We are based and registered in Washington, DC and work in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular emphasis on Ethiopia. We believe free and independent media are lifelines to the development of peaceful, prosperous and democratic societies. We are here to support freedom of speech through in-depth policy research and recommendations, conducting trainings, and strengthening the role of professional unions.
MERSA Media Institute works to support objective journalism and media institutions that are self-governing, sustainable, and committed to inform the public about issues affecting their lives. We value and work towards the development of professionals and institutions committed to the creation of constructive dialogues, holding powers accountable with a strong sense of professional ethics and public interest.
Our organization is newly established by experienced media practitioners, educators, researchers, and knowledge management experts who are passionate about the role of independent media in the development of informed citizens that are self-governing. Our staff and fellows have worked on several US government and other donor funded media capacity building trainings in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. Our experts speak local Ethiopian languages and have extensive experience in journalism practice and training in Latin America, Africa and the US.
THEORY OF CHANGE
Media business models have been fundamentally transformed in many parts of the world through the digitization of content production and distribution. The present-day media landscape requires journalists and media houses to tell stories in social and digital media platforms in addition to their traditional broadcast and print responsibilities.
The media in Ethiopia and many African countries lack the financial capacity to buy expensive video recording equipment much less building in-house training modules that help journalists tell visual stories, craft storytelling prototypes for mobile, web, broadcast and print.
Digital distribution and consumption trends have transformed advertising revenue streams. Online advertising has democratized and opened borders for media to compete in the world of internet advertising. Media in developing nations could strategize to monetize on google and Facebook advertising revenue streams as well as other regional and local digital markets.
MERSA Media Institute provides continued support to Ethiopian, African, media using internal resources and through the creation of strategic and financial partnerships that allow participating media to benefit from continued capacity building support. Our goal is to be present in Africa to provide technical and vocational support that emerging media outlets need to be self sustaining. Our project partnerships are designed to create a stable, peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia where diversity of views, identities and interests are respected and ingrained in robust public discourse.
Media sustainability requires financial freedom and growth. We work to empower emerging media in Africa to utilize their audience base to generate income in multiple platforms and help diversify their advertising revenue streams.