Comment on page
Investing in the future of independent journalism (Sept. '22)
The GFMD coorganised this event at the IPI World Congress in collaboration with the IPI and Media Impact Funders.
In partnership with the International Press Institute (IPI) and Media Impact Funders, the GFMD IMPACT organised a roundtable to discuss the future of independent media: its importance to democracy and ways to ensure its long-term financial viability, in light of growing threats to press freedom around the world.
Participants included donors, philanthropic foundations, implementing agencies, accelerators as well as practitioners from North America, Southern Africa, and Eastern Europe.
The three-part discussion was structured around the following questions:
- Why invest in independent media? How can traditional business models be applied and adapted to the media environment? How do we define success?
- How do we ensure that innovative investment and funding solutions are compatible with editorial independence and media freedom?
- How can independent media gain the confidence of investors and secure capital?
Sustainability, across its multiple dimensions, came up frequently throughout the discussion. Independent media must have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive. This means developing and adopting new funding models in ways that ensure editorial independence. It also means protecting press freedoms especially for small news organisations operating in often difficult political environments.
A number of participants underscored the need for structural changes in the media ecosystem so as to improve working conditions for journalists and guarantee long-term investments in capacity-building and training.
The participants identified a number of key problems in the independent media sector as well as potential solutions.
- Timothy Large, Director of Independent Media Programmes, International Press Institute
- Vincent Stehle, Executive Director, Media Impact Funders
- Mira Milosevic, Executive Director, GFMD
- Duc Luu, Director of Sustainability Initiatives/Journalism, Knight Foundation
- Tracie Powell, Founder, The Pivot Fund
- Gerald Pambo-Awich, Investment Officer, Mission Investments, Ford Foundation
- Harlan Mandel, CEO, Media Development Investment Fund
- Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO, National Trust for Local News
- Saša Vučinić, Co-founder, North Base Media VC
- Sharon Moshavi, President, International Centre for Journalists
- Zoe Titus, Director, Namibia Media Trust
- Joanna Krawczyk, President, Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
- Carlos Barrionuevo, Director, Public Media Company
- Jim Friedlich, Executive Director and CEO, Lenfest Institute for Journalism
- Branko Brkic, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Maverick