Sustainability & viability
Research and reports 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.
The resource on this page are organised into the following sections:

INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH

UNESCO - LARRY KILMAN
"The crisis facing independent news media, whether online or offline or hybrid, presents an existential threat to our societies. This has been made clear particularly during the pandemic which highlighted a paradox: While media became more important than ever for citizens as a source of reliable information in an insecure and continuously changing world, newsrooms struggled to pay their bills.The pandemic brought to crisis point prior trends - for example, between 2009 to 2020, the share of newspapers – key producers of journalism – in global advertising spend fell from 23 to 6 percent.
Amidst the gloom of increasing financial pressure, there is a lot to learn from the creativity and actions taken by media in their effort for survival: Journalists, publishers, educators and other media workers have developed and are developing innovative strategies to help strengthen the viability of independent media.
This publication showcases some of these inspiring and educational micro-stories:
  • success in cross-border collaboration for investigative journalism;
  • revenue-earning fact-checking services that combat disinformation;
  • new business models that leverage audience and advertiser needs;
  • entrepreneurial education for the next generation of journalists; and much more.
https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000380807.locale=en
This publication is also available in both Spanish and French.
Center for International Media Assistance - NICHOLAS BENEQUISTA
Confronting the Crisis in Independent Media: A Role for International Assistance
Center for International Media Assistance
"With independent media around the world in crisis, what is the role of international donors and private foundations? And how can these international actors provide effective support when the driving forces behind independent media’s decline—simultaneously technological, financial, social, political, and institutional—are so complex and difficult to disentangle?
This report argues that complexity is no excuse for inaction. Solutions to this crisis will require that political agency rise to the daunting level of the challenge, and that the structures of international cooperation—forged as the global response to World War II—are now put into motion to safeguard the foundations of independent media. Based on input from media actors, freedom of expression activists, implementers, and donors, the report puts forward three interrelated objectives that, if achieved, would help to international cooperation in the media sector."
Forum on Information & Democracy
"This report has been produced by the Working Group on the Sustainability of Journalism of the Forum on Information and Democracy, in response to a worsening international crisis facing the economic viability of independent professional journalism everywhere.
The report calls for immediate and sustained action from, and collaboration between, governments and other influential actors to improve the policy, funding, and enabling environment for independent professional journalism – a New Deal for Journalism amounting to up to 0.1% of GDP annually in direct and indirect funding worldwide. The measures we outline in this report are evidence-based and can already point to broad support in many countries around the world.
The gravity of the crisis facing journalism is severe, but, if policymakers and decision-makers can find the political will and imagination to take these choices now, and to build on them over the next decade, we believe this has the potential to be an inflection point for the sustainability of journalism, and for the health of open societies everywhere."

Internews- MICHELLE J. FOSTER

Media Sustainability Essentials - Information Saves Lives | Internews
Information Saves Lives | Internews
"The Media Sustainability Essentials guide was developed to help media managers identify and choose the most relevant business models and practices that fit with their missions and operating conditions. It provides a common language around core concepts of media business functions and provides leads to further resources. It offers practical, straightforward guidance on growing audiences and diversifying revenue sources."

International Press Institute- JACQUI PARK

Media Viability Learning Brief (2022)

PRIMED

The PRIMED (Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development) website is available here.
PRIMED Learning brief_MediaViability_GFMD.pdf
316KB
PDF
"This learning brief aims to summarise the main strategies and approaches embraced by media development actors seeking to tackle the challenges associated with media viability." Although it was written in 2020 during PRIMED's co-creation phase, it was edited and published in 2022.

EUI Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom

Media Pluralism Monitor - Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
The Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) is a tool developed to "assess the risks for media pluralism in a given country." The tool has been implemented 21, 2017, 2016, and tested under two pilot-projects co-founded by the European Union in 2014 and 2015.
The 2021 version of the MPM is available here. .

IREX

The VIBE is ongoing. The most updated publications are available here.
"The Vibrant Information Barometer is an annual study that tracks how information is produced, spread, consumed, and used." Individual country reports are available here, but the full report is available here.

