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. The others recognize that the intensive labor and risks associated with reporting the truth render investment in media organizations as the indispensable pillars of free and quality journalism. 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 are also observed 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 the media organizations that are pursuing objective and valuable journalism?
* Can privately funded media be really independent?
* Is it moral 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