Designed with Users in Mind

Microsoft Summit for Democracy

This summer, more than 30  prospective users of the Media Viability Accelerator (MVA)—editors, CEOs, publishers, data analysts and more, spanning eight time zones and four languages—took part in the first series of the MVA’s “Shaper Cohort” feedback sessions. They convened to help our software developer understand user needs and concerns at the outset of the tool’s development.

Some members of the Cohort had previously provided input to a survey that asked them details of their daily work: how they go about informing communities, and what tools are currently useful for tasks including management, finance, planning, and content creation. Participants in the moderated feedback sessions reviewed the outputs of that data-gathering exercise and were given the chance to comment further.

Importantly, they discussed the challenges they hoped the MVA should address. Maybe their goals sound familiar to you?

  • Increasing audience reach
  • Understanding the market
  • Improving productivity
  • Visualizing and tracking media performance

MVA’s software developers are now taking these inputs and many more into their process, to build a final product that incorporates users’ needs, day-to-day work, and goals.

Resource Alert

MVA’s technology partner, Microsoft, recently released a new Journalism Guidebook as part of its Democracy Forward program, the same program that supports the MVA! Visit the Microsoft Journalism Hub to learn more.


“Healthy democracies require healthy news ecosystems. Technology has played a role in the disruption of news, but it can also be an important part of the rebuilding effort.”

microsoft journalism hub

Partner Insight:

Free Press Unlimited is helping to create the MVA. We spoke with Ruth Kronenburg, Executive Director, about the purpose of their work and how the MVA can help.

With repressive regimes on the rise, the immense power of platforms and ongoing media capture all over the world, independent media are increasingly struggling. For Free Press Unlimited, supporting these media in any way we can on their route to viability is one of our core priorities, as all of society needs independent media in the battle against disinformation, especially in countries where conflict and repression is everywhere.

Public interest media, especially those who distribute their publications via social media, need as much data as possible to analyse and determine how their outlets can reach the most relevant audience in the most attractive and effective way, as part of the solution to become viable.”