Forum Media and Development- MICHAEL LEROY

"This literature review aims to trace the social construct of sustainability in the context of media development and define what is to be sustained, at the level of the intervention (the process of change) or its outcome (the impact on the medium itself ). It is intended for all those who are concerned, closely or remotely, with ‘media action’ – and this expression is used here to mean any intervention (inside or outside a given media system) that promotes either communication for social change (the use of media for development purposes) or media development (the targeted development of independent outlets)."
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

UNESCO

This report presents a "critical analysis of the trends in media freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists." As well as focusing on gender equality, it also addresses media viability, as it claims that "without urgent action by governments, civil society, and private companies, trustworthy journalism will remain under threat, and information as a public good severely undernourished." It recommends state subsidies to trustworthy news outlets, greater state support for public service media, more media development assistance, as well as a redoubling of philanthropic investments.
Executive Summary
Data 2021

SembraMedia, Luminate and CIMA

The Inflection Point International study was conducted by SembraMedia in collaboration with Luminate and CIMA with the purpose of studying the “impact, innovation, threats and sustainability of digital media entrepreneurs in Latin America, Southwest Asia and Africa.” Through 201 interviews with media leaders, the following are some of the key recommendations made:
  • Training in business management and finances is sometimes more needed than financial aid.
  • Teams including people with experience in business, sales, accounting and technology in addition to journalists and editors are necessary for up-and-coming media sites.
  • Diversifying revenue sources is important, but most digital native news organizations can effectively manage only one or two new projects at a time.
  • It is important to reduce dependence on grants.
  • It is important for founders to support consultancy and business planning.
  • There is an imminent need for better digital protection, as journalists have often faced threats and violence stemming from their presence online.
All the recommendations are available here. Read the full report here.

CMDS- MARIUS DRAGOMIR, ASTRID SODERSTROM

"Governments have historically played a major role in the media, financing, managing or regulating media outlets. With radio and television broadcasting rising to prominence in the 20th century, the role of the government in the media further increased."

Solutions Journalism Network - ALEC SAELENS

Download the full report here.
The Solutions Journalism Revenue Project (SJRP), which ran between February 2020 and February 2021, aimed to explore how a diverse range of newsrooms could leverage solutions journalism to generate revenue. Among the questions the project sought to answer were: Can reporting on responses to social problems help newsrooms attract financial backers and contribute to their economic sustainability? Is there a business case that supports this journalistic practice?
Over the yearlong project, we gathered both quantitative and qualitative evidence indicating that producing solutions journalism can help news organizations bring in revenue.
An article about the report is available here.
Leveraging solutions journalism for revenue growth
Medium

South African National Editor's Forum

This report does not purport to offer the solution to media sustainability in South Africa. It does, however, present a series of policy options to promote media sustainability drawn from local, regional, and international comparative practices and examples for further deliberation and debate. Notably, this report complements a variety of recent and ongoing media sustainability initiatives and offers the reader a high-level overview of options that may be tailored for SouthAfrica’s unique media landscape. Specifically, this report presents eight media sustainability strategies and over fifteen direct policy considerations.

WAN-IFRA

Many news publishers are still realising how the COVID-19 crisis "will impact their business, journalism and future." In response, this report covers everything from publishers surveys, reader revenues, audience and traffic trends, and technology trends, among others, from the 2020-2021 period.

ICFJ, Tow Center for Digital Journalism - JULIE POSETTI, EMILY BELL, PETE BROWN

The full PDF version of this report is available here.
This report explains the 30 findings of a mapping on how media has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It considers the input and comments of more than 1,400 English-speaking journalists from 125 countries. "At a time when the public needs to rely on credible independent journalism to stay safe and informed, journalists and news organizations are grappling with a mental health crisis, financial peril, physical safety threats, and press freedom attacks, while simultaneously battling pandemic levels of disinformation."

Media Management Matters - Clare Cook

Evaluating Action Research to Innovate Digital Journalism Revenue Mode
Taylor & Francis
"At a time when digital journalism organisations operating in fragile contexts need urgent answers to the question of revenues, action research is presented for discussion and application to connect theory and practice for journalism revenue model innovation and within the under-researched sector of fragile media."

