Based on our GFMD study, Recipient Perceptions of Media Development Assistance: A GFMD Study we presented a joint statement on behalf of our members at the “Confronting the Crisis in Independent Media: Strategic Approaches for International Donors” meeting of donors, which took place in Paris on 31 January and 1 February 2019. This meeting was a critical opportunity to present opinions and voices of our members as well as the overall journalism support and media development sector to the donor community.
In the statement drafted with the support of our members and in collaboration with our steering committee, GFMD called on the international community to reinforce its recognition of the importance of media and journalism for good governance and democratic institutions by firmly positioning support for the sector within the overall international development assistance and governance agenda. GFMD and its members also called for regular annual meetings of donors, implementers, and beneficiaries in order to ensure the prioritisation of journalism support and media development, especially in the face of rapid changes in market dynamics, technological advances, and political uncertainties.
In the statement, GFMD emphasised:
“Against the backdrop of long-standing debates about the status of journalism support and media development within the overall structure of official development assistance (ODA), there is a sense among the GFMD community that donors sometimes underestimate the importance of media as a sector in and of itself – akin to other sectors, such as health or education – which requires its own dedicated strategies and commensurate budgets.
Based on the results of our study, GFMD and its members advised greater institutional/core support, capacity building, and flexible, longer-term funding for the sector. We are also committed to working together with international development assistance actors to inform donor strategies. In line with the recommendations of the study, we seek to provide more policy input to foster greater alignment between the sector’s needs and donor priorities, specifically by:
- Facilitating greater consultation with media and journalism stakeholders internationally,
regionally, and nationally;
- Supporting stronger coordination between donors and the journalism support and media
- Facilitating ongoing needs assessments and quicker responsiveness to changing needs; and
- Working together to develop a common monitoring and evaluation framework across donors and/or programs, as well as more effectively tell the story of the results and impact over time of donor support.”
GFMD will, on behalf of its members and the wider community, continue to engage with decision-makers and funders to facilitate a two-way conversation and better formulate strategies for the sector.