Thomson Foundation/Elizabeth R Media Fund Commonwealth Digital Challenge 2017/18

Thomson Foundation/Elizabeth R Media Fund Commonwealth Digital Challenge 2017/18

Deadline: November 3, 2017

Journalists and media managers all around the Commonwealth are invited to apply for the Thomson Foundation/Elizabeth R Media Fund Commonwealth Digital Challenge 2017/18. The competition is aimed at providing young and aspiring media managers from the Commonwealth with the skills and tools necessary to help their organisations face the digital challenges in their countries. The event will also act as a spur to the competitors to discuss the needs of a free and competitive media across the Commonwealth.

It was originally established as The Elizabeth R Broadcasting Fund in 1995 to assist the development of broadcasting skills in the Commonwealth with a donation from Buckingham Palace. The donation came from royalties from “Elizabeth R”, the 1992 BBC documentary which marked the 40th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The Fund has fulfilled an important role for more than 20 years, bringing together Commonwealth broadcasters via a programme of travel bursaries and training opportunities.


  • The overall winner will be invited to spend a week’s intensive study of UK media organisations in London, with all expenses paid, during the week of the Commonwealth Summit in London in April, 2018.
  • It will be followed by 12 months’ mentoring by industry professionals overseen by the Thomson Foundation – the world’s longest-established media development organisation.


  • The competition is open to journalists and media managers working for a media organisation in the public or private sectors;
  • Applicants must be citizens of a Commonwealth member country, excluding the UK;
  • Entrants must be aged between 28 and 35, on April 1, 2018. The competition organisers may request documentation to verify an entrant’s age and employment status.

Competition Rules

  • Entrants will be asked to submit a 400-word statement, in English, outlining a particular challenge posed to their organisation, or media sector, in their country together with a potential business case for how it could be addressed.
  • Twenty applicants will be invited to take three online modules in digital skills and newsroom management from the Thomson Foundation’s online Journalism Now programme.
  • The most successful of the 20, in the opinion of the judges, will be invited to spend a week’s intensive study of UK media organisations in London, during Commonwealth Week 2018, followed by online mentoring by Thomson Foundation consultants for 12 months.
  • The winner will lead a virtual conference of the top 20 applicants and UK media mentors focusing on how the media can react to the challenges thrown up by the topic of Commonwealth Week.


  • To enter the competition, simply complete the application form.
  • For any queries relating to your application for the Elizabeth R Media Fund Commonwealth Digital Challenge, please email: [email protected]

Applicants must submit their initial entry by midnight GMT on Friday, November 3, 2017. Shortlisted applicants must be able to take the online modules between November 15, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

For more information, visit Commonwealth Digital Challenge.