CIMA - CRISTI HEGRANES & LAXMI PARTHASARATHY

Global media organizations can build resilience to the coronavirus crisis by showing reporters they care
Center for International Media Assistance

DW Akademie - NADINE JURRAT, LAURE MOORE

New indicators help to identify what is at stake
DW.COM
"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? To answer these questions, DW Akademie has developed a new set of indicators."

OECD DAC

The full PDF version of this report is available here.
"This document describes how the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation (EvalNet) revisited the definitions and use of the OECD DAC evaluation criteria in 2018-2019."

UK Government

"The goal of the Review has not been to protect news publishing companies themselves, but to advocate measures that will ensure the market in which they operate is efficient, and to defend their most democratically significant outputs." Because of this, two themes are highlighted: the market in which publishers work is experiencing rapid growth of big online platforms, and how society can continue to support the monitoring and reporting of activities of public bodies not only in central government, but also in localities.

Innovation Research Group, GFMD

Media Sustainability Barometer pilot report is now available for download
innovation research group
The pilot report, 'Measuring News Media Sustainability: Towards a Global Barometer' will be available after submitting this survey.
"The Media Sustainability Barometer (MSB) is underpinned by data on 264 countries and terrestrial regions drawn from a range of global databases including the World Bank, Transparency International, OECD etc. as well as data from an expert panel."

Public Media Alliance - MERVYN WARNER

Insight | Funding Public Media - Public Media Alliance
Public Media Alliance

UNESCO, DW Akademie

A full PDF version of this report is available here.

OECD

The purpose of this paper "is to illuminate and guide thinking a set of outstanding challenges in media support. It is focused less on why media is important as a source of domestic accountability and more on when it is appropriate to support media, how can support be most effective and what achievements can be expected through such support."

BBS World Service Trust, World Bank and Communication for Governance and Accountability Program

UNESCO,

The MDIs 2008 international report is available here. However, there are country-specifc analyses that are available here.
The MDIs highlight indicators on media development based on a mapping of the main existing initiatives to define them. They were endorsed in 2008 by UNESCO, and have thus served as a resource for several organizations including the Council of Europe, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom and the World Bank, among others.

IREX

Media Sustainability Index (MSI)
IREX
The MSI provides "in-depth analyses of the conditions for independent media in 80 countries across the world." In 2021, it was replaced by the Vibrant Information Barometer. Nonetheless, previous reports are available here.

REGIONAL / MULTI-COUNTRY RESEARCH

Research ICT Africa, InternetLab, IDRC.CRDI, University of Cape Town, LIRNEasia, ARIJ- AZAMAT ABABAKIROV, SHMED ASHOUR, RAMATHI BANDARANAYAKE, RUWANKA DE RAMATHI, DOMINIQUE DIOUF, HERMAN WASSERMAN

Meeting the challenges of information disorder in the Global South
"This detailed study provides an overview of the entities that are active in the fight against information disorder in the MENA region, and the methods and responses they use. It also discusses and analyzes legal and human rights issues and the context of freedom of opinion and expression in which they operate."

Maharat Foundation- HUSSEIN AL-SHERIF, LAURA RAHAL, BILAL YASSINE, GEORGES SADAKA

https://maharatfoundation.org/en/podcast_initiatives_arabworld
maharatfoundation.org
This study "sheds light on a number of topics that revolve around podcasts: founders of podcast initiatives, the type of journalism presented, the audience of Arab podcasts, business models (funding) adopted in the initiatives, issues covered, success stories, challenges they face, and recognition of the extent of interest in podcasts, in media faculties in the Arab world as a new form of digital media."
The study is available in English here and in Arabic here.
Center for International Media Assistance - ANYA SCHIFFRIN
Fighting for Survival: Media Startups in the Global South
Center for International Media Assistance
"The need for free and independent media is greater than ever. The room for free expression and journalism has shrunk in many places. In response, demand for investigative and accountability reporting has increased, along with readers’ support. But this has not translated into financial stability. In some cases, the opposite has happened. Some examples: because restrictions on the media have loosened in Malaysia, Malaysiakini—long held up as a success story—must now contend with more competition and is pondering ways to expand so it can keep up. Daily Maverick (South Africa) and InvestigateWest (United States) both said that although their reporting has had an impact and they’ve gotten encouragement from their readers, the flurry of donations that ensued has not translated into durable and lasting revenue. Added to the financial uncertainty is the political insecurity, and there is much to keep the founders up at night. Most of the people we interviewed seemed somber and worried."

