This work is an October 2011 update of the October 2009 CIMA report, “Experimentation and Evolution in Private U.S. Funding of Media Development” by the same author.
SECOND MEETING OF THE SUB-GROUP ON MEDIA EXCHANGES Under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Working Group on Education, Culture, Sports and Media Moscow, 3 October 2011
Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Remarks at the opening panel on The Evolving Profession of Journalism Where there are people, there’s news. And where there’s news, there are journalists. Why? Because we have learned that when professionals make it their business to look at the world as it really is, we all benefit.
• Two news organizations, ProPublica and National Public Radio, revealed that military doctors were wrongly over-treating American veterans who had concussions. Fixing this will save at least $200 million.
• The Center for Public Integrity and the Washington Post exposed bad federal housing policies, and six big lenders were dumped. Taxpayers will save more than $100 million.
• The Center for Investigative Reporting detailed earthquake hazards in California schools, and officials opened up a $200 million safety fund. Three stories, with a social impact of more than $500 million. The value of watchdog journalism. Doing stories that keep government more honest is still a big part of the modern role of professional journalism.
"Developing Financially Viable Media in Emerging Markets" is based on an
unprecedented survey of more than 150 individual newspapers and media
executives in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the
Americas, and on five in-depth country studies. The research
investigates the relationships between media freedoms, financial
sustainability of media in emerging markets, and international
The report, released on Wednesday, June 8 to donor agencies and media development experts at a seminar at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, identifies the challenges and opportunities for independent media in achieving financial sustainability while maintaining editorial independence. The new report can be found here.
In 2007, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) made major improvements to its flagship program, the Knight International Journalism Fellowships. ICFJ extended fellowships to at least one year, recruited international fellows, and targeted developing countries where the opportunity for impact was greatest.
Last year, together with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, ICFJ arranged for an outside evaluation to determine the progress made. The results were phenomenal. The report credited the fellows with at least 20 major improvements in government policies in response to hard-hitting stories by their trainees. For example:
In Kenya, a series on shoddy care in public hospitals resulted in $7.5 million to improve care;
In Indonesia, a series on medical waste prompted the government to order hospitals to build their own wastewater treatment facilities; and
In Peru, after crimes by unlicensed cab drivers were exposed, taxis were required to show official identification.
Eric Newton, Senior Adviser to the President, spoke at World Press Freedom Day, and examined the future of press freedom. He also announced the formation of a legal defense fund with the Open Society Foundations. The Knight Foundation's part of the project is to specifically help defend bloggers and web site proprietors unfairly jailed around the world.