Working group on the sustainability of journalism

Design a policy framework
The disruption of the media ecosystem and unfair competition driven in part by the move to a digital, mobile, and platform-dominated media environment jeopardizes the sustainability of journalism, which represents a major democratic danger. The working group will ask experts, academics and jurists all over the world to propose recommendations on regulation policies directly or indirectly increasing media revenues that address the issues raised by three structural challenges.

Call for contributions

The call for contributions concerns three main topics: good practice from for-profit and non-profit independent news media, regulation favoring an enabling environment for the sustainability of journalism, and recommendations for off market policies.

The contributions received will enable the Forum’s working group on the sustainability of journalism to draw up recommendations for governments, international organizations, digital platforms and media organizations.

This call for contributions is open until March 12, 2021. Contributors will appear in the final report, if they so wish.

You can send your contribution to contributions@informationdemocracy.org.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is chaired by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen.

Rasmus K Nielsen

Director, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford. He is also Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford.

Julia Cagé

Co-director, Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies. As a professor of Economics, she published Saving the media: Capitalism, crowdfunding and democracy.

Prem Chandran

Co-founder and CEO, Malaysiakini. He also serves as non-executive director of KiniTV and FG Media, and he is the Chairperson of Asia Mobiliti.

Styli Charalambous

Co-founder, publisher and CEO, Daily Maverick. Styli is a reformed accountant now working in media entrepreneurship.

Naresh Fernandes

Editor, Scroll. He was previously the editor-in-chief of Time Out India and The Wall Street Journal in New York. He is also on the editorial policy board of the World Policy Journal.

Elizabeth Hansen

Senior Research Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, and CEO and Co-Founder of National Trust for Local News

Kwame Karikari

Professor in journalism and mass communication, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the MFWA.

Arne Krumsvik

Rector and Professor of Media and Communication, Kristiania University College. He is considered to be one of the founders of media innovations studies.

Nishant Lalwani

Managing Director, Luminate. He also leads the organization’s work in narrative change across all its impact areas and oversees Luminate’s strategy, and partner support teams.

Mira Milosevic

Executive director, GFMD. She authored the World Press Trends reports, managed Media Development Programmes at WAN-IFRA, and was the director of Media Center Belgrade.

Tania Montalvo

Executive editor, Animal Político. She started out as a reporter for Animal Político in 2013, with a focus on corruption, organized crime, violence and conflict.

Henri Pigeat

Former president, Agence France Presse. He is currently a press editor. Previously, he was the animator of the Quality of News and Information Task Force of the WAN.

Sibylle Rizk

Public policies director, Kulluna Irada. She is an expert of the Lebanese challenges as the former Editor in Chief of the leading Lebanese monthly Le Commerce du Levant.

Natalya Sindeyeva

Founder and CEO, Dozhd. Dozhd is a Russian independent television channel. Natalia has twice won the ‘Russia’s media manager’ award for her work on radio and in television.

Olaf Steenfadt

Head of the “Journalism Trust Initiative” at RSF. Olaf is a member of the “Committee of Experts on Quality of Journalism in the Digital Age” at the Council of Europe.

Kirstine Stewart

Head of Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Information. Previously, she was the vice-president, Media, Twitter after launching the Twitter Canada office.

Patricia Torres-Burd

Managing Director – Media Services, Media Development Investment Fund. Previously, she was the vice-president of UBC International.

Rapporteur   

Sameer Padania

Director, Macroscope. His work, research and collaborations are focused on supporting the public interest journalism and information ecosystem to strengthen and transform.

Scope

Chapter 1

Good practice from for-profit and non-profit independent news media

Summarizing good practices will aim to help share lessons learned and enable other independent news media to learn from those who have built sustainable business models for digital journalism.

Chapter 2

Regulation favoring an enabling environment for the sustainability of journalism

The working group will provide recommendations on regulation policies directly or indirectly increasing media revenues in ways that maintain and protect the independence of news media from politicians and government officials (potential new licensing revenues, innovation in advertising and incentives to adapt media infrastructures, etc.).

Chapter 3

 Recommandations for off market policies 

 

The working group will formulate recommendations for public subsidies, in particular with regard to the criteria for their allocation (and a fair, transparent and editorially non-binding process) and their financing.

Timeline

  • November: launch of the working group on the sustainability of journalism
  • December: publication of the call for contributions
  • December – February: processing of the contributions
  • February – May: drafting of the recommendations
  • May: presentation of the set of recommendations