Free Press Unlimited

The full PDF of the report is available here.
This report presents and analyses consultations on media viability in Brazil, El Salvador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, and Tunisia.

European University Institute - ROBERTA CARLINI & KONRAD BLEYER-SIMON

Signs of hope, amid turmoil – COVID-19 and the news media - Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom
This technical report aims to assess how the pandemic and its side effects are reshaping the news media environment in the European Union in the context of
  • a deep, pre-existing crisis of the traditional news media business model
  • an ongoing search for responses to the challenges of digitalisation
  • a tradition of public intervention in news media regulation and financial support
Following a summary of the relevant literature on COVID-19 and the media industry, the report evaluates the impact of the first wave of the pandemic on the news media economy in Europe.
The report uses the methodology of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM), a tool developed by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF).
Read the full report here.

DW Akademie

Discussion Paper: Safe. Strong. Viable.
DW.COM
This paper concludes that investing in safety and security measures not only saves lives but also strengthens the business models of media outlets.
Media managers and editors such as Maria Ressa of Rappler (Philippines), Jade Ramírez from Periodistas de a Pie (Mexico), Roula Mikhael from the Maharat Foundation (Lebanon) and Jean-Baptiste Sawadogo from the Community Radio Radio Vénégré (Burkina Faso) share how investing in safety and security measures not only saves lives but also strengthens the business models of media outlets.
They see clear links between media viability aspects such as quality journalism, audience engagement, collaborations, and capacity building on the one hand and physical, psychological and digital security as well as secure working conditions on the other.
To put their experiences into a wider context, the publication also contains articles from the ACOS Alliance, IWMF and digital security expert Daniel Moßbrucker.
For the Spanish speakers: you can also find a summary online as well as an excerpt from the interview with the Mexican editors of Periodistas de a Pie, Amapola and Lado B.
Global Investigative Journalism Network - LARS TALLERT
From Traditional Journalism to Sustainable Journalism
Global Investigative Journalism Network
This post is drawn from a chapter of “People Power Truth: Human Rights, Civil Society, and the Media in sub-Saharan Africa,” published by the Fojo Media Institute. You can read the book here, and individual chapters online here.

EBU

Funding of Public Service Media
"This report gives an accurate and comprehensive picture of the financial situation of our Members in 2019 and 2020."

IMS- SUSAN ABBOTT, DAVID LUSH

"This paper explores the opportunities and challenges innovative media face in the regions where IMS works, as well as the link between innovation and media viability." The paper also defines "media innovation" as finding new ways through which media can be disseminated and produced. As such, while technological innovation is included, "media innovation" as a whole is not limited to it.

DW Akademie - LAURA SCHNEIDER

Rethinking Media Viability in the digital age
DW.COM
This paper argues that "what is needed is a broader view of Media Viability, one that looks beyond money." It establishes five dimensions (economics, politics, content, technology, and the community) and three levels (media organizations, networks, overall framework) from which it examines media viability.

