Strengthening Media Viability: A Handbook of Innovative Practices
UNESCO announced, on 17 June, it has commissioned a handbook of innovative media strategies and practices that are strengthening independent news media’s ability to provide news and information to societies at a time when their very existence is under threat.
“Strengthening Independent Media, One Case at a Time: A Handbook for Media Viability” will include case studies of innovative ideas from a wide variety of news media companies, mostly in the developing world, that are succeeding in difficult times and have lessons to share with others who are struggling.
The handbook project was announced during the 65th meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
The IPDC, which will publish the handbook in the second part of 2021, released a brochure at the meeting that includes highlights of some of the cases to be included, from community media in South Africa to a pure-play digital success in Indonesia, to a fact-checking network in Brazil to a covid response in Pakistan, and much more.
The handbook is a part of a larger UNESCO initiative to strengthen media viability worldwide, supported by the IPDC Bureau and Council, that kicked off at the 2020 conference on the future of media development marking the 40th anniversary of the Programme.
The resource is being written by Larry Kilman, former Secretary General of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), which organization is a partner with UNESCO in the wider media viability project.
Kilman is author of the IPDC publication “An attack on one is an attack on all”.
The larger project, in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit, Free Press Unlimited, the International Center for Journalists and Columbia University, will research the extent of the global crisis for independent news media, consult with stakeholders for solutions, share knowledge between media outlets, and produce policy recommendations to support the viability of the news media.