Job Title: Media Training Expert

Type of Contract: Individual Contractors

Language Required: English,Amharic and Affan Oromo

Duration: April-June, 2021

Expected Starting Date: As soon as possible

Application Deadline: April 8, 2021

Organizational Profile:

MERSA Media Institute is a nonprofit media policy think tank. We work to help create vibrant, responsible and independent media institutions, professional unions and education centers through research, capacity building and institutional support in Ethiopia.

Project: Enhancing Access to Information During Ethiopia’s General Elections

Project Background and Context:

Ethiopia is heading to elections in the backdrop of a political rhetoric heavily dominated by ethnic strife and misinformation. There is an urgent need to invest in professionalization and training of the media to help strengthen their roles and responsibilities in the creation of a diverse and robust public debate on issues affecting the lives of citizens in the run-up to the 2021 elections and beyond.

The majority of Ethiopia’s population relies on state-run, state-funded or opposition-run and affiliated broadcast media. The dissemination of news and information is highly polarized along political, ethnic and other allegiances. Internet shutdowns have become a common occurrence during significant national events and incidents.

Recent political changes in Ethiopia are opening unprecedented opportunities to strengthen democracy and civil rights. New legislative and regulatory reforms provide an opportunity to strengthen an independent media sector that is responsible, professional and self-regulating. 

However, the challenges are tremendous and need sustained political will to reform and investment in the media sector. The country lacks institutions that emphasize specialized practical and technical skills training essential to journalists to gather, analyze and disseminate factual information. Media houses, especially those located in regional cities and towns, lack institutional knowledge, human resources capacity and finances to facilitate in-house education and mentorship of journalists to enable them play their public watchdog roles, especially during election times. Media training workshops particularly tailored to fragile environments are urgently needed. 

This project proposes a comprehensive and innovative model for media training, based on findings from a needs assessment research conducted by our organization in Ethiopia. We propose to launch six election reporting and data journalism labs to be hosted by public and private media in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions. The labs will serve as centers that provide in-house journalism training and as hubs for a collaborative network of data journalists journalists and editors that address local and national information needs and fact checking during the election period and beyond. 

This capacity building project lays the foundation for professional reporting on national elections with context, analysis, accuracy and objectivity. For a country going to elections under difficult circumstances, creating a media environment that understands and reports on issues in a responsible and comprehensive manner is critical. 

MMI shall be responsible for management and supervision of the consultants. The terms of the contract, measurement of outputs/deliverables, and payments are determined by MMI. 

Objective of the Assignment:

MERSA Media Institute has identified the following goals as essential guiding principles to the successful implementation this consultancy:   

  1. Enhance the professional quality, diversity and integrity of information the Ethiopian public gets during the 2021 elections though data and fact driven storytelling. Improve citizen access to objective, verifiable and comprehensive coverage of political parties and candidates and help them make informed choices.   
  2. Provide institutional support for Ethiopian media to facilitate in-house education and mentorship of journalists and build media labs that collaboratively address local and national information needs and technology and platform convergence challenges in a sustainable manner.   
  3. Create a network of data journalists, editors and media outlets that provide accurate reporting of issues affecting the lives of citizens, increase governance transparency and accountability. Data journalists help inform the Ethiopian electorate and monitor and respond to the spread of misinformation and hate speech on social media.

Scope of Work:

The contractor will undertake the following duties and responsibilities and will be expected to;

  • Work with the lead trainer and other co-trainers to conduct five one-week-long trainings in Addis Ababa and regional towns to be identified by MMI [Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Somali]
  • Prepare slide presentations on election reporting, conflict sensitive reporting, media regulation, policy and law
  • Co-facilitate journalism trainings in Addis Ababa and four regional towns.
  • Consult with lead trainer, co-trainers, and MERSA team when required

Required Qualifications and Skills:       

  • Advanced degree PHD (preferred) MA/MS  in media studies, journalism, conflict resolution, International Relations, Social Science, or related areas
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in the relevant area
  • Demonstrated good understanding of technical terms and terminology used in areas of media laws, self-regulation and related topics
  • Proven skills in journalism training
  • Excellent communication skill in English, Amharic and Affan Oromo
  • Ability to work independently; and
  • Experience in the media sector is advantageous

Proposal Instructions:

The applicant is requested to submit the following:

  • Personal CV, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate along with all supporting documents
  • A list of organizations you have previously worked with
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the quotation as per scope of work

How to Apply:

All interested applicants are requested to submit their proposal by 8th April 2021 to hsf2104@gmail.com

MERSA Media Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any type and afford equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

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