Independent media around the world are struggling to continue their existence and remain independent. The changing media market, a decline in the trust in media, government interference in the working of media, or attacks on journalists are all affecting the ability of media outlets to earn revenue and conduct independent reporting. ‘Media viability’ refers to all factors that influence the (continued) existence of independent media outlets.
The resource guide contains information on what media viability is in general, as well as on media viability issues that are inside the direct sphere of influence of media outlets. The concept media viability is however much broader than this. To navigate quickly to the sections of your interest, please consult the navigator below.
An introduction to media viability: the definition and framework used to approach media viability in this resource guide as well as a summary of the current viability of the media sector.
What Can a Media Outlet Do to Boost its Viability?
In this section you find information on the factors that are in the sphere of influence of media outlets. Here the focus is on best practices that arise from the research on a media business’ operating model, business model, relationship with the audience and quality of content. Also, this section summarises the research conducted by Free Press Unlimited on the income models of media in challenging environments.
Lots of practical information that can help media with the development of their business models, including links to accelerators and media labs around the world, guides and toolkits, and also more information about Roadmap for Media Growth – Free Press Unlimited’s toolkit for business model development.
Evidence base: Media viability
|Media and Information Landscape in Lebanon||2021||Lebanon||Internews & Maharat Foundation||Internews & Maharat Foundation|
|Media Sustainability and Universal Access to Public Interest Journalism||2021||South Africa||The South Africa National Editors’ Forum (SANEF)||The South Africa National Editors’ Forum (SANEF)|
|Pathways to media sustainability in a broken market: Is independent media a public good and is public subsidy to support it realistic?||2021||Global||BBC Media Action||Deane, J.|
|A New Deal for Journalism||2021||Global||Forum on Information & Democracy||Forum on Information & Democracy|
|Weighing different paths to funding local news||2021||Australia, Sweden, United States of America||Columbia Journalism Review||Schiffrin, A.|
|Sustainability: Going Beyond the Buzzword||2021||Global||Forum Media and Development & MEDAS 21||Leroy, M.|
|Inflection Point International: A study of the impact, innovation, threats, and sustainability of digital media entrepreneurs in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa||2021||Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia||SembraMedia||SembraMedia|
|Safe. Strong. Viable. The Symbosis Between Media Safety and Media Viability||2021||Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Mexico, Philippines||Deutsche Welle Akademie||Aldenrath, P. et al.|
|National Consultations on Solutions to Promote Media Viability While Preserving Media Independence||2021||Brazil, El Salvador, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lebanon, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia||Free Press Unlimited||Free Press Unlimited|
|Case Study: The Tunisian Journalists Who Built a Business Model That Frees Them to Investigate||2020||Tunisia||Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN)||Foroudi, L.|
|Publish Less, but Publish Better: Pivoting to Paid in Local News||2020||Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom||Reuters||Jenkins, J.|
|Local Radio Stations in Africa: Sustainability or Pragmatic Viability?||2020||Uganda, Zambia||Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)||Meyers, M. & Harford, N.|