Digital strategist and former Guardian and BBC journalist Kevin Anderson has announced that he will be joining Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), working on a digital business strategy project which will offer online resources and training to independent news outlets.
In a blog post Anderson, who was previously digital research editor at the Guardian until 2010 and joined the BBC as its first online journalist outside of the UK in 1998, confirmed he will be involved with the yet-to-be-launched Knowledge Bridge project, which will "help the news organisations it works with make the digital transition".
According to Anderson "[MDLF] is a mission-driven investment fund for independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression."
MDLF's website says it aims to "help journalists in challenging environments build sustainable businesses around professional, responsible, quality journalism".
Anderson said he was asked to attend an MDLF board meeting last year "to talk about media developments in the Middle East, based on the work that I had been doing with Al Jazeera" and "developments in digital media".
"When I attended the meeting, MDLF's CEO Harlan Mandel described the fund as a unique organisation. While it focuses on funding news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression, its core goal is to grow the news organisations into self-sustaining, sustainable businesses. That impressed me."
He added that MDLF will soon launch "the Knowledge Bridge project", following the recent launch of its Digital News Ventures fund.
Anderson said the new project, which he will be editor of, will offer both content, in the form of a blog, newsletter and online "resource centre" providing material such as webinars, presentations and online training related to digital business ideas and editorial skills, and "digital capacity building" through training and consulting for MDLF clients.
"MDLF has worked in 27 countries, from Guatemala to Indonesia, and the Knowledge Bridge will be focusing on the digital media business needs in those countries, although we will definitely highlight the best digital thinking in the US, Europe and elsewhere.
"I’ll be the editor for the Knowledge Bridge and also helping to manage the training and consulting for clients."
MDLF's main base is in New York, but it is understood Anderson will remain in the UK. MDLF has also announced Anderson's appointment.