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Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field

March 28, 2019

With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Media Impact Funders has been researching trends, challenges and opportunities for global media funding. The research in this report draws on a variety of sources: data from the media data map through 2015, results from a survey of leading organizations engaged in funding media-related projects around the world, analyses of existing literature and reports, and insights offered by experts across a range of media funding issues.

Analysis of Philanthropic Opportunities to Mitigate the Disinformation/Propaganda Problem

November 2, 2017

While the problems of disinformation, misinformation and propaganda are not new, certain aspects of modern technology and communications appear to be contributing to a rapid polarization and democratic deterioration in the U.S. and abroad. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Madison Initiative focuses on making democracy and its institutions — especially Congress — more effective in a polarized age, and is currently exploring opportunities to address the disinformation/propaganda problem. An analysis conducted in 2017 for the initiative explores whether a larger, more sustained investment from the foundation is warranted.To examine the problem and potential philanthropic interventions, researchers conducted interviews with leaders from academia, digital media platforms (both current and former employees), think tanks, and civil society organizations. Informants identify many actors seeking solutions to the current disinformation/propaganda problem, with most funders focused on improving the quality of journalism, fact-checking, or news literacy.They identify several elements germane to understanding the problem, including:the democratization of information creation and distribution;the socialization of information sharing;the atomization of news away from reputable brands to individuals;the anonymity of content creators and distributors;the increasing level of content personalization; andThe sovereignty of the technology platforms.All of these factors combine to elevate the internet and, in particular, social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, increasingly Instagram, and others) as the most critical point for intervention. The authors outline options for investing in a research agenda related to popular social platforms, where lack of information about the problem, how technology impacts it, and the efficacy of proposed solution creates a hurdle to crafting effective interventions.

Communicating Global Giving: The Power of Communications in the New Era of Philanthropy

July 6, 2015

How can philanthropists use communications to shape debates, unlock resources, and change behaviours? "We have entered, as Kofi Annan writes in his foreword, "a new age of philanthropy and the sick, the poor and the vulnerable are benefitting". It is an era defined by what Matthew Bishop and Michael Green in 2009 dubbed "philanthrocapitalists" - a new generation of high-net-worth individuals using their wealth for public good. Six years later, in the US alone, the ten largest grant-making foundations have assets valued at over 120 billion dollars. In this publication, we look at philanthropy exclusively through the lens of communications. We look at a range of issues -- from cultural attitudes to philanthropy to the power of big data. We examine how philanthropists are using communications to shape debates, unlock resources and work to change behaviours. And, in a ground-breaking study, we detail how philanthropists are harnessing social media. In our experience, those managing communications for philanthropic ventures often face bigger demands and challenges than many of their counterparts in similar roles in business or government. " - Toby Orr

Press Freedom by the Numbers

May 1, 2014

Use our interactive data tool to compare the press freedoms of regions and countries over time.

Learning to Fish: How The Challenge Fund for Journalism Helped a Set of Nonprofit Media Organizations Strengthen Their Capacity to Generate Revenues

June 7, 2012

Evaluates the CFJ initiative to support nonprofit journalism organizations, including its achievements, sustainability, successful strategies, and how the program design and selection process shaped results. Includes lessons learned and two case studies.

Journalism, News, and Information

Mapping Digital Media: On-Demand Services and Media Diversity

May 8, 2012

Examines trends in the providers of on-demand online video, audio, and other artistic works and creative content; content consumed; and cultural diversity. Outlines regulation issues and implications for questions of copyright, access, and added value.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy

Mapping Digital Media: Hungary

January 5, 2012

Examines trends in media consumption; digital media's effects on public service broadcasters, journalism, and civic activism; trends in digital technology and business; and new media regulations' impact on freedom of expression. Makes recommendations.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy

Mapping Digital Media: Serbia

December 15, 2011

Examines Serbia's efforts to switch from analog to digital broadcasting; digital media's impact on media consumption, civic engagement, and journalism; and trends in digital technology, businesses, regulations, and the role of telecom operators.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy

Influencing Public Policy in the Digital Age: The Law of Online Lobbying and Election-Related Activities

September 19, 2011

Examines what is permissible for 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and 527s in using social media, blogs, e-mail lists, Web sites, social networking sites, and other communication technologies under laws that govern advocacy and political activity by nonprofits.

Opportunities for Leadership: Meeting Community Information Needs 2011

September 12, 2011

Describes how three Knight Community Information Challenge grantees incorporated efforts to create innovative news models, online information hubs, citizen journalism projects, youth media, and civic engagement and advocacy campaigns into their work.

Journalism, News, and Information

Mapping Digital Media: Freedom of Expression Rights in the Digital Age

July 28, 2011

Assesses the Internet and the World Wide Web as a platform for freedom of expression, ways to address the jurisdictional vacuum, and new tools to promote freedom of expression as well as new threats. Calls for standards on how to protect it online.

Journalism, News, and Information; Media Access and Policy

Getting Away With Murder: CPJ's 2011 Impunity Index

June 1, 2011

Ranks countries by level of anti-press violence, based on the number of unsolved murders of journalists as a percentage of the population. Examines trends, including improvements in Colombia and Russia and worsening conditions in Iraq and Mexico.

Journalism, News, and Information

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