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.
These enterprise-level steps are essential complements to the need for bigger changes in national policies to save – and stimulate – media development all around the world.