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Terms of Reference: Contest for selection of authors for the production of seven multimedia packages “Moldova Plus” within the project “Strengthening Independent Media in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia”

10 January 2017
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1. General Information

The Independent Journalism Center in partnership with Internews is launching a cross-border project “Strengthening Independent Media in Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia”.

This new project aims to improve access to useful information for citizens of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia by improving capacity of local media, applying innovations in journalism, encouraging dialog among youth, training older people to get the most out of the internet, and stimulating collaboration between journalists from all three countries.

By means of all its activities, the project will promote the values of ethical and honest journalism, facts-based coverage, independence of media outlets’ editorial policy, freedom of expression, including online.

The project foresees production of 7 multimedia packages titled “Moldova Plus”, which are subsequently to be published by 9 local media outlets, partners of the project, including in the Transnistrian region and the Gagauz autonomy.

The “Moldova Plus” series will consist of 7 multimedia packages that will be produced with the help of journalists from national media and will include video, audio, written materials, infographics, interactive maps, games, quizzes. The packages will cover topics of national interest, and partner outlets from local media will be able to adapt them for their audiences. Every package from the “Moldova Plus” series will be launched at a briefing with the participation of its authors.

The authors of “Moldova Plus” packages will be selected by a group of experts following a contest, to which applications can be filed by journalists individually, by media outlets representing print press, radio, television or the Internet, production studios, which could collaborate with civil society organizations or think tanks and will delegate a team for the project. Every candidate may submit an application for one, several or all the seven packages.
2. Expected Products and Services
Each of the 7 multimedia packages “Moldova Plus” will cover a single topic, and the project will cover 7 different topics. Each package will contain 5 multimedia materials, depending on their complexity, which will be produced using modern tools of interactive visual journalism. Materials should be attractive, accessible and should represent various genres of the press, such as reports, mini-documentaries, expert opinions, quizzes, etc.
4 of the topics for “Moldova Plus” packages have been suggested by organizers and the project’s coordination council, and 3 will be established together with project partners from local media after contracts with winners are signed.
To produce multimedia packages, authors will collaborate and establish partnerships with NGOs, experts and think tanks from sectors relevant to the topics chosen.
3. Budget
The selected authors will receive grants of USD 2,000 for each multimedia package produced, and this amount will cover production expenses, salaries and other relevant costs.
4. Multimedia Packages Production Schedule
A multimedia package preparation period will be 4 weeks. The order of production of materials and the deadlines will be determined together with the Independent Journalism Center after winners are announced. The deadline for the first multimedia package is March 2017.
5. Obligations and Responsibilities of the Authors Selected
The authors selected will produce “Moldova Plus” multimedia packages in compliance with deadlines and production concepts established together with the Independent Journalism Center.
For the purposes of documentation and production of multimedia packages, authors will collaborate with NGOs, experts and think tanks from relevant sectors.
The Independent Journalism Center assumes the right to publish “Moldova Plus” multimedia packages. All multimedia products will be made available for publication/broadcasting to 9 local media outlets, partners of the project, which can adapt them to the interests of the communities they work in.
Each multimedia package will be launched at a one-day briefing with the participation of local media partners. The public presentation of multimedia packages is part of the authors’ obligations. The costs of participation of local media partners in the briefings will be covered by the IJC.
6. Conditions for Application to the Contest for Realization of “Moldova Plus” Multimedia Packages

  • At least 3 years of experience in the media;
  • Proven ability to produce multimedia journalistic materials, accompanied by published samples (infographics, videos, images, photo reports, articles, quizzes, edited for online publication, etc.);
  • Flexibility and ability to work under the pressure of deadlines;
  • Previous collaboration with NGOs and civil society representatives is an advantage;
  • Previous experience in production of materials on selected topic(s) is an advantage. 
7. Contents of the Application
  • General presentation of the participating journalist(s)/outlet(s), including a portfolio with at least 3 materials (only applications with sample multimedia materials will be analyzed. The application may include other types of materials as well, if they illustrate the relevant expertise of the participant);
  • CVs of the author/team that will be involved in production of multimedia packages;
  • Confirmation of the ability to produce materials on a topic established and announced by organizers after the closure of the contest;
  • Proposal of the general concept for the multimedia package(s);
  • Budget for production of the multimedia packages, including salary costs;
  • 2 letters of intention from NGOs, experts, think tanks with which there will be collaboration during the production of multimedia packages. 
8. Selection Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on:
- The quality of the technical offer, including completion of all mandatory elements of the application;

- The quality of the financial offer, which shall not exceed the amount of USD 2,000 for each multimedia package produced.
Winners will be designated by the project’s coordinating council based on a points system, as follows:
1. The quality of the technical offer makes 90% of the total value of the application;
2. The quality of the financial offer makes 10% of the total value of the application. 

1.1 Technical offer evaluation criteria:
- Professionalism of the contest participant (the outlet/participant(s) have the capacity to finalize the project; reputation and proven attachment to the standards of professional ethics; roles in the team are clear as regards the project; the proposed concept proves that the applicant has sufficient technical abilities and experience to produce successful multimedia packages; the concept shows that the applicant understands the goals of the project) – maximum 25 points;

- Quality of portfolio (quality of materials in the portfolio, diversity of materials, previous experience of coverage of topics of major public interest) – maximum 25 points;

 - Quality of the general concept of multimedia packages (novelty/originality of concept proposed; diversity of multimedia elements used; clarity and coherence of the concept proposed; sustainability (potential to develop/continue production of multimedia materials after the end of the project)) – maximum 40 points. 

2.1 Financial offer evaluation criteria:
- Coherence and clarity of description of expense chapters (maximum 5 points);
- Reasonable budget, as well as use to the maximum of resources available in relation to the quality and number of products offered (maximum 5 points). 

9. Deadline for Submission of Offers
Offers shall be emailed in Romanian or Russian language to с by January 27, 2017, at 18.00, or presented in person at the IJC office at the following address: Independent Journalism Center, 53 Sciusev Street, MD-2012.
Contact person: Rodica Catareu, project coordinator, phone: 022 213 652.