One hundred percent of MDIF clients asserted that last year their reporting on at least one of the topics MDIF gathers data on—corruption, accountability, social issues and elections—created impact that brought about transformative changes to their communities. Typically, the impact would be the enactment of a law, the launch of an investigation, the overhaul of flawed procedures or the triggering of a public protest. And MDIF support helps these media companies build businesses strong enough to safeguard their editorial independence.
These are some of the findings from the 2019 Media Development Impact Dashboard, an annual analysis that brings together different data sources, from client surveys to client performance records, to examine MDIF’s impact results, both in terms of the impact of our investment on media businesses we support and their impacts on society.
The Impact Dashboard 2019 revealed consistent evidence of sustained growth experienced by the news companies we invest in. After 5 years of working with us, clients increased their reach by 191.1% and their revenues by 218.3% on average. Cumulatively, 92.5 million people received their news from MDIF clients last year, 51.9 million online and 40.6 million through traditional media. At the same time, the supported media businesses generated $355.2 million in revenues, with each dollar invested by MDIF leveraging $5.97 in client revenues.
These positive results were also reflected in our clients’ evaluation of impact. 70.4% of our clients agreed or strongly agreed that there had been positive changes in their company because of their involvement with MDIF, while 82.4% of those who received capacity building support in 2018 agreed or strongly agreed that there had been positive changes in their company because of that intervention.
But despite these positive broad trends, MDIF-supported media continue to face multiple constraints. In fact, the report found that economic challenges are still the greatest threat to independent media. Consistent with previous years’ results, 48.2% of our clients saw economic and business issues as the biggest challenge they face.
The results validate our mission to provide financing and technical assistance that helps media organisations improve their long-term financial well-being, which in turn enables high-impact journalism that can catalyze real-life changes in the society.
Read the full Impact Dashboard 2019 here.