Academic studies & papers
Academic research on the effectiveness of media development funding and support to journalism from donors and foundations.
1. Most of the research is US centric. This is partly because, as Eric Karstens explains, ‘charitable journalism funding largely remains a US affair – both in terms of donors and beneficiaries’. According to data from Media Impact Funders, ‘more than 90 per cent of grant money flows to US-based organizations, with some 6 per cent of funds allocated to Europe, and only about 1 per cent to media outlets in the developing world… The vast majority of foundations engaging in the sector are also based in the US’.2. A number of the studies listed here rely upon data held by Media Impact Funders for their analysis. The other dominant methodology is interviews or surveys of journalists and representatives of foundations. By contrast, there are very few ethnographic studies of specific cases of foundation-funded journalism, or systematic analyses of news content itself. As Harry Browne puts it, ‘there has not, as yet, been any comprehensive content analysis of the work produced by foundation-funded journalists’.3. By far the greatest concern of existing research is about how foundation funding may affect journalistic independence or autonomy. Other common issues addressed include the volume and sustainability of funding, the consequences of an ‘impact agenda’ and the effects of foundation funding on the role perceptions and ‘boundaries’ of journalism.