Sustainability & viability
Articles about the effectiveness of donor and foundation-supported programmes to support the sustainability and viability of journalism.
This resource page is a work in progress. Please get in touch to let us know what is missing using this form.

CIMA- KIRAN MAHARAJ

Bolstering Caribbean Media Support: The Vicious Circle of Viability
Center for International Media Assistance
"In the Caribbean, like many other places, the legislative framework allowing for the free flow of information needs to be strengthened. While a few Caribbean countries have launched open data portals, data availability is still limited throughout the region. To remedy this and recognize information as a public good, Caribbean nations need strong freedom of and access to information laws, whistleblower protection, and data protection."

WAN IFRA- LEE KAH WHYE

How publicly funded news organisations are sustaining impactful journalism  - WAN-IFRA
WAN-IFRA
This article explains how "individual donors and funding organisations recognise the importance of quality and independent journalism and will go out of their way to support it," as they explained in WAN-IFRA's Asian Media Leaders Summit. Effective intervention in the sector was explained through the pillars of strong public support and serving readers and contributors.

NiemanLab- LARA SALAHI, CHRISTINA SMITH

How college students can help save local news
Nieman Lab
"Studies show that people who live in news deserts or other locations with little local news are less likely to be actively involved in their community or participate in local elections. They are also more likely to believe false information spread online through social media and fake or fringe websites.
Through formal and informal collaborations, college journalists are helping to serve the communities where their universities are located by making sustained contributions to local media."

ICFJ. SHARON MOSHAVI

Announcing Leap: ICFJ's News Innovation Lab
International Center for Journalists
"ICFJ has developed Leap, a news innovation lab. Our goal is not innovation simply for its own sake. We designed Leap to give newsrooms across the world the space to explore the most essential challenges confronting journalism today and to shape its future."

Reuters Institute- ROS ATKINS

Journalism is not a given in people's lives. Here's how to rethink the future of news
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
"News is not a given in people’s lives. It can’t be assumed people will seek to learn about our world via journalism. It can’t be assumed people understand and value the way that journalism works or why we think the information we produce has value. It can’t be assumed that the way we tell stories is the way people want to hear them."

PressGazette- DOMINIC PONSFORD

Ukraine media and the battle for economic survival with US tech giants
Press Gazette
"The CEO of Ukraine's leading independent news website has warned that the actions of Google and Facebook in his country are harming the sustainability of independent news."

ijnet- JENNIFER DORROH

What it takes to sustain independent media globally | International Journalists' Network
International Journalists' Network
"Any news organization that aims to sustain its work financially must develop its own business plan, tailored to its audience... That’s why ICFJ launched Elevate, which takes journalists leading independent news ventures to the next level. Through this global exchange, coaching and grant program, news leaders develop the business skills needed to grow and sustain their small- and medium-sized news outlets so they can keep producing independent, accurate news."

Economist Impact- ANTONIA KERLE

The full report is available here.
"New research by Economist Impact, supported by UNESCO, finds that Covid-19 intensified economic pressures facing the global news media industry. Outlets in low- and middle-income countries have been the most severely impacted, with a rate of decline almost two times faster than the global average. This has led to newsroom closures, layoffs and pay cuts for journalists at a time when access to trustworthy information is desperately needed."

MDIF- MAGDALENA SKRZYPEK

Gender and media viability: making a business case for diversity – MDIF
In light of International Women's Day, this article highlights "the relationship between gender and media business performance" and the "media innovations from around the world that champion women." The article is divided into the following sections: women as a primary target, serving the female audience, diversity within newsrooms and leadership, gender and reader revenue, gender-based harassment, partnerships and institutional funding, branded content revenue, gender and events business, a collaboration around gender topics, and a way forward.
Internews
Internews Launches Rapid Response Fund to Support Local Journalism Worldwide - Information Saves Lives | Internews
Information Saves Lives | Internews

The Fix- JAMES BREINER

Reasons for optimism: Podcasts and profit - The Fix
The Fix
"We have seen this before. Publishers desperate for new revenue streams pile into the latest fad in content or distribution. Huge investments are made. Big media buy up dazzling startups wielding some promising new technology. Disappointment follows, and in a year or two, everyone looks for the next Big Thing.
Will podcasts follow this trend? I think not, for several economic, technological, and journalistic reasons."

