Hong Kong, 28 August 2020. The Journalism and Media Studies Centre has announced the three 2020 recipients of its Media-X Prototype Fund. The awardees are “Wartawan Eko”, a training and reporting project focused on environmental issues in Malaysia, “WeVoice+”, an app serving the visually impaired with crowdsourced service and support and “the School of Public Life”, a webinar series from Matters Lab focused on the issues of public importance. Awardees have 9 to 12 months to develop, test and evolve their prototypes. Grant awards focus on the specifics of the prototype and testing of media solutions with a social benefit.
Launched in March 2019 with the generous support of the Xu Family Charitable Foundation, Media-X supports media entrepreneurs focused on social welfare and improvement. This year the grant program received 68 applications for support from eight countries throughout east and southeast Asia, a significant increase over 2019. Over half of the applications were from Hong Kong.
“This year Media-X Prototype Fund received strong applications from around the region with entrepreneurs focused underreported topics like endangered wildlife and underserved communities like the visually impaired,” said Ruby Yang, chairperson of the board of Media-X. “The awardees stood out for their innovative uses of media and their clear social goals.”
Wartawan Eko led by the Malaysian NGO Roots & Shoots will enlist the support of experienced Malaysian video producers to train young Malaysians to develop video reporting about the environmental challenges faced by Malaysia’s rapidly shrinking rain forests. The programme will support the young reporters to produce short, social media friendly videos for a broad youth audience across Malaysia. Wartawan Eko will produce videos in Malay with English and Chinese subtitles for the broadest reach.
WeVoice+ has won multiple awards and grants for its innovative combination of mobile technology and crowdsourcing techniques to solve the problems faced by the visually impaired. The team has proposed to prototype an expansion of their previous work using crowdsourced descriptions of difficult signs or situations for visually impaired people using the WeVoice+ mobile app.
The School of Public Life led by the team from Hong Kong-based media start-up Matters.news will build a webinar platform to support the development of communities of public knowledge in the global Chinese-speaking community. The team will build on its successful content publishing platform and community to launch the prototype. The team will develop webinars and supporting content communities around topics such as public health, technology and society.
About the Journalism and Media Studies Centre
The Journalism and Media Studies Centre of The University of Hong Kong has, since 1999, offered world-class professional journalism education at Asia’s premier university. Our experienced, highly skilled instructors and support staff enhance professional standards and bolster journalistic integrity through our teaching programmes, research, professional services and partnerships with major media outlets. The curriculum is designed to produce graduates for all types of local, regional and international media organisations. Our location in Hong Kong has us ideally positioned to train the next generation of journalists who will be telling China’s—and Asia’s—story to the world.
About Xu Family Charitable Foundation
Xu Family Charitable Foundation is a non-public grant-making foundation registered in Hong Kong, China. The Foundation subsidizes public welfare programmes and non-governmental public welfare organizations which are in line with social welfare or conducive to social development. Founded on the basis of investing into and enabling people with the will to make a positive impact to society and the world, the Foundation is dedicated to promoting the development of social welfare charities, positive and sustainable welfare organizations, as well as public philanthropy projects.
Press inquiries, please contact:
Journalism and Media StudIes Centre
The University of Hong Kong
+852 3917 1669