HomeCall for ApplicationInternational Press Institute (IPI’s) Local News Accelerator Programme

International Press Institute (IPI’s) Local News Accelerator Programme

International Press Institute (IPI’s) Local News Accelerator Programme where you and your organization will build the foundations to develop a financially and editorially sustainable local media business. The programme, already in its second edition, will offer personalized advisory services, tools and guidance to help you reach audiences and empower your teams to grow into an engaged, responsive media brand during and after the accelerator.

Why Apply

The accelerator has been designed to support local newsrooms getting started or pivoting their business with the structure and support to identify and deliver solutions that will advance their projects toward financial and editorial sustainability. From our work with local, regional and niche publishers, we understand the key challenges you’re facing. IPI’s in-house experts will therefore conduct a comprehensive one-on-one needs assessment and provide guidance and personalized advisory services for successful applicants to maximize their benefits from the programme.

How does it work

The format is based on IPI’s innovation learning journey, piloted through our 2023 Local News Accelerator, in which publishers from around the world, including Indonesia, Ecuador, Uganda, South Africa and more, achieved measurable benefits such as growth in readership, doubling of subscribers, building new onboarding tools and engagement channels and launching membership models with impactful crowdfunding campaigns. One key benefit communicated repeatedly from the group was that connections among the cohort allowed them to build a community with media in similar situations and share ideas.

Key Activities

  • One month of direct needs assessments to identify your challenge, problem statement and roadmap solutions.
  • Intensive training focused on tools and skills that can be transferred to your newsroom well beyond the duration of the accelerator, focused on problem solving and identifying solutions, audience research, strategic planning, journalism formats built for user engagement, digital business models and diversifying revenue models.
  • One-on-one personalized advisory services bespoke to the needs of your newsroom, with flexible, on-demand industry-experts as coaches during the accelerator.
  • Access to a networking platform with the current cohort, expert coaches, all programme alumni and a network of local news practitioners.
  • Access to an e-learning platform with training modules and recordings from industry-leaders. Monthly “Ask-Me-Anything” sessions allowing attendees to directly pose questions to industry experts.
  • Group coaching sessions with peers developing similar projects.
  • Speaker sessions based on themes determined in the needs assessments.

Selection Criteria and Eligibility

  • You should be a media organization (no geographic limitations) and demonstrate a clear focus on serving local audiences, with news tailored to the specific needs of the local community.
  • Your organization should demonstrate a commitment to producing quality original journalism, adherence to ethical journalism practices and commitment to press freedom.
  • You must submit a proposal outlining a specific need and solution (Note: it is anticipated that this project will change or evolve during the accelerator period). Here you can read about the projects some of our previous participants developed throughout the programme.
  • Your organization must have a team of at least two individuals who are willing to commit to accelerator activities throughout the four months (this is estimated at a time commitment of four hours per week, divided between the team of two).
  • Your media venture should have a solid business case and understanding of their audience, backed up by audience or market research.
  • Your media should demonstrate a willingness to explore and implement new ideas, tools and technologies to enhance storytelling and audience engagement, while learning from experts and each other.
  • Your media should have a clear vision for the future of their media organization, including plans for how they will grow, expand and/or adapt.

Selection Process and Timeline

Apply by submitting the application form below. Applicants can save the application form by clicking “save” and return to it until they have completed it and are ready to submit. They will be emailed a link to their application, which they can return to until 7 July 2024 [23:59, CEST] . Once the application is submitted, it can no longer be edited.

Only applications in English received via the Jotform platform by the stated date and time will be considered. You will receive an email confirmation of your submission. A jury comprised of internally appointed experts will select the projects to participate in the accelerator.

Applications will be assessed based on the criteria established in the call. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, contact innovation@ipi.media or sign up for our upcoming info session herePast experience shows how important it is to build a diverse cohort and we encourage you to reach out if this sounds interesting to you!

Apply now

For preparation only, please find in this Google Doc all the questions of the form below. You can make a copy of the document. The Google Doc is not needed for the application, it is just a resource to help you prepare to fill the form below.

For more Information: Visit the website for International Press Institute (IPI’s) Local News Accelerator Programme


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