Principles for effective media assistance

World Press Freedom Day Consultation: Principles for Effective Support of the Media Sector (May 2, 2022)

The GFMD, the Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), and UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication carried out a consultation on principles for effective support to the media sector. The consultation was opened by Gerardo Sotelo of Uruguay's Education and Culture Ministry and Guy Berger of UNESCO. There was participation from representatives from different nations, in addition to those from 25 media development and journalism organizations. There was particular conscious inclusion of organizations and representatives from the Global South.

"Put yourself in the shoes of the organisations that you are funding." -Guy Berger


  • Gerardo Sotelo, Uruguay Education and Culture Ministry,

  • Guy Berger, UNESCO.

  • Swaray Rahman, Sierra Leone Minister of Information and Communications,

  • Nicholas Benequista, CIMA,

  • Mijal Iastrebner, SembraMedia,

  • Cristina Zahar, Abraji,

  • Idriss Mamoud Tarawallie, BBC Media Action.

The following initial recommendations were made:

  • Don't instrumentalize media through transactional relationships.

  • Principles on aid to the media development field should be long-term, agile, flexible, needs-based, and bottom-up.

  • Aid should be done through core-funding (not just programmatic assistance).

  • Reporting requirements should be realistic.

Developing Principles for Effective Media Assistance (May 3, 2022)

In this panel, the GFMD and CIMA engaged and brought forward regional media practitioners for a discussion, seeking to further understand the topic of best practices for media assistance. Furthermore, this panel responds to the rising call from different international and regional stakeholders of the media sector for the adoption of a set of principles that recognize a need to ensure better responses to the crisis within the independent media sector.

These principles will ensure that media development efforts are effective in addressing the root causes of the crisis, donor strategies, and digital governance, and recognize that the support for media development has significantly changed since the last principles for media support were articulated in 2014 by the OECD. The panel was moderated by Nick Benequista, Senior Director for the Center for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).


  • Mijal Iastrebner, Co-founder and Executive Director of SembraMedia. SembraMedia is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping digital media entrepreneurs to build more sustainable and independent news organizations.

  • Guy Berger, Director for Policies and Strategies regarding Communication and Information at UNESCO.

  • Cristina Zahar, Executive Director at the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalists (ABRAJI). ABRAJI monitors attacks against journalism in partnership with the Voces del Sul network, as well as gender bias attacks in partnership with UNESCO.

More information on GFMD's work on renewing the Principles for Effective Media Development is available here.

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