Facebook has struck a partnership with Splice Media to provide funding to 15 media startups in Asia-Pacific looking to develop new products and services, as part of its commitment to support the news industry.
The social media network's Journalism Project works with publishers around the world to provide training and support and develop new online business models. The program is led by Facebook director of news partnerships Anjali Kapoor in the Asia-Pacific region.
Splice Media was founded five years ago as Asia's answer to journalism institutions like Harvard's Nieman Lab, providing resources to help the region's newsrooms and media startups adapt to digital.
Together, Facebook and Splice Media will launch the Splice Beta Fund, that will provide micro-grants to media startups to prototype new products, as well as teaching, mentoring and bespoke workshops.
Rishad Patel, Splice Media co-founder said, “the fund will help media teams in the region prototype media products and services that are useful and relevant—products that address real issues for real communities. If we can help startups build something valuable enough to pay for, we’ll consider this a success.”
Alan Soon, co-founder of Splice Media, said the partnership with Facebook will help broaden the program’s reach. "Facebook has a community of publishers that they work with,” he said. “They're on the ground, they know the challenges publishers face, and they're looking for ways to make things work. Facebook also has a wealth of experience running such programs — that knowledge will help us move quickly in building support frameworks for media startups across Asia."
Splice has also worked with Google on its first Google News Initiative Design Accelerator for Asia in 2019. The program was aimed at upskilling newsroom teams on business strategy, operations, and product in the region.