GFMD AND DC-SUSTAINABILITY AT THE 15TH INTERNET GOVERNANCE FORUM

Given the intrinsic relationship between journalism and the Internet, shaping the digital policy agenda is a key strategic priority for GFMD. This has been reflected over the past three years in our engagement with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which culminated in the successful launch of the Dynamic Coalition on the Sustainability of Journalism and News Media (DC-Sustainability) last November during IGF 2019 in Berlin.

Next week, the annual global IGF – now in its 15th year – will kickoff on Monday, 3 November and run until Tuesday, 17 November. Even though this IGF is hosted by the Government of Poland under the theme “Internet for human resilience and solidarity,” it will be hosted entirely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though IGF 2020 will be held virtually this year, we are planning to build on our past success at the IGF in 2017, 2018, and 2019 in order to amplify journalism and news media voices within digital policymaking.

For anyone unfamiliar with Internet governance, the IGF is an annual event held under the auspices of the United Nations that facilitates multi-stakeholder discussion about digital policy and the evolution of Internet technologies. Internet governance refers to the processes, fora, and conversations happening around the world that involve stakeholders from multiple sectors – including governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, the technical community, and more – debating, collaborating, and at times, clashing over digital policy and the future of the Internet. More specifically, the UN established the IGF to serve as an advisory body, addressing global trends, legislation, and regulation, while offering a space for stakeholders to meet on equal footing. The DC-Sustainability is one of the IGF’s 23 officially recognised Dynamic Coalitions, and is a multi-stakeholder initiative meant to be a hub for the journalism, news media, press freedom, journalism support, and media development sectors to engage with important Internet governance and digital policy matters.

Our engagement at the IGF this year will center around the DC-Sustainability’s annual session, which will be held on 5 November from 13:40-15:10 UTC, and see the official launch of the outcome of our first annual action plan. That report has gathered case studies (“chapters”) highlighting the different ways digital policies (and the lack of journalistic/media input) impact media sustainability. The discussion will include members of the DC-Sustainability who contributed to the report, and also focus on media sustainability in the time of crisis as well as what kinds of policies and support systems are necessary to ensure the journalism and news media sector can recover (such as those highlighted in our joint emergency appeal from earlier this year).

We will be updating the community on our progress over the coming days. If you would like to join, you can register for the IGF here. In case you have any questions on how to participate, you can check out this guide from the IGF Secretariat or also email us at: moghia@gfmd.info

For more information about our Internet governance activities, check out our Internet Governance Resource Centre or join the DC-Sustainability mailing list to receive the latest updates.

Update: you can find the report along with the session recording here