Centre for International Media Assistance - ANYA SCHIFFRIN

Fighting for Survival: New Report on Media Startups in the Global South
Center for International Media Assistance

Key findings

  • Financial survival is the biggest worry for the media outlets we profiled, followed by political risk and physical safety.
  • The outlets remain dependent on donors. Advertising is hard to come by and raising funding from audiences has proven difficult. Donors need to accept this reality and be willing to commit to long-term support for outlets creating a public good.
  • Amid the grim political climate, rise of right-wing demagogues, and attacks on the media, there has also been an outpouring of appreciation for independent journalism. They recounted tales of support and encouragement from their audiences, but this sentiment does not translate into sustainable forms of funding.
  • The outlets have professionalized in the sense that many now have accounting software, bookkeepers, and full-time staff working on grant-writing. Many still rely on unpaid contributors and some use office space that was provided for free or rented at a discount.
  • Membership models are in fashion, but we believe that these models, while able to provide niche funding, are even less likely to scale and provide core funding than crowdfunding. Selling memberships puts an additional demand on audiences, asking them for not just their money but also their time.
  • There may be a need for an industry-wide body that would assist small civic-minded outlets in building capacity and doing international fundraising. At the moment, a group of donors offer some services but not others, but there is no one-stop shop. The Global Investigative Journalism Network is making attempts in this regard and has been answering requests for assistance from all over the world and helping with business strategies. They’ve also added an extensive section on the GIJN website’s Resource Center devoted to sustainability issues. Other organizations are also trying to assist. Certainly, media startups often do not make use of what does exist, partly because they are not aware of what is available or lack the time to plan for the future.
It’s time for donors to accept that many of the outlets they support—which are so essential to society—need help to survive. The job for donors is to coordinate their efforts and to figure out how to help without creating market distortions. Indeed, too much competition for outside funding can create little incentive for innovative startups to pop up in the future. At the same time, donors need to ensure that they are not keeping alive outlets that do not have a significant audience. This is a difficult balancing act, but one that can be accomplished by better collaboration among donors.

WAN-IFRA, Sida

This report responds to extensive surveys and retrieved data on market trends and the impact of media assistance. It analyses the case studies of Egypt, Georgia, Guatemala, Mozambique, and Vietnam, "to indicate how trends may vary in diverse regions."

World Association of Newspapers - MIRA MILOSEVIC

Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets - WAN-IFRA

COUNTRY-LEVEL RESEARCH

MIDDLE EAST

USAID

The full report is available here.
"This report presents findings and recommendations from an assessment of the media sector in Bangladesh, with the objective to provide USAID/Bangladesh with a comprehensive, overarching picture of the media sector and identify opportunities for potential USAID investments."

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"This Media Landscape Guide provides a snapshot of the media in Pakistan, including the audiences, the producers, the preferences of different groups in the community, the communications culture, and the languages associated with the media. It gives an insight into the role of media in development work, crisis preparedness, recent disasters, and the (at time of writing) ongoing COVID-19 response. The guide also gives an overview of each media sector including, digital and social media, radio, television, print and other traditional forms of mass communication."

Maharat Foundation - Ali Rammal

"The problem of this study consists of determining the strengths and weaknesses of media startups and the environment in which they operate."

Global Forum for Media Development- MICHAEL RANDALL

This report presents how after the events that have impacted Lebanon since August 2020, donors and implementors have considered and sought new ways to support the media sector. There have been new calls for proposals that have responded to the implementors' concerns of having demand-led programmes. However, this report presents an overview of the funding landscape in Lebanon, reviews of recent calls for proposals, and conclusions, geared towards how donors can support implementers better.

Internews, Maharat Foundation

"As part of the Kingdom of Netherland-funded Advancing Diverse Voices in Lebanon, Internews and Maharat Foundation conducted a Media and Information Landscape Assessment (MILA) to explore the media habits and preferences of women and youth in underserved areas and capture the role of new media outlets in the country." Read the full summary here, and the full report here

DW Akademie

First ever media viability assessment of Lebanon
DW.COM
In the first study of its kind, DW Akademie applied its Media Viability Indicators (MVIs) in Lebanon. "Media Viability in Lebanon" assesses the financial sustainability as well as the quality of journalistic content and production in Lebanon.

GFMD

This GFMD report on journalism sustainability and support in Lebanon encompasses reflections on how to build the following to reach journalism sustainability: project design, fitting donor support into a business plan, and embedding a sustainability component in each project. Furthermore, it considers the legal context, networks of knowledge-sharing, and the external environmental aspects in Lebanon that affect sustainability.

