ImpactAlpha, September 28 — Last year’s youth-led uprising against police brutality spurred Nigeria’s biggest anti-government protests in a generation. MDIF launched a three-year program in Nigeria earlier this year to help independent media organizations in the country improve financial stability to maintain their independence.
“Political risk is part of our business model,” Harlan Mandel of Media Development Investment Fund told ImpactAlpha. “If there is no political risk, we’re not going to work in a given country” (see, “How Media Development Investment Fund calculates political risk to back press freedom”).
Among the first cohort of participants is Prime Progress, a solutions-focused online platform that documents how people and groups respond and solve humanitarian, economic and social issues in Nigeria; Edugist, an impact media organization reporting on education news in Africa on air, online and in local communities and in person; and Culture Custodia, a youth-focused platform that focuses on trending stories and events that matter to African millennials.
Participants in the program will receive grant funding, technical assistance and other support services from MDIF. The New York-based nonprofit media investment fund supports independent news outlets and information businesses in places where freedom is under threat.
MDIF’s funds have deployed over $100 million in debt and equity funding since 1996 for media companies in 40 countries, such as Malawi, Serbia, India and most recently Ukraine. The Nigerian Guild of Editors in May called for the protection of independent media from elected leaders in Nigeria.