Pulling through the crisis with a sprint! | #mediadev | DW | 12.11.2020
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Media Viablilty consultancy

Pulling through the crisis with a sprint!

While audience demand for reliable information is high during the coronavirus pandemic, many media outlets are struggling economically. How can media outlets become more resilient in the longer term?

Declining advertising sales, remote work, threats to editorial independence: The COVID-19 crisis has disastrous effects on media outlets. it has also generated a stark increase in audience demand for reliable information. What does this mean for a media organization, its operations and business model? And how can media outlets become more resilient in the longer term?

The answer to this 1-million-dollar question that many media managers and owners are asking themselves is likely to be different for each and every media organization. What remains the same, however, is the fact that only with a comprehensive strategy and the suport from staff will a media outlet be able to get through this crisis—and the next. 

But how to get started? DW Akademie's V(iability)-Sprint might just be the right approach!

The V-Sprint is a facilitated assessment for media outlets (commercial and community media) wishing to explore and validate their viability. It gives participants the opportunity to design or re-adjust their strategy and react to changes in their political, legal and socio-economic environment, including those resulting from the current COVID-19 crisis. Overall, the V-Sprint helps them to become more resilient and look at all aspects that enable them to survive financially and produce quality content that is relevant to their audiences.

The V-Sprint can be held on-site or online and will be facilitated by two certified DW Akademie trainers who are experts in journalism start-ups, fundraising, media development, and media viability. On site, the V-Sprint is a 2.5-day intensive assessment workshop; online, sessions will be spread over 5 days with participants expected to actively engage for 3.5 hours per day.

Based on DW Akademie's News Media Viability concept, the V-Sprint assesses areas such as content quality, audience engagement, as well as financial sustainability, and clarifies the interconnections between these areas in a playful and interactive way. Using DW Akademie's strategic management tool, VAM360º , facilitators guide the core team of the organization through a process, which will help them to delve into their current strategy and validate it from a viability perspective. Each session is based on the particular challenges of the participating media organization. And most importantly: participants are encouraged to find their own answers to the most pressing viability questions.

Through a hands-on approach, the V-Sprint allows participating media personnel to 

  • reframe their vision, mission, values and goals;
  • explore their audiences in order to boost engagement;
  • define the organization’s unique, competitive edge;
  • discover strategic threats and identify unused potentials, even within a crisis;
  • review their cost/revenue structure and identify areas to improve;
  • determine what components would make the organization more viable;
  • define how they measure success;
  • identify areas for donor support. 

Participants leave the session with a Viability Fast Forward, a list of priorities to invest in and a clear list of To-do's so that they can get started on adjusting to changes in their operational environment and become more resilient.


If you are interested and want to find out more, contact dw-akademie@dw.com

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