks, and so on. 

Who are the mentors? What will they do?

Mentors will be carefully selected experts in different fields of media activity. Their role is not to take over your project, but to help you develop it. They will not tell you what to do but will show you your own strengths and weaknesses. They will demonstrate you the available options you have and related potential risks.  

What if I disagree with the mentor?

Mentoring is a process based on dialogue. You will not be forced to do anything that you are not comfortable doing. At the same time, you should keep an open mind and be willing to try new approaches. 

I don't understand why you need to see my financial records. Can I keep them for myself?

Unfortunately, not. We cannot help you if we don’t know how you operate. Moreover, we want to make sure that you are not dependent on any of the political actors in your country. 

I don't have enough money to travel. Can you help me?

Yes, if you are selected, your participation in the interviews in Warsaw will be covered by us. Both flights and accommodation. We also offer you some reimbursement and pocket money for all the days that you will spend with us in Warsaw. 

I don't have an established media activity, but I am thinking of having one. Can I apply?

Sorry, we don’t finance start-ups this time. The programme is designed to help those, who want to boost their ongoing projects. However, if you are absolutely sure that your idea is a game changer, contact us. 

I am not from Ukraine, Moldova or Belarus. Why am I excluded from the programme?

This edition of the programme is a pilot version. If successful, we hope it could be expanded to your country as well. 

I work in a part of the country that is not controlled by the central government. Does it exclude me from participation?

Not at all. As long as you operate in the territory of Belarus, Moldova or Ukraine within their internationally recognised borders, you can apply. 

Still have questions? Write to us!

Email: mediagarage@solidarityfund.pl

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