By Sheriff Ibrahim
The International Center for Journalists, ICFJ, has selected tow Kwara based media outfits; The Informant247 and Sobi 101.9FM for the second edition of the business hub called Elevate.
The media programme which is designed to last for seven months will provide financial backed support for 20 small and medium-sized independent news platforms.
The Informant247 and Soni 101.9FM are the only two media houses in Nigeria that have been selected to join other participants to identify the biggest business challenges militating against their growth.
The ICFJ in a press release on Friday, May 5, revealed that the Elevate programme would help the news platforms, which were drawn from 17 countries, to build stronger, more resilient media outlets.
ICFJ said, “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”.
ICFJ highlighted some of the opportunities to be enjoyed by the participants to include intensive training, mentorship and funding.
It also stressed that the selected media platforms would be equipped 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 independent media face serious financial issues, maintaining that Elevate is aimed at 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 long-term,” 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.”
Reacting to the development, the Publisher of the Informant247, Shola Saliu Taofeek noted that the shortlisting of the medium is a testament to its growing status and its impacts in providing solution based journalism.
“This development recognizes our growing status and our constant efforts in providing critical and solution based journalism over the years.
“For us, we will maximise this opportunity and ensure that we keep up with the values and principles that has placed us strategically in the delivery of real time and impacful stories to our audience” he said.
The Informant247 is reputed for providing critical and investigative stories that has impacted the society positively.
It also has several in-depth and broad publications on social accountability, project tracking and fact checking through its Fact check247 platform. The medium is also known for organising training for both aspiring and established journalists in a bid to meet up with the current trend of the job.