“The survey responses reflect interviewee input in expressing long-held concerns that many donors still struggle to understand what media development is and why it is important. While some interviewees believe understanding has improved in recent years – including a shift away from the instrumentalisation of media to achieve other development goals – many note that frequent staff turnover, the rarity of specialised staff, and a lack of dedicated strategies can complicate the prioritisation of journalism support and media assistance, particularly in the face of rapid changes in market dynamics, technological advances, and political uncertainties.”
“the importance of building an evidence base – to help promote understanding of the sector and demonstrate the impact of support – as well as further insight into what works, what doesn’t, and what shows promise. These interviewees would like to see not only stronger articulation of success stories and lessons learned, but other opportunities to honestly examine failure and to creatively explore new approaches, strategies, and solutions.”
Strengthen the exchange of knowledge, communication, coordination, cooperation, and collaboration at all levels (international, regional, and national/local):
- Between donors and the media development and journalism support community.
- Among donors, including donors and their own colleagues in other departments, agencies, ministries, or branches of government.
- Within the media development and journalism support community.Suggested approaches include:
- Holding meetings for donors and implementers at the international, regional, and sub-regional levels.
- Creating dedicated pathways for local organizations to access decision-makers.
- Building networks with allies in civil society, academia, and the private sector.Promote an informed and responsive vision for the sector by
- Institutionalizing knowledge within donor agencies.
- Developing explicit strategies for media development and journalism support.
- Supporting research and learning, including space for experimentation and constructive failure.
- Anticipating future challenges in law and policy, technology, market trends, and political dynamics.
- Bridging gaps between higher-level conceptual conversations and realities as they are experienced on the ground.
- Ensuring that audiences – communities and citizens – remain key to the focus of assistance efforts.
The strongest overall recommendation was that the initiative should be practical and actionable; it should provide concrete and usable steps, models, tools, case studies, success stories, best practices, new ideas, and industry trends that demonstrate how and when specific approaches to media assistance can and do work. Participants believe that focus of the initiative should be clear and narrow (that is, not general, generic, or vague) and discuss solutions and not just problems.Among key terms, participants recommend that the approach be kept “light,” “dynamic,” “iterative,” “flexible,” and “responsive,” with a focus on “digestible,” “plain language.” Participants emphasised that they would like to see examples, evidence, and inspiration across countries and contexts, with lessons learned and critical factors detailing what can lead to change and under what conditions. This includes the ability to adapt recommendations to local dynamics, as well as the need to remain consistently up to date in the face of rapid changes.