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Launch of Forum on Information and Democracy working group on sustainability of journalism

Author: Olga Komarova | 25. November 2020

On November 24, 2020, the Forum on Information and Democracy announced the launch of a new working group on sustainability of journalism which will seek structural recommendations from experts, media stakeholders, academics, and jurists all over the world on how to improve the sustainability of journalism.

The Forum on Information and Democracy noted that the group’s main aims are:

  1. To identify good practices (including business models, commercial cooperation and editorial partnerships);
  2. To recommend a favourable regulatory environment (including an overhaul of the media economy’s legislative framework and innovative funding);
  3. To propose public policies of a non-market nature (such as state funding, non-financial benefits, tax concessions and development assistance).

The Forum’s board of directors announced on 17 November that Harlem Désir, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s former representative on freedom of the media, has been appointed as the Forum’s director. Additionally, the Forum has announced a steering committee of media development and journalism experts, chaired by Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.

The remaining members of the working group’s steering committee are as follows:

  • Julia Cagé,  co-director, Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies. As a professor of Economics, she published Saving the media: Capitalism, crowdfunding and democracy.
  • Prem Chandran, co-founder and CEO, Malaysiakini. He also serves as non-executive director of KiniTV and FG Media, and he is the Chairperson of Asia Mobiliti.
  • Styli Charalambous, publisher and CEO, Daily Maverick. He is a reformed accountant now working in media entrepreneurship.
  • Naresh Fernandes, editor, Scroll. He is also on the editorial policy board of the World Policy Journal. He was previously the editor-in-chief of Time Out India and The Wall Street Journal in New York.
  • Elizabeth Hansen, lead researcher of the News Sustainability and Business Models project, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • Kwame Karikari, professor in journalism and mass communication, School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the MFWA.
  • Arne H. Krumsvik, Rector and Professor of Media and Communication, Kristiania University College. He is considered to be one of the founders of media innovations studies.
  • Nishant Lalwani, Managing Director, Luminate. He also leads the organization’s work in narrative change across all its impact areas and oversees Luminate’s strategy, and partner support teams.
  • Mira Milosevic, executive director, GFMD. She authored the World Press Trends reports, managed Media Development Programmes at WAN-IFRA, and was the director of  Media Center Belgrade.
  • Tania Montalvo, Executive editor, Animal Político. She started out as a reporter for Animal Político in 2013, with a focus on corruption, organized crime, violence and conflict.
  • Henri Pigeat, former president, AFP.  He is currently a press editor. Previously, he was the animator of the Quality of News and Information Task Force of the WAN.
  • Sibylle Rizk, public policies director, Kulluna Irada. She is an expert of Lebanese challenges as the former Editor in Chief of the leading Lebanese monthly Le Commerce du Levant.
  • Natalya Sindeyeva, founder and CEO, Dozhd. Dozhd is a Russian independent television channel. Natalia has twice won the ‘Russia’s media manager’ award for her work on radio and in television.
  • Olaf Steenfadt, head of the “Journalism Trust Initiative” at RSF. Olaf is a member of the “Committee of Experts on Quality of Journalism in the Digital Age” at the Council of Europe.
  • Kirstine Stewart, head of Shaping the Future of Media, Entertainment and Information. Previously, she was the Vice-President, Media, Twitter after launching the Twitter Canada office.
  • Patricia Torres-Burd, Managing Director – Media Services, Media Development Investment Fund. Previously, she was the vice-president of UBC International.


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