Elizabeth R Media Fund: Commonwealth Digital Challenge

The Elizabeth R Media Fund is a new competition aimed at providing young and aspiring media managers from the Commonwealth with the skills and tools necessary to help their organisations face the digital challenges in their countries.

The event will also act as a spur to the competitors to discuss the needs of a free and competitive media across the Commonwealth.

The joint winners of the 2018 competition were invited to spend a week’s intensive study of UK media organisations in London, with all expenses paid, during the week of the Commonwealth Summit in London in April. It is being followed by 12 months’ mentoring by industry professionals overseen by the Thomson Foundation.

This competition is now closed. Sign up to our newsletter for notification of our other journalism competitions.




Competition rules

  • Entrants will be asked to submit a 400-word statement, in English, outlining a particular challenge posed to their organisation, or media sector, in their country together with a potential business case for how it could be addressed.
  • Twenty applicants will be invited to take three online modules in digital skills and newsroom management from the Thomson Foundation’s online Journalism Now programme.
  • The most successful of the 20, in the opinion of the judges, will be invited to spend a week’s intensive study of UK media organisations in London, during Commonwealth Week, followed by online mentoring by Thomson Foundation consultants for 12 months.
  • The winner will lead a virtual conference of the top 20 applicants and UK media mentors focusing on how the media can react to the challenges thrown up by the topic of Commonwealth Week.
  • The overall winner will be expected to spend a week in London. If s/he is not able to do so, the prize will go to the second most successful applicant.


Entry criteria

  • Applicants must be citizens of a Commonwealth member country, excluding the UK.
  • The competition is open to journalists and media managers working for a media organisation in the public or private sectors.
  • Entrants must be journalists or media managers, aged between 28 and 35, at the time of the competition deadline.
  • The competition organisers may request documentation to verify an entrant’s age and employment status.






About the Elizabeth R Media Fund

It was originally established as The Elizabeth R Broadcasting Fund in 1995 to assist the development of broadcasting skills in the Commonwealth with a donation from Buckingham Palace. The donation came from royalties from “Elizabeth R”, the 1992 BBC documentary which marked the 40th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Fund has fulfilled an important role for more than 20 years, bringing together Commonwealth broadcasters via a programme of travel bursaries and training opportunities.

However, the media landscape has changed greatly since that ground-breaking Elizabeth R documentary and the Fund is now developing to meet the challenges of the media’s digital age.

Thomson Foundation has been charged with re-branding and re-launching the Fund.

It is a fitting choice as the foundation has, for over 50 years, helped raise standards of journalism and communications across the world and trained journalists and media managers from every Commonwealth country.


Help and questions

For any queries on the Elizabeth R Media Fund Commonwealth Digital Challenge, please email: ERMF@thomsonfoundation.org

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