Creative Ideas for Funding Independent Journalism

From South Africa to Brazil; from Yangon to Kabul, I heard media editors sing varying versions of the same lyrics: I feel the earth move under my feet. The media business model has now cracked all over the world. Subscriptions to newspapers and magazines drop by the thousands; traditional advertising revenue vanishes into thin air; and digital advertising revenue is poor and only seems to work for web giants. Media have certainly learnt how to increase the value of Facebook or Twitter in their quest to fish readers for their stories, but have plenty of trouble in finding how to increase the value of their own outlets.

Why Open Data Isn’t Enough

Hacks and hackers meetups. Open government initiatives. Hackathons and datafests. The media development world has discovered big data, and it is embracing it big time. Donors like the Knight and Omidyar foundations are focused almost exclusively on tech fixes to what ails the media. As one prominent donor told a nonprofit newsroom executive, “We no longer fund content.”