International Press Institute

Greece: Journalists targeted in several SLAPP lawsuits - International Press Institute
International Press Institute
Several SLAPP lawsuits have been targeting investigative journalists and publications in Greece. These lawsuits have been used as instruments to silence journalists "carrying out important investigative work."
iSpeak - GWEN LISTER
Saving journalism and engendering trust through activism - iSPEAK
iSPEAK
"The independent journalists of yesteryear took on undemocratic governments, spoke truth to power and tried to forge a better world. Journalism wasn’t then, and still isn’t today, a job for the fainthearted."
Global Investigative Journalism Network - AMEL GHANI
https://gijn.org/2022/03/23/russias-attack-on-the-free-press-insight-and-survival-strategies-from-meduza-and-novaya-gazeta
gijn.org
The Fix - JAMES BREINER
"Independent media, along with activists, have been under assault in Russia since before the invasion. The country has often ranked among the lowest worldwide in the Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and came in 150th out of 180 in the 2021 rankings. The latest restrictions make the situation even worse."
Two trends that are driving new business models - The Fix
The Fix

Reuters Institute - Peter Erdelyi

How to get readers in Central and Eastern Europe and the Global South to pay for public service journalism
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
"We operate in an environment where holding the powerful to account is increasingly difficult, and where state actors routinely interfere with the advertising market, starving independent media to favour those willing to toe the government line."

Columbia Journalism Review - Anya Schiffrin

Saving journalism: Worldwide interventions
Columbia Journalism Review

Konrad Adenauer Foundation - Anya Schiffrin, Hannah Clifford, Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey

Saving Journalism 2: Global Strategies and a Look at Investigative Journalism
Auslandsbüro Washington, D.C.
The resource on this page are organised into the following sections:
  • International research
  • Regional level research
  • Country-level research

INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ARTICLES

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung- ANYA SHIFFRIN, HANNAH CLIFFORD, THEODORA DAME ADJIN-TETTEY

Saving Journalism 2: Global Strategies and a Look at Investigative Journalism
Foundation Office Washington, D.C.
"A year ago we published a study titled 'Saving journalism'... which examined the state of journalism during the pandemic. Now we are revisiting the topic to look at worldwide trends and to find out what strategies show promise in turning around the decline of media outlets and the loss of journalism jobs."

NiemanLab - CATALINA ALBEANU

Let’s talk about what sustainability really means
Nieman Lab

GIJN - PETER WHITEHEAD

Independent Media Plays a Critical Role in Meeting Humanity's Greatest Challenges
Global Investigative Journalism Network
"Given their centrality to all areas of development, it's no surprise that there is a growing discussion among impact investors, from private foundations to private equity funds, about the role that investing can play in helping the world meet the SDGs."

Baekdal Plus- THOMAS BAEKDAL

Known to work: Designing the paywall and journalistic focus
Baekdal
This article examines how to design a paywall and journalistic focus, as a part of the Known to Work series, which seeks to present data-backed elements that have been proven to work through real examples and experiences.
“Sustainability is a kind of attention that’s only accessible when newsroom staff have time to think and explore, and to be closer to our communities, without feeling like this is time stolen from other deliverables.”
Introducing the GNI News Equity Fund
Google

Google News Initiative- LATOYA DRAKE

The GNI Global News Equity Fund is a new multi-million dollar commitment to provide rewards of up to $250,000 to news organizations who serve underrepresented communities worldwide.
"It's time to stop talking about a new business model - because there is no new business model that will magically make journalism financially sustainable."

