Viable, diverse, stable, safe: is this really too much for media ...

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Viable, diverse, stable, safe: is this really too much for media to ask?

The survival and shaping of credible news media requires a systemic reset or radical break from the ‘old ways’

Andrew Heslop

Viability, diversity, stability and safety are essential ingredients of any healthy information ecosystem. How many media worldwide can say yes to all four? How far are individual professionals, news organisations and the industry as a whole from achieving these? And at this time of global anxiety, economic turmoil and future uncertainty, is it crazy to be aiming for them in the first place?

As we mark World Press Freedom Day on Monday, media across the globe are fighting existential and immediate threats. The Covid-19 pandemic has worsened and, in many instances, accelerated challenges familiar to media owners, editors and journalists everywhere. The dilemma for an industry shrinking by the day and fast running out of money is that the biggest, most unavoidable cost is the journalism that, by its very essence, defines it.

Above all, Covid-19 has forced questions about the economic model and how media are financed front and centre for everyone with even just a passing interest in how news is produced. The insecurities that have been corroding the industry for more than two decades are now circulating wildly and devastating newsrooms and boardrooms worldwide...

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