About

Our mission, the team, and partners

Splice is media transformation in Asia.

Our mission

You’re probably here because you want to see what Splice is all about. The short answer is that we’re the Nieman Lab of Asia (without the funding!).

But seriously, you should stay for the long answer.

We’re a self-funded media startup based in Singapore. We want to be at the center of the transformation of media in Asia.

When we started Splice in 2015, our goal was to work with newsrooms as consultants to help them on their digital transformations — from vision, to strategy, to operations, to workflows.

But it was difficult to gather insights into what was happening in Asia.

What are the most progressive newsrooms in Asia?
What are their best practices in audience engagement?
What are the new business models in media?
What are new revenue streams that show promise?
Who are the leaders of change in newsrooms?
Who are the upcoming young journalists in this space?
What are the media startups to watch?

That made it hard to train, partner and support the industry. There are no equivalents to Nieman Lab, Journalism.co.uk, Digiday, EJC or Poynter in this region. So in 2017, we got a small grant from Facebook to launch this site, and with the help of reporters across the region, document the transformation of the industry.

We’re not only reporting on this space. We’re taking that knowledge and teaching or implementing it in workshops, conferences or consulting.

Our BHAG (and it’s as crazy as it’s hairy): We want to help catalyze the launch of 100 media startups in Asia in the next 3 years. We believe that while it’s important to support the transformation of legacy newsrooms, the real change to media can only come when small, nimble startups take the lead. We’re obsessed about finding ways to help build sustainable options for media.

Our community is made up of influential media professionals working across newsrooms, content, advertising, marketing, business, policy, and academia. Our newsletters are read by professionals in newsrooms including CNN, Quartz, BuzzFeed, Rappler, Asahi Shimbun, ABC, FT, BBC, Straits Times and Malaysiakini.

We bring this community together through our reporting, our newsletters, and on Telegram.

We can’t do this alone. So get in touch — we’re looking for partners, reporters and advertisers. A simple email is all it takes.

Our content is meant to be copied.

We work with reporters around Asia to cover the trends, threats and tools in media. We want to help grow the ecosystem so all the original stories here are covered under a Creative Commons license. We want to ensure that these stories make their way into the hands of people who would find them useful — and better yet, would act on them.

You’re free to copy and redistribute this content. You can remix, transform, or build on this material. You can turn them into courses. You can even print them out as toilet paper if you want to. You just need to give Splice appropriate credit, link to us, and indicate if you’ve made changes on your end.

You’ll find all the details on our Creative Commons license here. Or just email us. We love emails.

Writing for Splice

Do you believe we’re on to something powerful? We’re always looking for freelance writers to cover media trends in their respective markets. Here’s our brief.

The team

We’re doing this because we can’t shake this belief that something needs to be done to help pull this region’s media industry together.

Papers signed. Now let's build this. Co-founders Alan Soon and Rishad Patel in August 2017.
Papers signed. Now let's build this. Co-founders Alan Soon and Rishad Patel in August 2017.

ALAN SOON is Asia’s leading expert on newsroom operations, digital transformation, and building the new business of media. He also advises early-stage media-tech startups. He is the co-founder of The Splice Newsroom.

A career journalist for two decades, Alan has worked in radio, television, news wires, magazine, and online across Asia, giving him unique insight into how various newsrooms get things done—and where they get stuck.

He started his career as a reporter and grew into other operational roles at Bloomberg, CNBC, Kyodo News, Star TV and Channel NewsAsia. He eventually led one of the largest digital news teams in the industry as Yahoo’s Managing Editor for India and Southeast Asia.

Follow Alan on Twitter or email him at alansoon@thesplicenewsroom.com.

 

RISHAD PATEL is a product and design professional. He is the co-founder of The Splice Newsroom.

For over twenty years, Rishad has designed and developed products for the web, mobile, radio, advertising, newsrooms, newspapers, magazines, podcasting, branding, books, and floor rugs for companies in Singapore, India, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States. He designed our branding and this website.

He has been an editorial consultant at The Straits Times in Singapore, the Wanganui Chronicle in New Zealand, and Mid-Day in Mumbai. He was also a co-founder of a gifting app startup in San Francisco, a public school startup in the SF Bay Area, and a Singapore-based fintech startup.

Follow Rishad on Twitter or email him at rishad@thesplicenewsroom.com.

Partnerships

We couldn’t do this without the trust and support of our partners.

We worked with the mighty Charis Rooda to build out our website, the home of our media intelligence briefing newsletter, our media design newsletter, our original stories, and related archives and businesses. We also work with our editor Holly Robertson and a growing number of talented freelance journalists for their reporting and insights.

Thanks to the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, Splice will work with some of Asia’s brightest journalism faculty and students to tell the incredible stories of media transformation coming out of China and the region. We will also work with JMSC on research, toolkits, and events across the region. Details here.

Also, big thanks to the Facebook Journalism Project for the encouragement and support in making all this happen.

Do you want to be part of this? Get in touch. Let’s build a partnership for media transformation in Asia together.

Conflicts & Ethics

At Splice, we push for change in driving a point of view, speaking about the state of the media and the best practices that can sustain it, and funding projects that change the industry. We’re a for-profit B2B business with a mission. Think of us as advocates for the transformation of media.

We are in a unique position where we’re reporting on the industry, funding it at times, doing consulting work to sustain ourselves, and, on other occasions, teaching best practices.

As is the case with all media organizations, there are inherent conflicts of interest in what we do. For one, we report on the community that we sell training and consulting services to.

That’s why we want to be upfront about how we work and where we think some of these conflict lines are drawn. We aim to manage and mitigate these conflicts through disclosure, responsibility, transparency, and feedback.

Where our money comes from
We are primarily self-funded, but supported by the training and consulting work we do. We’ve also accepted grants from Facebook and Civil Media.

Who our funds support
We provide prototype funding to media startups as part of our Splice 100 program. We may also from time-to-time report on the same startups that we support. We will disclose this in our reporting.

About our spouses
We, the co-founders, are both married to Facebook executives working in the communications team. Both of our spouses joined Facebook months after we received our grant from the company in 2017. We do not discuss Facebook matters at home.

How we work with ads
We accept ads from advertisers who want to reach media professionals. In the past, this has included clients such as New York Times and Reuters. We are gatekeepers to our audience, so we’re very careful about the clients we bring on and the advertising messages we run. We will share organizational information such as generic roles and organization names with our advertisers, but never the specific names of our readers — and definitely not their email addresses. See our privacy statement.

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