News Media Canada

Explainer: What is Aid to Publishers? Why should you apply? - News Media Canada
News Media Canada

Media Development Investment Fund - MAGDALENA SKRZPEK

Measuring impact: lessons learned from investing in media – MDIF

Media Development Investment Fund - MAGDALENA SKRZPEK

How to tackle a media crisis: The lessons of Covid-19 – MDIF

Washington Post - TOM PASHKHALIS, BRYN ROSENFELD & KATERINA TERTYCHNAYA

Analysis | The Kremlin has a new toolkit for shutting down independent news media
Washington Post

DW Akademie- NADINE JURRAT, ATTILA MONG

"Media viability is the cornerstone of every media outlet's existence, no matter if commercial, non-profit or community oriented. But it's a complex issue. It's not surprising that for years many media outlets around the world have been struggling to get a grip on their viability."

DW Akademie- NADINE JURRAT, ATTILA MONG

"The COVID-19 crisis has disastrous effects on media outlets. It has also generated a stark increase in audience demand for reliable information. What does this mean for a media organisation, its operations, and business model? And how can media outlets become more resilient in the long term?"

DW Akademie- NADINE JURRAT, LAURA MOORE

"Now, more than ever, a clear understanding is needed of how news media outlets can stay – or become – viable. Which aspects should be considered when trying not only to survive financially as a media outlet but to produce quality content and attract enough income to run a successful business? What political frameworks need to be in place to foster a vibrant media landscape?"

CAMRI- JAMES DEANE, PIERRE FRANCOIS DOCQUIR, WINSTON MANO, TARIK SABRY, NAOMI SAKR

Achieving Viability for Public Service Media in Challenging Settings
"In the face of challenges posed by a shifting digital media landscape, an array of international bodies continue to endorse public service media (PSM) as an essential component of democratisation. Yet how can PSM achieve viability in settings where models of media independence and credibility are unfamiliar or rejected by political leaders?"

DW Akademie

Media Viability: 6 strategies to become more successful
DW.COM
"Advances in technology have disrupted the media ecosystem. There is no single way to overcome the economic challenges of running a media outlet, but there are patterns. What do successful media companies do differently?"

DW Akademie- LAURA SCHNEIDER

"This paper presents a new model for Media Viability at a time when media outlets face enormous difficulties delivering quality reporting while staying financially afloat. Available in various languages."

GFMD- Elizabeth Pennington

Review: An Introduction to Funding Journalism and Media by Sameer Padania for the Ariadne Network
Medium
"This guide also aims to provide funders with a framework to help them support their own individual projects. It addresses the key reasons for funding projects, and separates them between an intrinsic approach, which takes the view that media is positive and needs support because it serves as a benefit to society, and an instrumental approach, where the media is seen as a trusted vehicle for thematic messages."

REGIONAL/ MULTI-COUNTRY ARTICLES

The Fix- JAMES BREINER

Sustainable journalism: view from Latin America - The Fix
The Fix
This article highlights what the author learned and saw at the International Symposium of Online Journalism (ISOJ). It goes over stimulating local journalism, media accelerators, fact-checkers that work in the region but collaborate globally, subscription structures, and how media navigates suppression.
"The International Symposium of Online Journalism (ISOJ) has been a showcase of media innovation since its launch in 1999 by Rosental Alvez... I've attended and spoken at several of them and always found it stimulating and rewarding. This year, 296 people from 21 countries attended in person. I attended online from Germany, along with more than 900 others from 90 countries."

GIJN - Theodora Dame Adjin-Tettey

Saving Journalism, Part Two: In Africa, A Dearth of Support Amid the Pandemic
Global Investigative Journalism Network
African media felt the impacts of COVID-19 very deeply, as there "were no subsidiaries and little state financial support. The government support available was not media-specific." However, "efforts were made to increase donor funding to support journalism in some African countries in 2020 and 2021."

Media Innovation Network- CHRIS MWAKIDEU

"The East Africa's media landscape is distinctly fascinating as shown by the three independent country reports... The studies were guided by the DW Academy Media Viability Indicators (MVIs) which consider five key aspects: politics, economy, technology, community, and content."

COUNTRY-LEVEL ARTICLES

Poynter - GREG BURNS

News organizations are increasing diversity efforts, a Medill survey finds - Poynter
Poynter
"After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, newsrooms came under pressure to make immediate changes, and some chose to appoint a head of diversity, noted Doris Truong, director of training and diversity at Poynter. But it isn't clear those executives are being supported, as some work on DEI part-time, in addition to other duties, or in isolation from other staff."

