Policy & learning updates
Policy & learning updates from the Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED).


The full paper is available here.
This paper focuses on government and media initiatives that address the viability challenges in Kenya. It explores the instances and circumstances under which the media community in the country has worked closely with the government to implement media reforms through new legislation and related policies.


The new Brave New Media Podcast sheds light on different media outlets from across the world with the purpose of highlighting the hardships that they have had to overcome, as well as expert advice on how to make the media ecosystem in general healthier.
The Brave New Media podcast episodes are available here.

Online and at the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference 2022

Register for the online panel here.
This session will explore whether Sierra Leone serves as a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak outlook for government support to media, especially in the Global South. Further information on panelists and the discussion is available here.


Gender and media viability: making a business case for diversity – MDIF
In light of International Women's Day, this article highlights "the relationship between gender and media business performance" and the "media innovations from around the world that champion women." The article is divided into the following sections: women as a primary target, serving the female audience, diversity within newsrooms and leadership, gender and reader revenue, gender-based harassment, partnerships and institutional funding, branded content revenue, gender and events business, a collaboration around gender topics, and a way forward.
The Building Viability: Strategies and Approaches for Media Organizations Workshop was held from February 1-2, 2022 by the Media Development Investment Fund. The two-day workshop included interventions from Ethiopian, Bangladeshi and media organisations, as well as from BBC Media Action, the Media Advisory Services (MAS) and MDIF. Case studies from Tanzania and Central America were also presented. Included themes are: organizational resilience, the monetisation of credible content, diversifying audiences, transition into digital news, and gender and inclusion, among others.
Free Press Unlimited produced this video to support GFMD IMPACT's session on media sustainability at the Global Conference for Media Freedom on 9 Feb, 2022.
"Coalition-building is a complex set of moving parts that is, to a large extent, hostage to the vagaries of the given political, economic and social landscape – and multiple factors over which international organisations have limited influence or control. There are no shrink-wrapped solutions or off-the-shelf frameworks; success relies on an in-depth understanding of the local operating environment as well as trust-based relationships with key stakeholders.", Michael Randall, article "The ultimate stress test for international support".
The article analyses the PRIMED workshops where participants, showcased several examples of successful coalitions which have been steered – and, in two cases, initiated – by international partners.
More about the PRIMED Coalitions for change workshops is avalable in the PRIMED learning section here, including full report, overview, case studies, transctripts and additional resources.

"It's not about forming an institution- but a platform upon which the collective good is advanced." Tabani Moyo, workshop participant, MISA Zimbabwe, former chair of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe

Strategies for public interest media confronting the Covid-19 pandemic: Building business around content – MDIF
This article produced by MDIF and BBC MA is a set of practical recommendations to public interest media responding to the business challenges presented by Covid-19. The recommendations are addressed to media leaders and senior editors as they consider their organisations’ financial and editorial responses to the pandemic. They draw on the experiences of media in countries where PRIMED consortium partners work and set out practical steps that public interest media have found helpful as they navigate the crisis management phase of the pandemic and prepare themselves for the new reality that will follow.
The recommendations to public interest media include:
  • Cut costs; hoard cash
  • Keep searching for revenue
  • Report in the public interest
  • Use your content to drive your business
  • Your team is not immune
  • Planning for the future
For more details read the full article here.

Free Press Unlimited - MICHAEL PAVIČIĆ

Media Viability: Tackling Big Tech
FPU Knowledge & Quality
2020, and 2021 thus far, have proven to be an interesting time for those who are interested in the many challenges news media and journalists face in their attempts to become or remain independent and financially sustainable. The dominant position of Big Tech companies such as Google and Facebook vis-a-vis the news media industry is increasingly being scrutinised by governments across the globe through legislative and regulatory measures.
By disseminating media content for free on their platforms and monetising this content by scooping up advertising money through a business model with zero-sum outcomes for print and online media outlets, the financial viability of independent news media and journalism have been seriously eroded by tech platforms, Google and Facebook in particular. Admittedly, the lack of advertising income and failing business models are hardly the only big problem for the future of journalism.
Other big problems include media capture by self-interested political and business elites to control and gag a critical press. Impunity for crimes against journalists. Repressive laws and regulatory capture. Decreasing trust in media through the spread of mis- and disinformation and the attack on independent journalism through populist demagoguery.
Continue reading the blog here.

BBC Media Action - JAMES DEANE

Working paper 1: Pathways to media sustainability in a broken market
In the first working paper in a series from our project Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED), author James Deane assesses whether fresh approaches to public subsidy might help support independent media in low- and middle-income settings.

BBC Media Action Zambia - VANESSA MWEEMBA

Supporting independent radio in Zambia

BBC Media Action

Al Mirbad: A platform for the people

BBC Media Action

Lion Mountain Radio: Improving health amid uncertainty

Policy and learning strategy (Sept. 2020)

Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED): Policy and Learning Strategy
The Communication Initiative Network

Programme approach and glossary (Oct. 2020)

Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED): Programme Approach and Glossary
The Communication Initiative Network

Theory of change (Oct. 2020)

Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED): Theory of Change
The Communication Initiative Network

Communications summary (Oct. 2020)

Protecting Independent Media for Effective Development (PRIMED): Communications Summary
The Communication Initiative Network

Ethiopia audience survey (2020)

BBC Media Action Ethiopia has conducted an audience survey to understand media usage and perceptions of media to inform the development of project activities and support partners to understand their audience better. 2,000 interviews were conducted in March 2020, in 5 regions of the country (Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, SNNP, Addis Ababa).