Terms of Reference

Contest for selection of four partners from local media in Georgia within Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project (AI/AU)

1. General Information
Internews Georgia is launching a four-year Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project. The project aims to increase citizen access to information about issues of importance in public affairs, strengthen the sustainability of targeted media outlets, and better link local media and the communities they serve. This will be achieved through series of activities aimed at enhancing select media’s understanding of audience needs, better
tailoring their content to audience needs, and solidifying media’s financial sustainability.

By means of all its activities in Georgia, the project will improve the quality of media content and financial sustainability of partner media outlets through enhanced understanding of audience needs.

In the first year of the project (May to December, 2018), Internews Georgia will select four media partners through competitive process, and offer partners consultations and trainings aimed at building skills in audience research, analytics, and data-driven decision-making. A series of in-house residencies will involve trained and experienced local audience analytics and web development experts, who will visit outlets for targeted support. These experts will
help media partners develop ideas for audience outreach, data-driven content production and monetization. These in-house residences will run from August through November. In September, Internews Georgia will hold a competition to distribute small grants to support the development of initiatives designed to address the information needs of specific communities (with a preference for marginalized groups) and innovative solutions that would
help target media to improve audience outreach, quality of content, and financial sustainability. Project partners will participate in the competition to receive grants of 4,546 GB Pounds (issued as an equivalent amount in Georgian national currency) for innovative content production, audience interaction or monetization projects. (If a partner or partners submit weak proposals, the proposals will be rejected and a new competition will be held with participation from both partner and non-partner media.)

2. Obligations and Responsibilities of Partner Outlets

– Participation in all training and consulting activities of the project (week-long mentoring residency twice a year and 5-day remote mentoring on audience analysis and engagement);

– Periodical reporting on activities and expenses in an established format.

3. Conditions Needed to Apply for the Contest

– Reputation and proven attachment to the standards of professional ethics;
– At least 3 years of presence on the web and well-developed website;
– Past achievements in journalism;
– Solid vision for the development of organization’s website and web and social media presence, to include innovative solutions to improve quality of web content, audience outreach, and financial monetization and sustainability.

4. Contents of the Application (proposal and portfolio)

– general presentation of the participating outlet, including its achievements in journalism and past impactful projects;
– Information about participating outlet’s website, its audience metrics (audience size/unique users in last 6 months) and social media channels (size of followers/ subscribers, links to highly interactive posts).
– The vision and strategy for the development of participating outlet’s website and social media presence and audience growth (to include innovative ideas for better web content, audience expansion and interaction, and monetization and sustainability.

– 5 best web-based journalism materials as a printed copy or a link (stories, audio or video reports, blogs, multimedia).

5. Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on:

– Professionalism of the contest participant (the outlet/participant(s) produces high quality and impactful journalism; has reputation and proven attachment to the standards of professional ethics; – maximum 20 points;

– Solid web presence – (the outlet has a developed website, with multimedia content and growing audience size (unique users), interacts with audiences through the website and social media; outlet’s website has necessary technology to support multimedia reporting and audience interaction) – maximum 20 points;

– Quality of the general concept of the development of website and social media presence (to include innovative solutions for quality of web content, audience outreach, and financial monetization and sustainability) – maximum 40 points;

– Quality of portfolio (quality of materials in the portfolio, diversity of materials, experience of coverage of topics of major public interest) – maximum 20 points.

Incomplete applications will be rejected. Winners will be designated by the project’s Coordinating Council based on a points system shown above.

6. Deadline for Submission of Applications:
Applications shall be emailed (in Georgian language) to shorena@internews.ge by July 20, 2018, at 18.00, or presented in person at the Internews Georgia office at the following address:

Internews Georgia 11 Andria Apakidze Street, Tbilisi, Georgia, Tiflis Business Center, 8 th Floor Contact person: Shorena Kochiashvili, project assistant, email: shorena@internews.ge , cell 598 404 401.

Internews Georgia’s Access to Information and Audience Understanding Project is implemented with the support of Internews (Audience Understanding and Digital Support Project) and funded by Sweden.

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