Al-JANA, Maharat Foundation and DW Akademie - Ghinwa Mikdashi, Hassane Chaaban and Hussein El-Sherif

This study is jointly implemented by the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA/ Al‐JANA), Maharat Foundation, and DW Akademie. It aims at giving an overview of media platforms/ citizen media platforms in Lebanon producing quality public interest journalism in print, radio, television, or digital formats. It encompasses profiling information about various existing alternative media platforms and provides information on user interaction, including information on which media/ citizen media people are using and why, how are people using the media platforms, and what people’s information needs are. Concurrently, the study works to identify alternative media platform pressing needs and challenges faced.

ASIA

IMS, Fojo Media Institute- EMILIE LEHMANN-JACOBSEN

This report "provides indications of the media habits of the population of Myanmar as well as people's understanding of news and information flows." Some of the findings that the report showcases are that there is a "widespread preference towards local media" because it is perceived as presenting more relevant information, as well as television being the preferred medium for news consumption although social media is quickly catching up.

EUROPE

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"The Media Landscape Guide for Ukraine was researched and written just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This text is a snapshot of the media landscape in Ukraine as it was up to January 2022. While, of course, the media environment is changing rapidly, the information contained herein may still be useful as a snapshot of the landscape as it was, and for background and contact information."

International Press Institute

This report is available here.
This report examines the following areas in the Hungarian media landscape in order to produce a series of recommendations as to improve media viability and independence in Hungary:
  • Pluralism and takeovers of independent media,
  • State control over public advertising,
  • Media regulation,
  • Competition regulation and media concentration,
  • Public service media,
  • "False news" legislation during pandemic,
  • Access to information,
  • Delegitimization of journalists and online harassment,
  • Pegasus and the surveillance of journalists,
  • Investments in media abroad

The Membership Puzzle Project - ANDRII IANITSKYI

The state of membership models in Ukrainian media — The Membership Puzzle Project
The Membership Puzzle Project
"Ukraine has a relatively young media market. Audience members have yet to develop the habit of contributing financially to digital news organizations. But the coronavirus pandemic has given fresh urgency to the need for newsrooms in the country to find alternative sources of revenue, and shone a light on the value of a two-way relationship with loyal readers."

Baekdal Plus- THOMAS BAEKDAL

"Most of Scandinavia scores relatively highly compared to the industry average (at about 10%), but Norway is just off the scale at (42%). This is strange because the Nordic countries are usually very similar, and most other studies there rarely differ more than a few percentage points."

AFRICA

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"This Media Landscape Guide provides a snapshot of the media in Morocco, including the audiences, the producers, the preferences of different groups in the community, the communications culture, and the languages associated with the media. It gives an insight into the role of media in development work, crisis preparedness, recent disasters, and the (at time of writing) ongoing COVID-19 response. The guide also gives an overview of each media sector including, digital and social media, radio, television, print and other traditional forms of mass communication."

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"This Media Landscape Guide provides a snapshot of the media in Burkina Faso, including the audiences, the producers, the preferences of different groups in the community, the communications culture, and the languages associated with the media. It gives an insight into the role of media in development work, crisis preparedness, recent disasters, and the (at time of writing) ongoing COVID-19 response. The guide also gives an overview of each media sector including, digital and social media, radio, television, print and other traditional forms of mass communication."

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"This Media Landscape Guide provides a snapshot of the media in Malawi, including the audiences, the producers, the preferences of different groups in the community, the communications culture, and the languages associated with the media. It gives an insight into the role of media in development work, crisis preparedness, recent disasters, and the (at time of writing) ongoing COVID-19 response. The guide also gives an overview of each media sector including, digital and social media, radio, television, print and other traditional forms of mass communication."

Media Viability in East Africa

Media Innovation Centre, Graduate School of Media and Communications, Aga Khan University & DW Akademie

CIMA - MARY MYERS, NICOLA HARFORD & MARTIN SSEMAKULA
Local radio stations in Africa prove resilient amid COVID-19
Center for International Media Assistance
This research focuses on how eight small, independent radio stations in Uganda and Zambia were coping with the pandemic.

