Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2011

Citation

This profile was prepared when Klaas Glenewinkel was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT) is one of a few of Germany’s private media development citizen organizations (COs); Klaas has trained journalists and independent media outlets in many post-conflict countries, such as Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia, and Afghanistan. For more than ten years, he improved their journalistic quality through on-the-job training programs. In all these years, Klaas saw many well trained and professionally working independent media outlets go bankrupt after Western donors left the country. Lacking financial sustainability of independent media in post-conflict regions is a well-known but still unresolved problem in international media development.

Realizing that business and management competencies can be just as important as journalistic quality, Klaas started to amplify MICT’s training programs two years ago. He began to train media outlets on how to generate revenue through advertising and started to match them with international and local advertisement clients. Now Klaas has created a new for-profit entity, Plural Media Services, a media and advertising sales organization that builds on MICT’s long-standing personal network and contacts within the field of local independent media. Plural trains journalists to be media managers and then plays the role of an international matchmaker bridging the existing gap to commercial advertisers (international and local companies) by facilitating advertising campaigns.

Plural’s advertising campaigns create win-win-win situations for companies, local media, and citizens. Companies gain credible CSR opportunities in addition to professional advertisement in regions that are hard to reach. While local media earn impartial income and build internal capacities, citizens gain further economic citizenship as they participate in a broader and more sustainable market. Plural works as a self-sufficient social business and transfers profits to media development activities not covered by governmental support.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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