The development of online media worldwide and particularly in the Arab world is having a profound effect on the media sector and, in more general terms, on society. Ebticar-Media wishes to support those involved in this process of change by providing them with the funding that will enable them to develop and to structure their projects. Ebticar-Media ("ebticar" means "innovation" in Arabic, and also stands for "E-Booster for Technical and Innovative Contents in the Arab Region") has therefore decided to support the development and structuring of online media around the Mediterranean and to do so through the allocation of subsidies.
Ebticar-Media is focusing on structures that have developed digital news content and that wish to further develop their activity by strengthening the way in which they operate, enriching their content and setting up new technical tools.
Ebticar-Media is restricted to structures set up in the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia. Exemptions may be granted in duly justified cases under certain conditions (political situations, the specific nature of an "international" project, and the like).
A first call for proposals issued in April 2014 was used to select 11 projects that are currently being implemented.
Projects supported by Ebticar-Media must relate to actions aimed at enhancing the editorial, technical or economic skills of those in the online media in the relevant region.
Supported activities should, for example, target strengthening skills and professional performance levels in web journalism, encouraging the production of independent, pluralist news content, contributing to the sustainability of online media activity, and providing assistance to project stakeholders when structuring their project (the setting-up of economic models, plus organisation and management). Support may also be given to involving online media professionals in training courses. Furthermore, encouragement will be given to the establishment of professional organisations and partnerships between relevant stakeholders and civil society, professional exchanges and the emergence of innovative projects.
Raising professional performance levels of those in the digital media
- Priority: setting up a training program to ensure security of online activities, including software purchase;
- Priority: providing journalism internships within the digital media and integration of web journalism presentations in training curriculums;
- Priority: establishment of professional organizations promoting independent and quality information on the Internet;
- Setting up a training program on the basics of journalism, web writing, the production of multimedia products (sound, video, etc.), including hardware purchase;
- Setting up a technical training program relating to website design, including software purchase;
- Setting up a training program relating to the use of social media and participatory tools;
Promoting the sustainability of online media activities
- Development of a website in keeping with the editorial line and strengthening its ergonomics;
- Redefining the editorial line for existing sites based on envisaged development; adding new functionalities: interactivity, multimedia spaces, etc.;
- Setting up an organisation of tasks that is adapted to the website requirements;
- Experimenting innovative tools on the website (applications, geolocation, fact checking, data visualisation, etc.);
- Developing and diversifying income sources and new funding methods.
Structuring digital media's professional organisations
- Priority: adopting codes of conduct to regulate the profession, and "white papers" to adapt existing press codes;
- Priority: supporting meetings between similar professional organisations in the region, coordination of their activities, and setting up networks;
- Organising online press stakeholders into trades unions;
- Organising working groups which bring together online press stakeholders and journalists' trade unions to focus on issues concerning press accreditation, copyright, remuneration, and the status of news websites.
Partnerships and innovation
- Priority: setting up partnerships to improve visibility of civil society actions in the new media (training of stakeholders in web journalism, creating new sections, journalists' club, etc.);
- Priority: collaborative actions between traditional media and new media;
- Creating shared working spaces for editorial teams and social media stakeholders, which will be designed to function as "check desks" or "collaborative platforms";
- Creating co-working spaces and organising meetings to promote the sharing of good practices, tools and exchanges in the region.
Activities indicated as priority will be given special attention by the jury during the selection.
This call for proposals will support a cycle of activities lasting no more than 12 months. The schedule is as follows:
- Publication of the call for proposals: 4 February 2015;
- Deadline for applications on the online platform: Sunday 8 March, 23:00 GMT/UTC (deadline will not be extended);
- Notification of the list of pre-selected projects: early June 2015;
- Meeting with applicants and final selection: early July 2015, in Beirut;
- Signing of subsidy agreements with selected recipients: from June 2015 onward;
- End of the first project cycle: 30 June 2016.
Pre-selected applicants will be invited to a meeting in Beirut in June 2015 so that they can present their project to the panel. Successful applicants may be invited to remain 2 or 3 more days on site to finalize a grant contract. To this end, they will have power or attorney of the organization they represent to discuss and approve the terms of the grant contract.
The laureates will also participate in a 4M gathering that will be organized by CFI in November 2015. A specific workshop will be organized on the sidelines of the event for Ebticar laureates.
Ebticar-Media is governed by a consortium of partners, the members being CFI (France, leader), Babelmed (Italy), EF (France), the Anna Lindh Foundation (Egypt) and the Samir Kassir Foundation (Lebanon).
Ebticar-Media is co-financed by the European Union.
Level of funding granted
Subsidies will be granted from EUR 30 000 up to a maximum of EUR 60 000 per project. A single subsidy will be granted per recipient structure.
Projects may not receive dual funding (the same project may not be funded by another source, but the structure may receive other sources of funding for other projects), but can however be co-financed by each structure winning the call for proposals.
It is essential that a post with responsibility for financial monitoring of the structure (not simply the project) be set up within the budget in the case of structures that do not yet have such a post. 5% of the budget must be allocated to financing the final project assessment. An external financial audit, and the cost of participation in the 4M gathering in Paris (Travel + 5 nights), must also be budgeted for.
Selection panel and assessment criteria
After the admissibility of dossiers has been established, a selection committee composed of members of the consortium will meet to draw up the list of pre-selected projects.
Next, leaders of pre-selected projects will be invited to Beirut to present their project in person before the panel. The definitive list of selected projects will be published a day after jury's deliberations in Beirut.
Content and relevance of the project (40/100)
- quality of the background and needs analysis
- relevance of the project to the needs
- sustainability of the activity & results
- nature and innovative quality of the project
Management capabilities and skills of the project managers (30/100)
- experience and expertise of the team in the relevant field
- financial management capabilities
- project management capabilities
- cohesiveness of project and activities; project quality
Provisional budget (15/100)
- eligibility, clarity and cohesiveness of the project
- relationship between forecast costs and expected results
Eligible structures must belong to one of the following categories:
- Young and existing structures that have developed digital news content (groups of bloggers or citizen journalists, web radios, pure players, news platforms, etc.);
- private traditional media making the switch to digital (radio, TV, written press, press agencies, etc.);
- press trades unions, associations and NGOs active in media promotion, civil society organisations wanting a higher web profile.
- Be a legally registered structure with legal standing (association, undertaking, NGO, etc.), independent of any political or religious movement, and be directly responsible for implementing the action.
- Have their headquarters in one of the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Syria or Tunisia. It should be noted that, in duly justified cases (a project may not be implemented from the country of origin), organisations with headquarters in the European Union or in Turkey may submit a project.
- Have a bank account in the organisation's name or be in a position to open one at short notice.
Among the laureates of the first call for proposals only those whose project will be completed by end of May 2015 are eligible to the present call.
Content of the application dossier
Three language versions of the dossier are available (Arabic, French and English). The dossier may therefore be completed in any of these three languages.
Only fully completed dossiers will be taken into consideration.
Please retain a copy of the dossier submitted.
The dossier must, with no exception, contain:
- the form (as per specimen in annex);
- the action budget in euros (see specimen in annex);
- the calendar (see specimen in annex);
- a logic framework for the action (see annex);
- the CVs of members of the proposed project team.
As regards the proposed project, the applicant must provide a realistic, cost-effective, budget. The precise amount will be allocated on the basis of financial management capacity and the presentation given in justification of the need for the subsidy. It may be revised if considered necessary.
If you have any queries, please contact the following before 22 February 23:00 GMT :