The media assistance matrix
Many factors determine the success of ongoing media development interventions and where best to allocate future resources.
A simple matrix can offer a quick indication of where funding might be best spent.
The matrix, developed and used by Media Helping Media, is designed to offer programme managers, consultants and local co-trainers a way of evaluating which media organisations and which individuals should be given further support.
The matrix is free to download, improve and use - please add suggestions below
It’s based on four criteria (which will differ depending on the projects terms of reference) to determine the editorial value of the help, the potential of the individuals involved, their willingness to make changes, and the likely financial survival of their media business.
1: Editorial value
Does the media organisation aim to inform the public debate with original, impartial, accurate, issue-led journalism focused on audience needs?
Location and existing media coverage of the area are important factors
2: Individual potential
Does the participant on the course have the management skills, the editorial strengths and the values and personal drive needed to survive in the local media climate?
Has the individual involved got what it takes to be a media leader of the future?
3: Willingness to implement change
If the media house were to be given further help are they likely to use it responsibly in order to improve the quality of output and focus better on the needs of the audience?
Does those running the media house have a clear vision for the future?
4: Business survival
Could the media house be helped to create a viable and sustainable business plan, or would their costs outweigh their revenue generation potential when grants dry up?
Have they got a viable business?
All involved in assessing the project enter marks out of 10, where one is the lowest score and 10 is the top score. A total is created which takes account of the key elements.
The matrix is only a guide, and it’s not a total solution for deciding where best to allocate future money, but it can certainly help identify the areas where the investment of effort and resources may offer the best return.
Feel free to download, use, adapt, improve etc. And, if you do improve it please add a comment and let us know. It's nice to share.
The author of this piece, David Brewer, is a journalist and media strategy consultant who set up and runs Media Helping Media. David has worked as a journalist and manager in print, broadcast and online. He delivers journalism training and media consultancy services worldwide.