The question of financing independent and quality journalism is as nearly old as the profession itself. Some might argue that news is a public good, and therefore, it should be free and universally accessible. Others recognize that the intensive labor and risks associated with reporting the truth render investment in media as well as business revenue models indispensable. While excessive capital courting media organizations can easily co-opt them into a manipulative political weapon in the hands of the ruling elite and business tycoons, private funds can also be used to empower and sustain critical, independent, innovative, and non-mainstream media in an era defined by rising illiberalism and digitization.
* What funding models are available for media organizations that are pursuing quality public-interest journalism?
* Can privately funded media really be independent?
* Can it be a good practice for local media organizations to turn to foreign funders to finance their operations?
* How do international organizations approach funding and cultivating quality journalism in environments where freedom of expression is under threat?
* Should foreign funding flowing into local media organizations be regulated?
* And can these regulations turn into an instrument of censorship in authoritarian regimes?
Sheila Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University
Barbara Trionfi, Executive Director at International Press Institute
Kaya Heyse, News Coordinator at Medyascope
Moderator: Onur Sazak, Project Coordinator, International Press Institute (IPI)
Organized by the International Press Institute (IPI) and Columbia Global Centers, Istanbul