Can Philanthropy Save the Media?

The media, civil society, and democracy are under unprecedented duress around the world. Protecting the independent media and the public sphere presents an “epic challenge,” but there is great opportunity for philanthropy to step up and help. Bruce Sievers and Patrice Schneider detail five avenues worth pursuing in funding news media and argue that charitable donors should significantly increase their investment in the media.

The Road Ahead: Int’l Media Assistance under Trump

The post-election Presidential transition in the United States has raised many questions and concerns among the international development community about the future direction of funding for and engagement with overseas media and democracy assistance. Here, three experts offer their views about the potential for major cuts in funding and politicization of international media support.

What Makes Governments Resistant to Coups? Transparency.

The relationship between transparency and political stability in democracies is simple: More transparency means more stable democratic rule. As transparency rises, democratically elected leaders are less likely to be ousted through extra-constitutional methods like a coup. In non-democracies the situation is more complicated. But greater transparency still means fewer coups.

A Global Assault on Nonprofits

In an era of increasing hostility to independent media, one of the bright spots is the rapid expansion of journalism nonprofits around the world — training, promoting, and reporting on stories that otherwise would never see the light of day. But a dangerous trend now threatens the progress our colleagues have made on press freedom and watchdog reporting: a crackdown on nonprofit organizations. Restrictions on international funding account for more than a third of the measures since 2012. With that in mind, we are pleased to reprint this important story from the Journal of Democracy, detailing the global scope of the backlash.

Why Good Journalism Matters

I have been involved in politics and policy-making for over 50 years, and as you can imagine I hold strong feelings about reporters and the media. They’re not what you might think, however. Far from considering journalists to be irritating pains in the neck — though I’ve known a few who qualified — I believe them to be indispensable to our democracy.