The economic crisis following the global pandemic has negatively impacted the entire media sector and further weakened media viability in countries already suffering from repression of freedom of expression.
A weakened financial status of media houses brings along several risks, such as media capture by politically affiliated enterprises and other companies. This may seriously impact their editorial independence, and thus access to reliable information for citizens.
Media outlets around the world are increasingly diversifying their sources of revenue. However, as the revenues per income streams – such as advertisement – are decreasing, the diversification of income models remains a challenge.
The issues affecting media viability are complex and require different interventions – from advocating at the level of governments, to educating the public about the importance of reliable information. Media will need to receive continued support to innovate their business models, as well as access to stable funding sources.
FPU just published a study that summarises national consultations on solutions to promote media viability while preserving media independence.
The report is aimed at better understanding, from a practitioner’s point of view, how preserving media viability is considered in ten different countries: Brazil, El Salvador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Tunisia.
In particular, the income streams and business models of media, access to (online) advertisement, the impact of big tech, and the way independent media are affected by the contexts in which they operate, are highlighted. Common trends across the ten countries are also presented.
The national consultations drew on the knowledge exchanges and research provided by UNESCO and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The full report is available here.