The Media Development Foundation, a not-for-profit public trust, was established in 1999 to foster journalism as an independent, investigative, socially responsible, and ethical profession. It aims to promote excellence in the field through education, training, and media-related research. It seeks to equip the aspiring modern journalist with the capabilities to achieve world-class standards in the profession. It is committed to promoting diversity and broadening access to journalism by offering educational and training opportunities to all groups in society, including those who are severely underrepresented in the journalistic profession.
The Trustees of the Foundation are: Sashi Kumar (Chairman), journalist, TV anchor, filmmaker, founder of Asianet and Chairman, Asiaville Interactive; N. Ram, Director of the Hindu Publishing Group and former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and Frontline magazine; C. P. Chandrasekhar, former Professor of Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and columnist; Radhika Menon, Publisher and Editorial Director of Tulika Publishers; and N. Murali, Director, The Hindu Group of Publications Pvt. Ltd and Kasturi & Sons Ltd.
In pursuit of its goal, in 2000 the Foundation took over, by agreement with the parent B. D. Goenka Foundation, the Asian College of Journalism, which had been functioning successfully for six years in Bangalore. The College was moved to Chennai and its course content was restructured and broadened. The first class graduated in June 2001.