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GIJN Webinar: Funding Independent Journalism in South Asia

Journalism as an industry has been under immense stress over the last decade. Around the world, media outlets have seen lay-offs, budget cuts, and direct attacks on journalists. This in turn has reduced the surviving media’s capacity for investigative journalism, which often requires considerable time and resources. But at the same time, there has also been an emergence of new, independent news organizations that have dedicated themselves to conducting the in-depth and time consuming reporting necessary for investigative stories.

News sites such as ProPublica in the US, MediaPart in France, and Malaysiakini in Malaysia, focus on stories in the wider public interest. They have become important voices in their respective countries, and have succeeded with the financial support of readers, subscribers, members, and donors. Can some of these models be replicated in other parts of the world to create similar spaces for investigative journalism? 

This webinar by the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) and the Center of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) brings together journalists from across South Asia to discuss how to make independent news organizations economically sustainable, and what are some of the strategies being used by entrepreneurial journalists who have ventured out on their own. 

The speakers and moderator include:

  • Badar Alam is editor of Sujag, a non-profit independent news organization based in Pakistan that focuses its stories on issues overlooked by mainstream media. Alam was the editor of Dawn Media Group’s English monthly, Herald, between June 2010 and July 2019. He has worked in Pakistan as a journalist since 1992. 
  • Dilrukshi Handunnetti is executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sri Lanka, which focuses both on reporting projects and training journalists. A multiple-award-winning journalist, Handunnetti counts 25 years in journalism. Her work has appeared in a range of outlets including The Guardian (UK), Al Jazeera, and Reuters AlertNet. 
  • Sunil Rajshekhar is chief executive officer at the Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation that provides funding to organizations creating and distributing public-interest information. Rajshekhar has years of experience in media management and served for much of his career with The Times of India Group, where he was responsible for setting up its internet division.
  • Munizae Jahangir is co-founder and editor of the independent media organization VoicePk, which focuses on human rights violations. She is a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker, currently anchoring ‘Spotlight with Munizae Jahangir’, a flagship current affairs show on one of Pakistan’s leading news networks, Aaj TV. 

Moderator: Amel Ghani, Regional Editor for GIJN.

This webinar will be presented in English.

Sign up for the webinar here!

Date and Time

May 11, 2022 – What time is it in my city?

Pakistan Standard Time: 3 – 4pm

Indian Standard Time: 3.30 – 4.30pm

Bangladesh Standard Time: 4 – 5pm

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