Open Call for Applications for Online Media Outlets Based in the Regions (GMPP)
IREX Georgia announces an open competition for Georgian online media outlets based outside of Tbilisi to participate in the U.S. Embassy-funded Georgian Media Partnership Program (GMPP) in 2020.
GOAL of the competition:
The competition aims to select 2 Georgian regional online media outlets to participate in GMPP. The ultimate goal of GMPP is to strengthen Georgian media as news organizations and sustainable businesses through reciprocal partnership visits with American partner outlets.
Over the course of the partnership, 4 employees from each selected Georgian online media will have an opportunity to travel on two, weeklong internship visits to the U.S (2 participants per visit). They will engage in job shadowing, share best practices and observe first-hand how their American colleagues in similar media outlets operate in the U.S. media market. Upon return, Georgian participants are expected to engage in peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges with co-workers and other colleagues. American partners will contribute to the selection of the U.S. visit participants in consultation with the local outlet management.
In turn, each selected online media outlet will host 2 experts from their U.S. partner outlet on one, a weeklong visit to Georgia. American professionals will get acquainted with daily work practices of their Georgian counterparts, share their experience and know-how, conduct intensive consultations on-site, give advice tailored to local needs, and coach hands-on and mentor key staff.
To further strengthen partnership outcomes, each selected media outlet will be eligible for a Partnership Innovation Grant up to $2,000 in value. Each cooperative small grant (deliverable-based fixed amount award) will have a pre-requisite for each set of Georgian and U.S. partner outlets to work together to plan and implement activities proposed under the grant to the Georgian partners who will also apply new skills learned through the partnership with oversight, technical inputs, and support provided by the U.S. partner.
GMPP staff will arrange virtual introductions of Georgian and American media outlet staff online before the partnership visits commence and facilitate online communications and consultations between partnership visits. GMPP staff will work closely with Georgian and American media professionals to develop strong and lasting professional relationships through two-way partnership visits and stay connected online between the visits to foster innovative ideas to be introduced at the Georgian outlets and enhance the skillsets of key professional staff.
Successful implementation of the program is fundamentally dependent on close, intensive and result-driven collaboration between the selected Georgian media outlets, IREX staff, and the U.S. partners based on mutual trust and respect, high motivation, and availability of needed resources.
Therefore, IREX seeks regional online media outlets committed to approaching program participation with full transparency and integrity, positive attitudes and dedication. The selected media outlets will be obliged to ensure open channels of two-way communication with IREX and serve as pro-active driving forces in the partnerships with U.S. media outlets to ensure achievement of program goals. The outlet should be willing and able to submit written narrative and financial reports, participate in verbal debriefings, and provide regular feedback to document achieved progress.
Based on the above, this year’s competition is open to media outlets that meet all of the following requirements:
- Be an exclusively online media platform (digital native) or mixed (hybrid) media outlet with a predominant focus on online operations with an established presence on various online platforms
- Be based in one of the regions in Georgia, outside Tbilisi, employ local residents and cover local issues
- Regularly produce in-house in-depth, analytical, investigative multimedia content and/or feature stories in addition to news coverage
- Have sufficient resources to implement innovative approaches within the framework of the partnership
- Demonstrate commitment and high motivation to develop and sustain a lasting professional relationship with the U.S. partner outlet
Competitive standing in the local media market – 20%
- Serving as a credible source of news and information for the local population
- Editorial independence from political, business or other polarizing influences
Content quality – 20%
- Regular in-house production of feature articles, blogs, analytical or investigative pieces on democratic processes, local entrepreneurship, economic development, gender equality, minority rights, rule of law, civil activism, inclusion, and tolerance, or civil society
- Diversity, quality and balance of produced digital multimedia content for a wide or priority niche audience or underserved communities
Staff capacity – 20%
- Having a team which firmly adheres to fundamental journalistic and ethical standards, including responsible, fair, impartial and fact-checked coverage of events
- Demonstrated eagerness of staff and management to learn and apply new skills
Organizational capacity – 20%
- Sufficient human, technological and financial resources to make a professional commitment to the media partnership program
- Past development record and future plans
- Feasibility, value and anticipated impact of the Partnership Innovation Grant proposal concept
Motivation – 20%
- Genuine enthusiasm to work closely with American colleagues and ensuring availability and pro-active engagement of relevant staff in program activities
- Solid commitment to introduce innovative approaches and new practices into daily operations
- Readiness to share experiences and knowledge gained through a partnership with co-workers and other colleagues
If your online outlet meets the above requirements and is interested in this competition, please complete the GMPP Application Form provided below. Make sure to closely follow the instructions.
Please note that knowledge of the English language is not required for participation in the GMPP program. Interpretation and translation services will be provided during visits both in Georgia and in the United States.
Fully filled in Application Forms (both in Georgian and English) together with required supporting documents must be submitted no later than Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 5 p.m. by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Each received application will be acknowledged with a confirmation e-mail within 24 hrs after submission. If you don’t receive a confirmation e-mail, please contact us at email@example.com.
Incomplete applications or applications delivered later than the due date and time will not be considered. Please keep a copy of your completed application for your own records as submitted applications will not be returned.
OPEN DOOR DAY:
Representatives of IREX and Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy will conduct an Open Door Day on Friday, October 11, at 3 p.m. at 6 K. Marjanishvili st., 4th-floor conference room in the Green Office Building to discuss the program in more detail and walk representatives of potential participant outlets through the application process
Online media outlets planning to apply for participation in GMPP are strongly encouraged to participate in the Open Door Day. Names of attendees should be e-mailed in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than October 10. Those unable to travel to Tbilisi can join the Open Door Day via online conference call by sending an e-mail for instructions to email@example.com before October 10.
If you have questions, please contact GMPP staff during working hours via landline +(99532) 291 26 08 / ext. 122 or 123, cell: +995 599 137 100, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that IREX Georgia office will be closed on October 14.
A selection panel, comprising American and Georgian media experts, will convene to review solicited applications. Selection will take place and winners will be announced on November 2019. Reciprocal visits will take place in 2020, after, IREX signs Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with selected outlets and conducts on-site needs assessments to tailor each partnership to the Georgian participant outlets’ unique needs.
GMPP has been implemented by IREX since 2010 with the financial support of the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. The Goal of GMPP is to support the development of the Georgian media by forming professional partnerships with U.S. outlets. The program has 3 objectives:
- Georgian and U.S. media outlets form strong, collegial, and lasting relationships that result in improved journalistic, technological, and business management practices among Georgian partners.
- Georgian partners engage in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and form/enhance professional networking relationships among themselves.
- Georgian and American participants have a better understanding of each other’s culture, society, and values.
To date, GMPP has implemented more than over 70 two-way professional exchange visits between 135 representatives of 2 Georgian online media outlets, 16 TVs, 2 radio stations and their 50 American counterparts from 15 American media outlets from 10 states across the United States.
These partnerships have yielded positive results for Georgian participants, including streamlined management and strategic planning, improved human resource practices, advanced journalism skills, diversified broadcasting nets, improved production and presentation of in-house produced programs and news, increased involvement in the local community through community events, more effective use of multimedia and online platforms, more effective marketing and promotion, reinvigorated online presence and developed websites, increased sales, and diversified revenue sources. To learn more about GMPP, visit our Facebook page.
Founded in 1968, IREX is an international nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to build a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information. IREX has been working in Georgia since 1994.