About Splice

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.

The Splice story started with an irritation: that media wasn’t making the most of the arrival of the internet.

We’re in a golden age of media. For the first time, we’re able to create information and news faster and cheaper, and deliver it into the hands of those who want or need it.

And yet we talk of media as a dying, irrelevant industry. This is even more difficult in a region that doesn’t have equivalents to Nieman Lab, Journalism.co.uk, Digiday, EJC, or Poynter.

Our mission at Splice is to drive radical transformational change by supporting bold, forward-looking media startups in Asia. Here’s how we’re doing it.

Reporting

We report on the transformation of media in Asia.

We are read by people who work across the media ecosystem: SCMP, CNN, Quartz, BuzzFeed, Rappler, Twitter, Asahi Shimbun, ABC, New York University, FT, BBC, Facebook, Straits Times, Reuters, Open Society Foundation, Chartbeat, Google, Omidyar, and Malaysiakini.

We work with writers across the region, covering Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Australia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

We love talking about the inspiring work that media startups such as R Vision, the Mekong Review, FactWire, New Naratif, Magdalene, Malaysiakini, Citizen Matters, and The News Lens are doing in Asia.

We also report on the gaps in media, especially when it comes to diversity, discrimination, opportunity, and access. We run these stories on our site and they are often picked up on Nieman Lab, IJ Net, Mumbrella, Asian Correspondent and others.

Our newsletters are part of that reporting. Our goal is to keep you informed of what’s happening in media trends: stories of transformation, innovation, and user experience and perception.

We’re always looking for stories. We pay well and on time. Here’s our brief. Pitch us.

Our content is meant to be copied.

This reporting is free to re-publish — our work is created under a Creative Commons license because we want it to be read and published elsewhere. That’s how we spread our ideas and that’s how we help our writers find more readers to connect with.

You just need to give Splice appropriate credit, link to our original story, 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 email.

Workshops and talks

We take some of the ideas we’ve generated from our reporting and turn these into case studies that we teach at workshops, or other events such as conferences. This is one way we make a living.

We talk about media trends — what’s happening in this space, and how that affects the way consumers respond. More importantly, we drive discussions around what needs to be done by the industry.

We’re known for our work in media design; we’ve run design-thinking workshops with a focus on helping publishers connect problems that exist with potential solutions. We are building on a design canvas that we’ve created specifically for media.

We’ve done workshops and talks in various formats and content for WAN-IFRA, the U.S. State Department, Medtronic, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and Ink Publishing.

Need a Splice workshop? Email us.

Mentorship

We support the important work that journalism schools are doing in Asia. We’re partners with the University of Hong Kong, Nanyang Technological University, and Kaplan in their efforts to grow the next generation of media professionals. We provide coaching, internships, and advisory support.

How can we help you?

Research

We audit and research media businesses and their relationships with their audiences. The dynamic between them is defined by change, and it is central to the Splice DNA to track its evolution.

Splice recently worked with Facebook to audit the media landscape in Australia and New Zealand to understand what it would take for media startups to grow and thrive in the next 2-3 years. We spoke with almost forty media companies about the way they approached their market, their products, their users, and their ideas for the future. Look out for a report on that soon.

If you’d like to commission Splice for a research project, get in touch.

Consulting

Consulting covers the bulk of our operating costs. This is the deep, transformative work we’ve been doing with newsrooms big and small to drive change within the organizations in countries such as Indonesia, Myanmar, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Philippines. We work directly with these media organizations, and at times, with media support non-profits.

This is where we deploy the best of our case studies to solve specific problems. It could be to change mindsets in productization and workflows. We’ve designed operational processes for a newsroom for one of the world’s largest digital broadcasters and integrated it with their social strategy. We’re currently supporting efforts to drive a merger between two newsrooms.

Do you have a media transformation project you’d like us to work on? Let’s talk.

