Media viability case studies provide innovation to strengthen independent news

The collapse of independent news media is getting headlines as an epidemic of ‘fake news’ makes the need for trustworthy news outlets ever more critical. But what if that wasn’t the whole story, and news media were finding new ways to thrive?
Reveniu – an inspiring story from Chile

Many media companies and dedicated professionals are doing exactly that, quietly finding ways to strengthen their viability and ensure they can continue fulfilling their societal role as a public good, providing trustworthy information in an era where every post and tweet can be suspect.

That is not to say the circumstances facing independent media is rosy. The future is threatened if new ways of strengthening media aren’t found and news outlets are left to fail. Which makes it even more important that success stories should be shared not only for the benefit of the media businesses, but for the democratic societies they serve.

These new initiatives, both small and large, can range from fact checking services that combat fake news, to new initiatives to attract revenue, to creative and successful entrepreneurship by the new generation of journalists facing a changing world.

Some of these cases, and the individuals who are implementing them, are profiled in a new report from UNESCO to inspire media professionals to emulate these strategies and projects to strengthen media viability worldwide.

The cases are published under the title of “After the pandemic, building back a stronger media”, compiled by media expert Larry Kilman for UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), includes 11 inspiring initiatives that are successfully strengthening media viability around the globe.

The case studies cover:

  • Latin America: strengthening entrepreneurial journalism
  • Indonesia: where the advertising model for media still works
  • Chile: A payment platform helps independent and local media gain revenue
  • Lebanon: Making a successful transition from print to digital
  • Europe and Africa: Advocacy in all shapes and sizes
  • South Africa: Community media take on a new role
  • Global: Protecting the independence of public service media
  • Brazil: Fact-checking emerges as a business strategy
  • Pakistan: How the Jang Media Group emerged from the pandemic
  • The Caribbean: Cross border collaboration
  • Global: A fund for new approaches to media development

The publication is  part of a larger UNESCO collaborative initiative to strengthen media viability that also includes research, consultations, knowledge sharing and best practice resources to help independent news media ensure their future sustainability.

After the pandemic, building back a stronger media