[FoME] Publication: Promoting media viability while preserving media independence

Christoph Dietz Christoph.Dietz at CAMECO.ORG
So Nov 21 16:55:32 CET 2021

National consultations on solutions to promote media viability while
preserving media independence
Amsterdam: Free Press Unlimited (FPU), November 2021, 33 pages


>From FPU website:
"Free Press Unlimited just published a study that summarises national
consultations on solutions to promote media viability while preserving
media independence. The report is aimed at better understanding, from a
practitioner’s point of view, how preserving media viability is
considered in ten different countries: Brazil, El Salvador, Indonesia,
Jamaica, Lebanon, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Tunisia. In
particular, the income streams and business models of media, access to
(online) advertisement, the impact of big tech, and the way independent
media are affected by the contexts in which they operate, are
highlighted. Common trends across the ten countries are also presented.
The national consultations drew on the knowledge exchanges and research
provided by UNESCO and The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)."

>From page 9 of the report, "Global Trends":
- "The intersection between media and politics remains very strong in
several countries under study. In these conditions, there is often
little transparency on media ownership and a lack of transparency on
local funding sources of media.
- Relatedly, in some cases, a change in government policies was raised
as an important precondition to possibly change the negative discourse
towards the (public) media. A different political climate may benefit
the financial conditions of a media outlet, for instance by lifting
difficulties in acquiring media licenses or access to (governmental)
funding by independent media.
- The advertisement markets for media are, in many of the countries
under study, still controlled by a few large, more traditional media
outlets. Generally, the advertising market is driven by a number of
factors, including a network, political patronage, and the ability of
media owners to utilise relationships with the corporate sector. Due to
the digitalisation of media and the advertising market, the market has
further changed over the past years. There is limited to no regulation
in the distribution of advertisement funding based on quality standards
for journalism. Some media practitioners proposed to address this
problem by stimulating national governments to support regulatory bodies
for media advertisement.
- While digital advertisement is on the rise, most revenue of online
(media) advertisement is directed to big tech companies. An increased
amount of advertising money is flowing towards social media platforms,
and Internet advertising has been rising exponentially, as observed in
all countries under study. The media sector as a whole is suffering from
this trend, particularly the more traditional print media who are
struggling to make the transition to online media. In some countries
under study, media are not even eligible to generate an income on the
large social media platforms. Policies to regulate online advertisement
is imperative to strengthen the competition position of traditional

Christoph Dietz
Postfach 10 21 04 
D-52021 Aachen, Germany
Tel.: 0049 - 241 - 70 13 12 14
Fax: 0049 - 241 - 70 13 12 33
christoph.dietz at cameco.org 

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