GIJN - LAURA OLIVER

How Membership Saved Chile’s Investigative Newsroom CIPER
Global Investigative Journalism Network

Media Development Investment Fund - TESSA PIPER

Supporting independent media in Myanmar amid Covid-19 and a coup – MDIF

EAST Site - The Innovation Center

EAST Site - The Media Innovation Center
The Media Innovation Center - Aga Khan University
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Contents
Bolstering Caribbean Media Support: The Vicious Circle of Viability (June, 2022)
How publicly funded news organisations are sustaining impactful journalism (June, 2022)
How college students can help save local news (June, 2022)
Announcing Leap: ICFJ's News Innovation Lab (June, 2022)
Journalism is not a given in people's lives. Here's how to rethink the future of news (May, 2022)
Ukrainian news media's battle with the US tech giants (May, 2022)
What it takes to sustain independent media globally (May, 2022)
Breaking news: the economic impact of covid-19 on the global news media industry (April 2022)
Gender and media viability: making a business case for diversity (March 2022)
Internews Launches Rapid Response Fund to Support Local Journalism Worldwide (2020)
Reasons for optimism: Podcasts and profit (March 2022)
Greece: Journalists targeted in several SLAPP lawsuits (March 2022)
Saving journalism and engendering trust through activism (2022)
Russia’s Attack on the Free Press: Insight and Survival Strategies from Meduza and Novaya Gazeta (March 23, 2022)
Two trends that are driving new business models (2022)
How to get readers in Central and Eastern Europe and the Global South to pay for public service journalism (July 12, 2021)
How to get readers in Central and Eastern Europe and the Global South to pay for public service journalism (July 12, 2021)
Saving journalism: Worldwide interventions (Jan 20, 2022)
Saving Journalism 2: Global Strategies and a Look at Investigative Journalism (2022)
Known to work: Designing the paywall and journalistic focus (Nov. 2021)
INTERNATIONAL-LEVEL ARTICLES
Saving Journalism 2: Global Strategies and a Look at Investigative Journalism (Jan. 18, 2022)
Let's talk about what sustainability really means (Dec. 2021)
Independent Media Plays a Critical Role in Meeting Humanity’s Greatest Challenges (Nov. 2021)
Known to work: Designing the paywall and journalistic focus (Nov. 2021)
Introducing the GNI News Equity Fund (Nov. 16, 2021)
Explainer: What is Aid to Publishers? Why should you apply? (Nov. 11, 2021)
Measuring impact: lessons learned from investing in media (Nov. 4, 2021)
How to tackle a media crisis: The lessons of Covid-19 (Sept. 2021)
Worldwide, authoritarians are finding less overt ways to shut down independent news — and independent outlets are finding new ways to stay alive (June 2021)
Taking a 360° view of your media outlet’s viability! (Nov. 12, 2020)
Pulling through the crisis with a sprint! (Nov. 12, 2020)
Media Viability: New indicators show what is at stake (May 19, 2020)
Achieving Viability for Public Service Media in Challenging Settings: A Holistic Approach (March 4, 2020)
Media Viability: 6 strategies for success (June 27, 2019)
More than money. Rethinking Media Viability in the digital age (May 24, 2019)
Review: An Introduction to Funding Journalism and Media by Sameer Padania for the Ariadne Network (2018)
REGIONAL/ MULTI-COUNTRY ARTICLES
Sustainable journalism: View from Latin America (April, 2022)
Saving Journalism, Part Two: In Africa, A Dearth of Support Amid the Pandemic (Jan. 19, 2022)
Media Viability Study East Africa: Five interesting findings you should know (Sept. 29, 2021)
COUNTRY-LEVEL ARTICLES
News organizations are increasing diversity efforts, a Medill survey finds (Feb. 2022)
How Membership Saved Chile's Investigative Newsroom CIPER (Nov. 5, 2021)
Supporting independent media in Myanmar amid Covid-19 and a coup (Sept. 30, 2021)
EAST Site - The Innovation Center