South Africa Media Innovation Program Grant (SAMIP) 2017


The South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) is a new $4 million, 3-year media initiative to accelerate digital media innovation among independent media outlets and encourage new entrants. The program will provide funding and capacity building to organisations selected to participate.


You could be an existing independent media company, a non-profit, or a new venture that is just kicking off.

We are looking for mission-driven companies and organizations passionate about trying new approaches to local news and information.

We encourage applicants who don’t have traditional journalism and media backgrounds, particularly from the areas of technology, design and business.


A total of ZAR 3 million of grant funding is available to support independent media (covering existing companies, non-profits, and new ventures) in South Africa.

This is the initial disbursement of the total funding available through SAMIP – the South Africa Media Innovation Program.

SAMIP is a 3-year long program that will provide capacity building and financing to independent media in South Africa.

The aim of the program is to promote innovation within the media sector, and also foster new voices.

Winners will be selected by the SAMIP Advisory Panel, subject to approval by the MDIF Board of Directors.

Cash Prize: Up to ZAR 500,000 (*depending on budgets, we will consider smaller projects that apply)

In addition, winners will be admitted to SAMIP and benefit from capacity building:

  • on-going strategic advice, (expert advice)
  • tailored one-to-one consulting, (mentorship)
  • targeted group training designed to help participants’ financial viability and audience reach (training)
  • further funding, if approved by Advisory Panel, based on favourable initial results


The deadline for our initial funding cycle is midnight on October 31, 2017.

We will narrow down applicants to a set of finalists for phone or in-person interviews during late October, before making our selections in November.

The winners will be announced at the end of November 2017.


  • New projects just getting off the ground, for which the applicant has initial evidence of a user need.
  • Specific and actionable ideas for a novel product or service – product or working demo doesn’t necessarily have to be built yet – funding can be used for MVP. (Capability requirement)
  • Products or services that have shown initial success/viability, and applicants that are looking to scale up.

In addition to the above, a company or an organization must also meet the following criteria:

  • Committed to providing credible, independent news, information or public debate.
  • Independent from the government or of any other political or economic interest group.
  • Supportive of democratic practices and institutions, political pluralism, transparency, human rights, including the rights of women and minorities.
  • In regular operation for at least one year. A record of quality journalism and reporting. In compelling circumstances this requirement may be waived.
  • Committed to developing a path to financial sustainability.
  • Prepared to commit sufficient time to work with coaches/mentors and carry out assigned tasks.

Click to Apply now


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