LATIN AMERICA

CDAC Network, DW Akademie, German Cooperation

The report is available here.
"This Media Landscape Guide provides a snapshot of the media in Colombia, including the audiences, the producers, the preferences of different groups in the community, the communications culture, and the languages associated with the media. It gives an insight into the role of media in development work, crisis preparedness, recent disasters, and the (at time of writing) ongoing COVID-19 response. The guide also gives an overview of each media sector including, digital and social media, radio, television, print and other traditional forms of mass communication."

Unesco - AGUSTIN ESPADA

Changes and transformations in the production models, sources of income, and products of Latin American media.

DW Akademie - PATRICIO CERON LLIVE & JORGE GUACHAMIN

Ecuador: Media Viability in the CORAPE network
DW.COM
This publication presents the training procedures and best practices of the biggest network of community media in Ecuador and recommends eight steps and tools to help community media achieve viability.

NORTH AMERICA

Hussman School of Journalism and Media - PENELOPE MUSE ABERNATHY
"We can measure the loss of local news in recent years in two ways: the loss of newspapers and the loss of journalists. In the 15 years leading up to 2020, more than one-fourth of the country’s newspapers disappeared, leaving residents in thousands of communities – inner-city neighborhoods, suburban towns and rural villages – living in vast news deserts. Simultaneously, half of all local journalists disappeared, as round after round of layoffs have left many surviving papers – the gutsy dailies and weeklies that had won accolades and Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting – mere “ghosts,” or shells of their former selves. Compounding the problem, there has been a lack of capital and funding available to support a variety of for-profit, nonprofit and publicly funded news organizations attempting to thwart the rise of news deserts."

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) - ANYA SCHIFFRIN, HANNAH CLIFFORD, KYLIE Tumiatti

Saving Journalism: A Vision for the Post-Covid World
Foundation Office Washington, D.C.
"Dozens of plans to help save journalism have emerged since the Covid-19 pandemic decimated media outlets around the world. This report summarizes some of the trends we’ve seen and evaluates where they currently stand. Most promising are Australia’s efforts to get Google and Facebook to pay for news and efforts in the U.S. to get laws and investment that would support local news."
Covid-19 and the media: A pandemic of paradoxes | IMS
IMS

Chapter 4: Business instability – Public interest media’s struggle to survive (p 61)

Two of the five recommendations in the report relate to sustainability viability (p 74):

  • States must recognise public interest media as crucial to fulfilling human rights and must ensure its survival through financial subsidies, which can be paid for by proper taxation of multinational technology companies.
  • International actors partnering with public interest media should leverage audience demand for reliable information amid the infodemic into a post- COVID-19 business model that improves media literacy, monetises truth, and diversifies newsrooms.Saving journalism: a vision for the post-Covid world (2021)

Stanford Social Innovation Review - BRUCE SIEVERS AND PATRICE SCHNEIDER

The Civic Media Crisis and What Philanthropy Can Do (SSIR)
This article places philanthropic funding of journalism in the context weakening civic communication in general and highlights ‘ways forward’ for philanthropic funding. It draws heavily upon conclusions and recommendations that emerged from an October, 2016 gathering in Turin entitled “Beyond Disruption” of 50 practitioners and scholars from philanthropy, nonprofits, government, and the media to explore the possible role philanthropy can play in addressing the contemporary crisis in civic media. (Humanitarian Journalism)

Published jointly by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, and the Information Society Project, Yale Law School, Yale University

The impact of charity and tax law/regulation on not-for-profit news organizations
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