Funding

We’re keen to support the work of media startups. We’re partnering with Civil in our Splice 100 project to help drive the creation of 100 media startups in Asia over 3 years.

We believe that while it’s important to support the transformation of traditional 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.

We love what we do. We hope you do too.

We’re always looking for the next opportunity to transform this industry. Reach out if you’d like a chat.

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.

The Splice team (from left): Rishad, Jacqui, Timi, and Alan
The Splice team (from left): Rishad, Jacqui, Timi, and Alan

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 Splice Media. 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 Splice Media. 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 has been a design consultant for MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and SMART (the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology), and ETH (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule), and 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, and a Singapore-based fintech startup. Follow Rishad on Twitter or email him at rishad@thesplicenewsroom.com.

TIMI SIYTANGCO is a digital media professional with 20 years of creative and commercial experience. She’s helped build digital media businesses in Asia from the ground up, including CBS Interactive and Outbrain, and has held management roles in audience development, product, sales management and campaign ops. This experience has given her an insider’s perspective on what it takes to run a sustainable media business in the digital age. Timi has also led digital teams at marketing and PR agencies, advising blue-chip brands on content strategy, branded content programs, and developing digital capability within an organization. Follow Timi on Twitter or email her at timi@thesplicenewsroom.com.

JACQUI PARK is an editor, media strategist and social entrepreneur. She leads research and strategy for Splice and is a senior fellow for Asia Pacific journalism and innovation at the University of Technology, Sydney. She was the founding CEO of the prestigious Australian Walkley Foundation for journalism and is credited with its transition to an innovation leader in journalism. She designed and led a first-of-its-kind media start-up program, the Media Incubator and Innovation Fund which supported more than 25 new media ventures and experiments and included in its final year an online launchpad for more than 100 teams of media entrepreneurs. Jacqui was a Knight fellow at Stanford University where she researched and trained in the Graduate School of Business and the Design Institute as an innovation facilitator and strategic designer. Follow Jacqui on Twitter or email her at jacqui@thesplicenewsroom.com.

Advisors

THOMAS ABRAHAM is an author and journalist based in Bengaluru, India. He has over three decades of experience as a journalist and is a former editor of the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He was on the faculty of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong for over a decade, where he ran the Masters in Journalism program, and taught health and science journalism. Thomas has also worked at the World Health Organization in Geneva in the Director General’s office where he headed the news department. He is the author of Twentieth Century Plague: The Story of SARS (2004) and Polio, The Odyssey of Eradication (2018). He has a particular interest in helping to develop sustainable models of digital journalism.

ROSS SETTLES brings almost two decades of experience working in strategy, marketing and product development for media companies in the U.S. and East Asia. During the last decade, Settles has seen advertisers and publishers struggle with the rapidly evolving media environment. As both a consultant and media marketing executive, Settles has worked with revenue and product marketing teams to develop and market the best mix of advertising and content packages. Past work has focused on marketing, product and revenue development work for companies in the structured listings space (Zvents, CareerBuilder, ShopLocal), online news content (Yahoo! Local, The Knight Foundation) as well as the promotion and marketing of social networking services to advertisers and communities of audiences.

Partnerships

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

We worked with Charis Rooda to build out the first version of our website, the home of our newsletters, original stories, and related archives and businesses. Spider are our trusty web developers who keep us ticking over. 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 and 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.

The Splice logo

The Splice logo is called the Splice Tile.

It is a seating plan, or a content layout, or a street map, or a microchip, or a photo grid, or a chest of drawers, or an organisational chart, or a electrical diagram, or a tree map, or an origami pattern, or a website, or a classroom, or a landmass, or a photo frame, or a path through the garden, or a window, or a dinner tray, or a comic strip, or a house, or solar panels, or the tiles in your bathroom, the pictures on your wall, or a dashboard, or a maze.

It represents order. It speaks to structure, and a pathway to navigate it.

It must be used, like Splice, to tell a story well.

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