International Media Partnerships Program (IMPP)
The International Media Partnerships Program (IMPP) is a three-year, USAID-funded program that fosters the growth of a diverse range of professional organizations and institutions to support Russia’s media sector through tailored collaborations with their counterparts in the United States and Europe. Through IMPP, IREX helps Russian media industry organizations tackle challenges they face in governance, management, financing, membership, service provision, lobbying, and networking.
• Assist Russian nongovernmental and educational institutions to become sustainable and independent organizations
• Develop strong partnerships between Russian organizations and their U.S. and European counterparts
• Strengthen Russia’s media market with stronger support institutions.
Though few independent media outlets remain in today’s Russia, an active civil society continues to demand access to better quality news and information. With this in mind, IMPP aims to bolster institutional support for Russia’s independent media by assisting professional associations, journalism schools, and media-focused organizations to become more independent and sustainable pillars of the Russian media market.
Partnerships Between Russian and International Media Organizations: IREX pairs Russian media organizations with their counterpart international media organizations for mutual staff exchanges. The professional interaction enhances the skills of the Russian partners through practical, on-site collaboration, and the sharing of best practices in the following areas:
• Development of professional media associations and industry self-regulation
• Development of internal ombudsman or public advocate functions
• Development of policy recommendations and improvement of the legal and regulatory environment for Russian media
• Technology development and the challenges that it brings, especially in the transition to digital broadcasting
• Opportunities and challenges posed by new media technologies, user-generated content, and other industry innovations
Alumni conferences: Conferences for both the Russian and international media organizations will be held throughout the lifetime of the program to consolidate and disseminate knowledge gained through the partnerships. The sessions will address international media themes identified during the partnerships or reflect developments in Russia’s media sector, and will include opportunities for networking and to discuss lessons learned, best practices, and ways forward.
Projects Small Grants Fund: IREX offers small grants to support Russian partners in carrying out discrete endeavors conceived during the partnerships or to support follow-on activities. These might include events, publications, or additional training workshops.
Best practices publication: When IMPP concludes, IREX staff will coordinate compilation of best practices gleaned from the exchanges into an online publication for Russian partners who participated in IMPP. The contents will include examples of what partners learned internationally and how they applied new capacity to their organizations, providing guidance for others facing similar challenges.
IMPP has provided subgrants to 12 Russian media institutions.
One partnership resulted in Russia’s first certified graduate-level media management program, created by Tomsk TV-2 and Tomsk Polytechnic University, whose staffs worked with Kent State University in Ohio.
The Yekaterinburg University of the Humanities worked with multiple partners in the United States to develop the first convergent journalism curriculum in Russia, melding multiple media platforms into one curriculum.