For independent news media organisations, journalists and journalism at large to function properly and survive economically, a number of conditions need to be met. These conditions can be grouped into three dimensions of the enabling environment for media and journalists. For many years these dimensions, in the analysis of Freedom House, consisted of the nationally-focused political, economic and legal enabling environment. But, increasingly, online communication platforms and technologies and innovations across borders as well as the online behaviour of audiences are impacting on the enabling environment for the media and the motivation and ability of states to regulate online.
This resource guide consists of three main sections. The first describes the three main pillars of the enabling environment for news media and journalists, with an emphasis on media viability and small and medium-sized media outlets. It will explore key concepts and issues of media law and regulation; main issues in the political environment that create or diminish space for media freedom and freedom of speech; and economic threats to and opportunities for media viability. A main theme throughout this section is how the enabling environment for the media has been dominated by tech giants, their influence on the platform economy and internet governance, and the struggle that existing regulatory and intellectual frameworks have to keep pace with this development.
The second section will look at the main multilateral and intergovernmental organisations as well as multi-stakeholder networks and platforms that serve as normative spaces and places for the enabling environment of the media. The third section will give an overview of advocacy strategies, toolkits and resources.
The resource guide does not attempt to include all possible considerations and developments within these sections. Instead, tries to strike a balance between general descriptions of the different phenomena and the responses of Free Press Unlimited and our partner network in our media development and advocacy work. It will make linkages to our combined track record and relevant evidence and literature that is being collected and expanded on a rolling basis in the evidence base.
Picture by ATMTX. Curves and Pillars, Russell Senate Office Building – Washington DC
Picture: Magna Carta
Picture by Ramyar Jabar
Picture by Romy van den Boogaart
Evidence base: Enabling environment for the media
|Media Pluralism Monitor 2020: Hungary country report||2020||Hungary||Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, European University Insitute||Attila, B. et al.|
|Legal Responses to Online Harassment and Abuse of Journalists: Perspectives from Finland, France and Ireland||2019||Finland, France, Ireland||OSCE - Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media & International Press Institute||McCully, J.|
|Conclusions of the Joint International Press Freedom Mission to Hungary||2019||Hungary||Free Press Unlimited||Schoot Uiterkamp, T.|
|Targeted, Cut Off, and Left in the Dark: The #KeepItOn Report on Internet Shutdowns in 2019||2019||Global||Access Now||Access Now|
|The Fight Against Impunity||2019||Global||Free Press Unlimited||Nijhof, S. & Pavicic, M.|
|Hungary: Conclusions of the Joint International Press Freedom Mission||2019||Hungary||Article19||International Press Institute (IPI), Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPFM), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO).|
|Road to 2030: Access to Information in the Driver’s Seat||2019||Canada, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine||Deutsche Welle Akademie, Free Press Unlimited, and the Global Forum for Media Development||Deutsche Welle Akademie, Free Press Unlimited, and the Global Forum for Media Development|
|Media Capture in Europe||2019||Global||Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF)||Dragomir, M.|
|State of Media and Digital Freedoms report in Pakistan, 2018||2019||Pakistan||Media Matters for Democracy||Rana, S. et al.|
|Developing Independent Media Associations in Ethiopia||2019||Ethiopia||Mersa Media Institute||Mersa Media Institute|
|Tackling Gender Inequality Through Access to Information||2019||Global||ARTICLE 19||ARTICLE 19|
|Digital Media Startup Companies in the Arab World||2019||Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco||Maharat Foundation||Maharat Foundation|