[FoME] Request for Proposals on Syrian media and their Audiences

Christoph Dietz Christoph.Dietz at CAMECO.ORG
Fr Mär 30 17:35:28 CEST 2018

>>> "Evaline Schot" <schot at freepressunlimited.org> 29.03.18 21.39 Uhr

Free Press Unlimited is inviting bids for research into Syrian media and
their audiences. This research is part of Free Press Unlimited's Syria
programme. Proposals are due on or before 26 April 2018.

Free Press Unlimited strongly believes that all people are entitled to
have access to unbiased, reliable and timely information. This enables
them to assess their own living conditions, influence these and make the
right decisions. With its Syria programme Free Press Unlimited supports
the development of a competent, sustainable and independent media
sector. The sector is vital for conflict reduction, the growth of a
pluralist society and the development of democratic structures.

Research Objectives
Connect knowledge gathering with the aims of both the Syria programme
and Free Press Unlimited at large
We do this to review and potentially optimise the way in which we invest
in the Syrian media sector
Free Press Unlimited understands that its primary partners are audiences
Ultimately, Free Press Unlimited wishes to connect audiences and
journalism in a new way
Free Press Unlimited endeavours to understand expectations of audiences
and media professionals alike
It aims to systematically compare and contrast data produced by
audiences and media professionals in order to understand potential gaps:
gaps that Free Press Unlimited’s future strategy aims too narrow or

Research Questions
Do audiences, media partners and Free Press Unlimited share the same
understanding of the idea of independent media?
Similarly, potential discrepancies in the decoding of concepts such as
democracy, freedom, stability and pluralism.
What news and information do Syrians need to run their lives and
How does this compare with what media professionals do and how they see
information needs?
Where do Syrians think they can get the information and news they need
to run their lives and survive? Now and in the future?
The degree to which media content matches audience expectation and need,
comparing media consumers and providers.
How do audiences assess actual journalistic products?
What can media professionals learn from such assessments?

Bidders should indicate which areas in Syria they can access and their
logic for choosing certain areas over others. Furthermore, bidders
should provide information on the proportion of media professionals that
they intend to recruit inside of Syria, and in what parts of the country
as well as outside the country.

Free Press Unlimited has developed a two-pronged approach: it aims to
connect to both audiences and the media professionals that serve them.
Therefore, Free Press Unlimited requires a multi-component research
strategy. Free Press Unlimited’s approach is fundamentally qualitative
with crucial supporting elements of quantitative data.

Components - Audiences

Recruitment interviews (fully structured closed-ended questionnaire)
with members of the intended target audience (n=50; 10-15 minutes). This
will validate adherence to the recruitment criteria and quantify basic
media U&A across multiple digital and analogue platforms
Clinics (controlled research environment) with 50 members of the
audiences where respondents are exposed to media content (online,
offline, video, audio, text) and their reactions gauged according to a
set of prepared scores (e.g. reliability, presentation, length, use of
images, impact, news value, relevance, language/accents, etc.). Media
content will consist of 14 journalistic products (articles, online
links, podcasts, etc.) that audience members will evaluate (rotated).
About half of the pieces will have been produced by Free Press
Unlimited’s media partners, half will come from other sources. The
duration of the clinics is between 60 and 90 minutes
In-depth interviews (based on both a semi-structured interview guide and
free-wheeling discussion). 25 of the most responsive clinic participants
interviews, respondents are queried about 3 of their clinic inputs for
deep insight and rich authentic data.
Components – Media Professionals

Recruitment interviews (fully structured closed-ended questionnaire)
with 30 stakeholders and media professionals. This will validate
adherence to the recruitment criteria and help Free Press Unlimited
understand the basics of their work as well as potential differences
between Free Press Unlimited supported media professionals and others
In-depth interviews (based on both a semi-structured interview guide and
free-wheeling discussion). This deep-dive (n=30) explores journalistic
ambitions regarding impact and target audiences. Furthermore, it will
map out expectations, working environment, regulatory situation and
journalistic ethics. The in-depth interviews will last 60-90 minutes
Workshops with Free Press Unlimited partners. This component is designed
to expose Free Press Unlimited partners to audience reactions to 14
journalistic products and the insights produced by the audience in-depth
interviews. The workshops are clearly intended to exploit the data for
maximum learning and cross-fertilisation. The workshops are conducted by
Free Press Unlimited independently of Free Press Unlimited’s research

Members of the Audience (n=50)
50% women; 50 men
50% below 35 years of age; 50% above
75% of respondents have at least completed secondary education
All respondents have access to online and can recall 2 news items they
consumed in the past week

Media Professionals (n=30)
All media professionals are either full-time or predominantly engaged in
journalistic activity
50% of the media professionals benefit either directly or indirectly
from Free Press Unlimited support; the other 50% do not
Stakeholders (n=4) – Persons who command a controlling share in a media
Content deciders (n=6) – Editors or persons who instruct journalists in
their work and/or decide on the content of journalistic products
Journalists (n=20)
Free Press Unlimited will provide its research partner with contact
details of media professionals it supports

Quality Control
100% of respondents (audience and media professionals) for adherence to
recruitment criteria and their our put are quality controlled by an
independent team. Moreover, all steps in the research are subject to
rigid quality control routines. Free Press Unlimited expects bidders to
fully outline their proposed quality control strategy.

Client consultation either face-to-face or via VoIP
Format and adaptation of all materials provided by Free Press Unlimited
Weekly progress updates; daily updates during the fieldwork
Same-day response to Free Press Unlimited queries
Translation and back-translation of all materials
Recruitment and over-recruitment of respondents that fully comply with
the recruitment criteria determined by Free Press Unlimited
Fieldwork management
Audio- or video recordings of all in-depth interviews (where feasible)
Transcripts in Arabic and English
Data file in SPSS and export format
Fully detailed technical report
Descriptive report (10-15 pages) drawing on data from all research
In-house presentation at Free Press Unlimited’s offices in Amsterdam,

Timing and Period of Performance
Preparation work will start on or around 18 June 2018. The fieldwork
will start at the end of approximately 1 month after that. The
deliverables are due 8 weeks following Free Press Unlimited’s sign-off
of the research instruments and the corresponding

Bidders should quote in Euros including all services and taxes.

Bidding Process
Bidders are required to indicate their interest and register their
contact details on or before 30 March 2018, COB. Bidders are invited to
send their questions to schot [at] freepressunlimited.org on or before 6
April 2018, COB. Telephone enquires will not be answered. All questions
and their corresponding answers willUnlimited to all bidders on or before 12 April 2018. Proposals are due
on or before 26 April 2018. Free Press Unlimited will contact
short-listed bidders within 5 weeks of receiving proposals but may
contact individual bidders for clarification beforehand.

About Your Proposal
Indicate a full understanding of Free Press Unlimited’s strategic
imperatives and the research brief
Outline key personnel including a short bio
Indicate which parts, if any, will be subcontracted and to whom
Outline your incentivisation strategy
Describe your methodological approach in detail
Outline any anticipated challenges for each step/component
Describe your experience in conducting research in Syria and other
challenging/conflictive research environment

Terms and Conditions
Full confidentiality
Copyright over the data, research and results published shall be with
Free Press Unlimited
Full adherence to ESOMAR codes
Unreserved submission to Dutch law
Free Press Unlimited reserves the right to alter any or all of the above
components or cancel the procurement process altogether

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