As a result of our participation in the 13th global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which took place from 12-14 November 2018 in Paris, France, the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) calls on the global Internet governance community to recognise the need for broader inclusion of journalists and the news media community within the IGF and wider Internet governance ecosystem. We also call on journalism organisations, news media, and journalism support and media development organisations to be more engaged in Internet governance bodies and processes.

There is hardly an aspect of journalism and the news media sector that is not touched by Internet policy and how the Internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs) are governed. Yet, journalists organisations, news media, journalism support, and media development organisations are consistently missing from these important conversations despite their increasing relevance.  

Internet and digital actors in the age of digital convergence are directly shaping the future of journalism and news media, and the issues discussed – from how digital markets are governed and content curated and moderated, to the way artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting media viability – all require journalism and media community voices. GFMD and its members and partners recognise that there are number of key conversations and areas for potential collaboration across stakeholder groups that we should be part of.

Greater inclusion of journalism organisations, news media, and journalism support and media development organisations in Internet governance spaces would also facilitate greater multi-stakeholder collaboration to address gaps in knowledge and reporting on issues relevant for journalism and news media. 

“We recognise that the journalism support and media development community is in a prime position to add its expertise and insight to Internet governance discussions. Connecting these two communities is critical for making sure that quality journalism and news media issues are considered in the Internet governance debates and processes and ultimately secure a viable space in the digital marketplace of ideas.”

– Mira Milosevic, GFMD Executive Director

GFMD has worked with the journalism support and media development community to outline potential areas for collaboration and engagement in an issue paper on journalism, news media, and Internet governance. This collaborative document will serve as a foundation in which we ground our engagement, and we invite other stakeholders to read it and offer comments, feedback, and ideas for collaboration. GFMD will continue to engage in Internet policy and governance spaces, and we invite our members and partners to join our working group on Internet governance and media development as well as learn more about how to get involved.