RNW Media and the PeaceTech Lab share the belief that professional independent media are critical to sustaining peaceful and prosperous societies, and are concerned about the growing threats to fact-based information and free expression and the media organizations that support them, particularly in repressive and conflict-torn societies.
From rising authoritarianism and failed states to disinformation and fake news to extremist rhetoric and hate speech, the environment for global media is increasingly precarious. Freedom House reported that in 2016 “global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 13 years.” The Committee to Protect Journalists recorded the largest number ever of imprisoned journalists – 259. Reporters without Borders flatly declared, the “media has never been so threatened.”
It is difficult enough for media in developed countries to cope. For media in developing societies, however, it can be overwhelming. Not only are the political and security pressures more acute, but so too are the economic costs and challenges. And yet, media operators have missions to fulfill and businesses to run, journalists and program producers to train and keep safe, new technologies to adopt and adapt, and audiences to understand and serve.
Indeed, there remains virtually insatiable demand for media training and other forms of capacity-building, especially where business models are weakest. Yet funding never keeps pace. Collaboration among capacity-building organizations is spotty at best. And seldom is there an industry conversation on the global need versus the global response.
Given today’s global media environment, how are media capacity-building organizations responding? What are their priorities? What do media operators most need? How do they find time to focus on training when for many it’s difficult just to keep the lights on? Where are the major gaps between capacity-building supply and user demand? How do we close them? What do funders see as the priorities? Where are their funding dollars going? How and where do media capacity-building organizations cooperate? What more can and should they be doing, jointly?
Download the extensive report here: Deep Dive Media Capacity Report
On 6 December RNW Media and the Lab are holding round two of the media capacity-building conversation, reconvening and expanding the prior group. On sustainability, the sequel will address pressure points and problems, new business models and case studies (success stories), business entrepreneurship training, content and distribution partnerships, and the role of technology in both driving and inhibiting sustainability.
On media literacy, the discussion will survey the extent of the disinformation problem worldwide, examine the efficacy of media literacy efforts to date (both formal and informal), look at new, innovative approaches, and consider the requirements to educate media so they in turn can educate their own audiences on media literacy.
The deep dive is a facilitated conversation within the whole group. Speakers’ comments are tight (5-7 minutes) discussion drivers as opposed to speeches or PowerPoints. Each session has built-in discussion time.
Please find/download the draft agenda here.
This Deep Dive is being organised in collaboration with RNTC