Applications are open for the IJNet Arabic Mentoring Center for Media Startups 2022. With the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, in 2014, ICFJ launched IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center, a program that aims to support professional and citizen journalists who are working in the MENA region.
The initiative offers its participants several training sessions, months of one-on-one mentorship, and also the possibility to apply for seed funding – all ingredients they need to launch a news media startup and actually succeed.
IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center prioritizes journalists and journalism projects that focus on improving governance in the MENA Region and promoting collaborations. Every year ICFJ selects two cohorts (of up to 16 journalists total) to work together and enhance their professional skills by connecting them with some of the brightest specialists in journalism, marketing, and financial sustainability.
The initiative is divided into three phases:
- Several in-group training sessions: Participants will attend weekly sessions to strengthen their journalistic skills. These meetings might take place virtually (due to COVID-19) and lead to in-group conversations.
- One-on-one mentorship for project development: A top expert will mentor each fellow individually to make sure their startup idea is well developed and ready to take off. At the end of the mentorship, participants will pitch their projects to a high-level board and be eligible to receive seed funding.
- Bootcamp meeting: ICFJ organizes a 2- to 3-day in-person meeting to allow participants to meet each other, their mentors and a few Mentoring Center alumni. This is a great opportunity to network and build strong regional connections.
During the program, participants will be asked to pitch and write articles for IJNet in Arabic, as an opportunity to raise awareness of important issues discussed in the Mentoring Center.
Funding for IJNet Arabic Mentoring Center
- Seed funding depends on the year and the cohort. But it has ranged from USD$1,500 to $5,000.
Eligibility for IJNet Arabic Mentoring Center
IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center is suitable for you if:
- Firstly, You are a professional or citizen journalist based in the Middle East and North Africa;
- Secondly, You need help launching and developing your own news media startup;
- Thirdly, You have launched your news media startup and would like to help it grow;
- Additionally, You are struggling with the financial sustainability of your startup;
- You believe you need to enhance your journalistic skills;
- You aim to strengthen democracy in your region through your journalism;
- You would like to build regional connections with other Arabic-speaking journalists;
- You are 100% focused on finding ways to turn your media outlet into a sustainable initiative;
- You are ready to commit to a one-year program (from September 2022 to April 2023) and dedicate up to 5 hours a week to it.
Application of IJNet Arabic Mentoring Center
The MENA Mentoring Center is a one-year program. Training sessions will be offered throughout this period. Mentorship will last a few months and the boot camp is 2-3 days long.
Lastly, It is important to visit the official website link found below to access the application form.
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