Community Media Fund
Across Africa, a large and growing community media sector provides a unique and significant service, making available news and information to and about local and provincial communities (often not reached or well covered by traditional media). Often, they are the only media providing coverage in local languages.
The Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) and the Ford Foundation have partnered to establish a Community Media Fund (CMF) that provides critical philanthropic support to enhance citizens’ access to information that enables the public to support public policies and practices that promote inclusive economic and human development.
CMF has awarded 15 grants to organizations in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa that are intended to strengthen citizen journalism, enhance the financial literacy of citizens, improve public access to relevant data and build the capacity of community media to advocate for improved governance and accountability.
- Launch of Community Media Fund First Round Call for Proposals
- Selection of Community Media Fund First Round Grants
- Community Media Fund First Round Grantee Learning Event in Johannesburg, South Africa
- Launch of Community Media Fund Second Round Call for Proposals
- Selection of Community Media Fund Second Round Grantees
- Selection of Covid-19 Community Media Fund Emergency Grants
- Community Media Fund Second Round Grantees Learning Event (Virtual)
17 Number of Grants Awarded
12 Number of Grantees
3 Countries Represented
257 Journalist trained in Round 1
106 Journalist trained in Round 2
Mtaani CBO seek to use its two community radio stations to enlighten communities in Nairobi and Kajiado Counties on issues contained in the County Integrated Development plans (CIDPs), to ensure enlightened public, who engage with the devolved government units on the utilization of their resources focus on ensuring transparency and accountability. By employing the People First Impact method, we will engage with the community members, involving them in conversations and contents of the CIDPS through focus group discussions, and public forums to identify gaps that community radio journalist will address through in depth programs on Mtaani Radio and Radio Domus. This will in turn build a community that is able to ensure social accountability and engage in building structures necessary for meaningful citizen engagement.
Bonface O. Opany, Station Manager, Radio Domus FM, Kenya
This project, implemented by Bush Radio and funded by the Community Media Fund, will deliver municipal financial literacy skills to both reporters of community radio stations in the Western Cape, as well as their listeners. The reporters will produce content on their local municipal budgets as well as analysis of these budget, and deliver this content in an understandable format to listeners, while encouraging listener participation and feedback. We aim to have communities engaging municipalities on their budgets beyond the project, ultimately ensuring that these budgets are responsive to community needs.
Brenda Leonard, Managing Director, Bush Radio 89.5FM, South Africa
In marginalized communities like the Turkana, the enthusiastic adoption of new media technologies is reshaping public discourse. Doubly, marginalized groups in the community like young women, who have been actively seeking to organize and join forces in their quest for better conditions, are actively exploring opportunities, skills and support to make their own voices heard through new media, prompting our project Giving Voice Through Citizen Journalism. Through this intriguing partnership project, we will train 20 young women and adolescent girls in media and facilitate their access to safe spaces, networks, mentorships and community stories.
Ms. Ikal Ang’elei, Friends of Lake Turkana (FoLT)
The Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) is grateful to the Community Media Fund (CMF) funders Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa and Ford Foundation for the opportunity to partner in the second phase of this project and look forward to the outcomes that will emerge from the initiative. We reached 7 million people with our first CMF grant. We also have community radio journalists whose skills were enhanced tremendously and this remains an outcome their stations enjoy to date. Communities took action in response to the critical accountability, transparency and social justice stories produced by community radio journalists and citizen journalists supported by the CMF grant.
Ms. Marceline Nyambala, Executive Director, Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK)
The Community Media Fund seeks to increase citizen participation in the planning for public resources in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria. These grants will also strengthen community media which serves a critical role in promoting transparency, accountability and inclusion in making financial and economic policies.
Ms. Mendi Njonjo, Regional Director, Hivos East Africa
At such a time as this, when a pandemic challenges individual and collective capacity, this initiative helps to uplift national institutions and processes. Developing and activating the capacity of community journalists to engage natural resources management will refuel the media and re-energize governance far into the post – Covid-19 era.
Dr. Akin Akingbulu, Executive Director, Institute for Media and Society (IMS)
Eligible organizations must be Africa-focused and headquartered and meet the following criteria:
- Civil society organization (CSO)/nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting community media or media training institution; or
- Community media outlet, including an outlet affiliated with educational institutions; or
- Network of community media; or
- CSO/NGO supporting initiatives that increase the visibility of emerging nontraditional reporters; or
- CSO/NGO focusing on transparency, accountability and financial literacy at the community level.
Additionally, applicants must:
- Be registered in good standing in accordance with their national and local laws.
- Be directly responsible for the preparation, implementation and management of the proposed project.
- Have a bank account and be willing to open a separate account for the grant and
- Have certified financial audit reports.
BMIA has also provided CMF grantees with a series of webinars and resources to enhance their understanding and coverage of COVID-19, continue their professional development and capacity to complete their CMF projects successfully. The CMF is administered for Bloomberg and the Ford Foundation by the East Africa regional office of HIVOS, a global nonprofit development organization.
For details about eligibility and application requirements when they are finalized, please indicate your interest and provide complete contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.