A promising Malawian digital media power house, iHubOnline , has received a sigh of relief after being awarded a COVID-19 emergency grant of close to €10,000 through a European Union (EU) financed programme, its Managing Editor who is also a seasoned media expert and marketer Mallick Mnela has confirmed in a statement.
According to Mnela, the emergency support programme, dubbed ‘COVID-19 Response in Africa: Together for Reliable Information’, is being championed by the International Media Support (IMS) with an aim to help public interest media in Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mnela says the news of the award of the grant was communicated by IMS Regional Programme Manager for Africa Lena Veierskov in an email dated 4th January, 2021.
“I am pleased to inform you that following the evaluation of your proposal, we have decided to award you the emergency grant,” reads the email in part.
Mnela who is a multi award winning journalist in Malawi says the grant will help IHubOnline to survive amid economic disruptions due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through this rapid response mechanism, IMS will provide funds to enable the start-up get back into operation after scaling down due to COVID-19,”
“This is a major boost to our operations. We hope to upgrade our infrastructure, extend our reach and enhance partnerships with other stakeholders,” says Mnela.
He added that the support gives the digital media startup confidence that they are pursuing a journalism model anchored on the principles of innovation, good journalism, free expression and democratisation of information.
Mnela says the grant will enable iHubOnline to continue its vital operations, purchase of personal protection equipment (PPE) and related safety provisions, as well as facilitate content production and content distribution related to the COVID-19 theme.
iHubOnline, which formally started in early 2019, is also currently participating in a media innovation fellowship with South African based Wits University’s JAMLAB.
In the six months JAMLAB Accelerator hothouse programme for journalism and media innovators, participating start-ups are learning emerging themes in media innovations for greater social impact and business sustainability.
IHubOnline is promising to be best online news source and digital media bank in Malawi.