MORE RESOURCES

For academic research into sustainability go to

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Contents
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH
Building Back a Stronger Media: Inspiring Initiatives in Ensuring Media Viability (2022)
Confronting the Crisis in Independent Media: A Role for International Assistance (2019)
Working Group on the Sustainability of Journalism - A New Deal for Journalism (2021)
Media Sustainability Essentials (Feb. 8, 2022)
Local Media Survival Guide 2022 (2022)
Media Viability Learning Brief (2022)
Media Pluralism Monitor (2021)
Vibrant Information Barometer (VIBE) (2021)
Sustainability: Going Beyond the Buzzword (Oct. 2021)
World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development (2021)
Inflection Point International (2021)
The State of State Media: A Global Analysis of the Editorial Independence of State Media and an Introduction of a New State Media Typology (Sept. 23 2021)
Leveraging solutions journalism for revenue growth (May 2021)
Media Sustainability and Universal Access to Public Interest Journalism (May 13, 2021)
World Press Trends (Apr. 2021)
Journalism and the Pandemic: A Global Snapshot of Impacts (2021)
Evaluating Action Research to Innovate Digital Journalism Revenue Models (2020)
Global media organizations can build resilience to the coronavirus crisis by showing reporters they care (2020)
Media Viability: New indicators show what is done at stake (May 19, 2020)
Better Criteria for Better Evaluation: Revised Evaluation Criteria Definitions and Principles for Use (Dec. 2019)
The Cairncross Review: A Sustainable Future for Journalism (Feb. 12, 2019)
Measuring News Media Sustainability: Towards a Global Barometer (Feb. 1, 2019)
Funding Public Media: An insight into contemporary funding models (2019)
Draft Indicators for Media Viability (Dec. 2014)
Domestic Accountability and Support to Media: From the Why to the How in Effective Cooperation (Jan. 28, 2014)
International Support to Media Development: Context, Evidence, Challenges and Possible Strategic Principles (June 2011)
Media Development Indicators (MDIs) (2008)
Media Sustainability Index (MSI) (2001)
REGIONAL / MULTI-COUNTRY RESEARCH
Meeting the challenges of information disorder in the Global South (April, 2022)
Podcast Initiatives in the Arab World (March, 2022)
Fighting for Survival: Media Startups in the Global South (2019)
National consultations on solutions to promote media viability while preserving media independence (Nov. 2021)
Media Economy in the Pandemic: A European Perspective (2021)
Safe. Strong. Viable. - The symbiosis between Media Viability and Media Safety (2021)
From Traditional Journalism to Sustainable Journalism (May 2021)
Funding of Public Service Media (Dec. 1, 2020)
Media innovation: Learning Brief (February 2020)
More than money: Rethinking Media Viability in the digital age (May 24, 2019)
Fighting for Survival: Media Startups in the Global South (2019)
Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets (June 7, 2011)
Financially Viable Media in Emerging and Developing Markets (2011)
COUNTRY-LEVEL RESEARCH
MIDDLE EAST
Assesment of the Media Sector in Bangladesh (March, 2022)
Pakistan Media Landscape Guide (March, 2022)
Media Startups in Lebanon
Review of the Funding Landscape for Media Development Actors in Lebanon (Jan. 2022)
Media and information landscape in Lebanon (2021)
First ever media viability assessment of Lebanon (June 2021)
Sustainability & journalism support in Lebanon (March 2021)
A Study on the Alternative Media Platforms in Lebanon (Nov. 2020)
ASIA
Myanmar's media from an audience perspective (Sept. 2018)
EUROPE
Ukraine Media Landscape Guide (March 2022)
Media Freedom in Hungary Ahead of 2022 Election (March 2022)
The state of membership models in Ukrainian Media (July 2021)
Why do Norwegian newspapers perform so much better than the industry average? (Dec. 2020)
AFRICA
Morocco Media Landscape Guide (March 2022)
Burkina Faso Media Landscape Guide (March 2022)
Malawi Media Landscape Guide (March 2022)
Media Viability in East Africa
Local radio stations in Africa prove resilient amid COVID-19 (2020)
LATIN AMERICA
Colombia Media Landscape Guide (March 2022)
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on media sustainability in Latin America (2021)
Media viability in the CORAPE network (2020)
NORTH AMERICA
News Deserts and Ghost Newspapers: Will Local News Survive? (2020)
Saving Journalism: A Vision for the Post-Covid World (Jan. 11, 2021)
Covid-19 and the media: A pandemic of paradoxes (2021)
The Civic Media Crisis and What Philanthropy Can Do (2017)
The impact of charity and tax law/regulation on not-for-profit news organizations (March 2016)
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