Simplifying Success: An Ecosystem Initiative for Improving the Financial Sustainability of Independent Digital News Media in Restricted Markets

This report aims to progress the media development sector’s work towards the financial sustainability of independent news media. It proposes a new ecosystem-level framework for categorising media outlets, measuring their performance and making them more resilient to their obstacles in reaching and generating income from audiences and businesses.

The proposed framework is intended for use by media development implementers (such as Internews), media outlets, donors, technologists and research partners.

If there were an obvious solution to the financial sustainability of such news media, it would have been found. While the media development sector works to understand and improve enabling environments for independent news media and build their capacities, there is no framework for systematically identifying a media outlet’s development needs that is lightweight and fast to use, which connects to live data, looks ahead and can surface strategies for future success.

Solving the problem of media sustainability now requires sectoral collaboration to better understand what makes media outlets successful.

While this is a global problem, the report focuses on freedom-restricted countries in which news media are supported by Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Year Country Organisation Author Type
2021 Global Internews Lambert, J. report
Theory of Change Keywords Download/link
Intermediate Outcome 3 financial sustainability, freedom-restricted countries, independent media, media viability, success indicators Download/link