This study, produced in cooperation with Luminate, outlines the case for, and the practical feasibility of establishing, a new International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM). It argues that such a Fund would provide an effective, legitimate and efficient way of increasing institutional support to independent media, which today constitutes just over 0.2% of official development assistance.
Publication date: April 2020
This study summarises the economic and political crisis confronting independent public interest media - defined here as media that is free and independent, that exists to inform people on the issues that shape their lives, in ways which serve the public’s rather than any political, commercial or factional interest, to enable public debate and dialogue across society, and to hold those in power to account on behalf of the public interest.
It provides arguments that independent public interest media systems will be vital for nations to shape and imagine their own futures, and that this is an issue that is central to democratic self-determination.
The study examines the current volumes and systems that exist to support independent public interest media, especially from the international development assistance community. It argues that, as many agencies acknowledge, these are insufficient, fragmented and poorly organised, and that there are few signs that the international development system currently feels it has the expertise, legitimacy, capability or confidence to respond meaningfully to the currently unfolding media crisis.
Following a major consultation process, the study examines whether there are credible alternative strategies available to the international community to increase international media support and concludes that the most cost-effective and impactful option would be to establish a new Interntional Fund for Public Interest Media.