Georgian Media Partnership Program

Georgian Media Partnership Program (GMPP)

Open Call for Applications
For Online Media Outlets Based in the Regions

IREX Georgia announces an open competition for Georgian online media outlets based outside of Tbilisi to participate in the Georgian Media Partnership Program (GMPP) in 2019.

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, each selected online media outlet will host 4 experts from their U.S. partner outlet on two separate, weeklong visits to Georgia (2 participants per visit). 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 and mentor key staff hands-on.

In turn, 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.

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 closely 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 maintain online consultations between the visits in order to foster innovative ideas to introduce to the Georgian outlets and enhance the skillsets of key professional staff.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
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:

1. Be an exclusively online media platform (digital native) or mixed media (hybrid) outlet with a predominant focus on online operations (online + radio, online + online TV, online + publication) with an established presence on various online platforms
2. Be based in one of the regions in Georgia, outside Tbilisi, employ local residents and cover local issues
3. Regular in-house production of in-depth, feature, analytical and/or investigative multimedia stories in addition to news coverage
4. Have sufficient resources to implement innovative approaches within the framework of the partnership
5. Demonstrate commitment and high motivation to develop and sustain a lasting professional relationship with the U.S. partner outlet

EVALUATION CRITERIA
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 influencesContent quality – 20%
  • Regular 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 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.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:
Fully filled in Application Forms (both in Georgian and English) together with required supporting documents must be submitted no later than Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at 5 p.m. either by e-mail gmpp-georgia@irex.org OR delivered as hard copy printouts (together with electronic versions submitted on a CD or a USB drive) to IREX office in Tbilisi at 6 K. Marjanishvili St., 2nd floor (Green Office building next to Marjanishvili theatre).

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 to discuss the program in more detail and walk representatives of potential participant outlets through the application process on Friday, December 21, at 4 p.m. in 6 K. Marjanishvili st., Green Office Building conference room on the 4th floor.

Online media outlets interested in applying for participation in GMPP are strongly encouraged to attend the Open Door Day. Names of attendees should be e-mailed in advance to gmpp-georgia@irex.org with a copy to njavakishvili@irex.org no later than December 20. Those unable to travel to Tbilisi will have an option to join Open Door Day online via conference call by adding Skype ID maya_mateshvili to Skype contacts or adding Nina Javakhishvili to Facebook Messenger ahead of time.

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 gmpp-georgia@irex.org. Please note: IREX Georgia office will be closed January 1-7.

SELECTION PROCESS:
A selection panel, comprising American and Georgian media experts, will convene to review solicited applications. Selection will take place and winners will be announced in January 2019. Afterwards, IREX will conduct on-site needs assessments to tailor each partnership to the Georgian participant outlets’ unique needs and sign Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with selected outlets.

PROGRAM BACKGROUND:
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:
1. 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.
2. Georgian partners engage in peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and form/enhance professional networking relationships among themselves.
3. Georgian and American participants have a better understanding of each other’s culture, society, and values.

To date, GMPP has implemented more than 60 two-way professional exchange visits between 120 representatives of 16 Georgian TVs and 2 radio stations and their 44 American counterparts from 14 American media outlets in 9 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 net, 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.

ABOUT IREX:
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.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION:

  • Fill in and submit applications both in Georgian and English;
  • Use Arial, font size 10, single-spaced for all answers
  • Do not leave any blank spaces. If a question does not apply to you, write N/A;
  • Provide clear and detailed answers, for essay questions 8.1-8.8 not exceeding the 500-word limit per answer;
  • Complete submission must include electronic copies of fully filled in Application Forms in both languages (with requested links to online content) and all mandatory supporting documents 9.1-9.5. in MS Word, PDF, PowerPoint, and/or JPG format
  • Fully filled in Application Forms (both in Georgian and English) together with all required supporting documents must be either e-mailed as electronic files to gmpp-georgia@irex.org OR delivered as hard copy printouts (together with electronic versions submitted on a CD or a USB drive) to IREX office in Tbilisi, 6 K. Marjanishvili St., 2nd floor (Green Office building next to Marjanishvili theatre) no later than Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 5 p.m.
  •  IREX retains all submitted materials. Therefore, we recommend that you keep a copy for your files.

IREX reserves the right to verify all information included in the application and supplemental documents. In case of discrepancy, or if the information is found to be false, the application will be declared invalid and ineligible. Incomplete applications may not be considered.