Support Journalism | Why support journalism and media?

Evidence suggests that media development work can be critical to the success of all development efforts in countries. An expanding body of research has articulated how efforts to create a healthy media environment and strong journalism organisations yield important dividends for development and democratic societies.

  • WHY IS FREE PRESS BAD NEWS FOR CORRUPTION? According to research, A free press is bad news for corruption, there is a significant relationship between greater press freedom and lower corruption. Based on a study conducted in 51 countries, even small improvements to the conditions for independent media contribute to lower levels of corruption. Increased transparency and accountability have been shown to improve development outcomes for recipient governments and beneficiaries.
  • WHAT IMPACT JOURNALISM HAS ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT? The World Bank’s 2017 World Development Report: Governance and the Law, for example, summarises the evidence of the impact that media has on economic and social development. It noted that media funding can “provide an alternative revenue stream to media as a means of fostering more independent markets and reducing dependency on government funding.” The report goes on to point out that how this support is delivered is critically important, given the risk of reinforcing existing elite capture of the media, deepening polarization, and even misinformation and disinformation roles that some media play.

Currently, no elaborate frameworks exists among the donors to guide and inform them and their partners about best practices, lessons learned, and ways to maximise the positive impacts that media support can have. GFMD IMPACT briefs below are providing data and evidence on how journalism funding contributes to the development of stronger, healthier, and more sustainable media and information systems, empowered communities, and democratic societies.

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