Further Reading

This page provides a few key resources on the topic Media Viability. For a more complete database of resources on this topic, you can consult the evidence base.

Key resources

More than Money: Rethinking Media Viability in the Digital Age
(Deutsche Welle Akademie)
From the abstract: ‘This paper presents a new model for Media Viability at a time when media outlets face enormous difficulties delivering quality reporting while staying financially afloat. (…) Our model looks at five dimensions-economics, politics, content, technology, and the community – and three levels: media organizations, networks, and the overall framework. This allows for the development of more effective Media Viability strategies and projects.’
Measuring News Media Sustainability: Towards A Global Barometer 
(Innovation Research Group and Global Forum for Media Development)
From the blog introducing the publication: ‘The Media Sustainability Barometer (MSB) is underpinned by data on 264 countries and terrestrial regions drawn from a range of global databases including the World Bank, Transparency International, OECD etc. as well as data from an expert panel. Structural equation modelling was used to estimate relationships amongst MSB factors (political, economic, social, technological, legal and media-specific indicators).’
Media Sustainability Index (IREX)From the introduction of the English methodology document (2016): ‘The MSI measures a number of contributing factors of a well-functioning media system and considers both traditional media types and new media platforms. This level of investigation allows policymakers and implementers to analyze the diverse aspects of media systems and determine the areas in which media development assistance can improve access to news and information that empowers citizens to help improve the quality of governance through participatory and democratic mechanisms.’
(NB: The Media Sustainability Index is currently not updated. However, the methodology used for this index does provide information on the factors that influence media viability).
The Cairncross Review: A Sustainable Future for Journalism (Cairncross)From the introduction: ‘This Review was asked to consider the sustainability of the production and distribution of high-quality journalism in the UK, and especially the future of the press, in this dramatically changing market. It has looked at the overall state of the news media market, the threats to the financial sustainability of publishers, the impact of search engines and social media platforms, and the role of digital advertising.’
More Important, but Less Robust? Five Things Everybody Needs to Know about the Future of Journalism (Reuters Institute Report)In this report five current and future trends are analysed. From the executive summary the four trends that influence media viability:
‘1. (…) media still create the news agenda, but platform companies control access to audiences;
2. (…) automated serendipity and incidental exposure drive people to more and more diverse sources of information;
3. (…) journalism is often losing the battle for people’s attention, and in some countries, for the public’s trust;
4. (…) business models that fund news are challenged (…) leaving news media more vulnerable to commercial and political pressures.’