Why finance independent media?

Independent news is critical to political, social and economic development. Yet more than 85% of people – almost 6 billion – live in countries without a free press, unable to trust the news they get from newspapers, radio, television and online.

Independent media provide the news and information that people need to have a say in how their cities, regions and countries are run. They:

  • expose corruption;
  • hold authorities to account; and
  • provide a platform for debate.

Studies show that independent media lead to better governance, and that reliable, timely information is important in making good economic decisions. But because of their role as a watchdog of the powerful, in many societies critical media are at constant risk of harassment, persecution and closure.

One of the most effective ways for governments to stifle criticism is to starve independent news businesses of finance – news outlets that don’t have capital to grow are condemned to die, unable to compete with state-subsidised competitors. In many countries, the only capital available comes from political parties or oligarchs, and it always comes with strings attached: investment is available but only in return for editorial influence.

MDIF provides the financing and business support that independent news businesses need to develop financially sustainable businesses, strong and enduring institutions for change that provide objective news and critical comment to people denied reliable information.