The influence of foundation funding on international journalism (Article)

Martin Scott

September 18, 2017

Publication

By Martin Scott (@martinscott2010). How does donor funding affect the independence, role perceptions, and ideology of the journalism it supports? We begin to answer this increasingly important but under-researched question with a year-long case study of the humanitarian news organisation IRIN as it transitioned from being funded by the United Nations to a private foundation, run by a Malaysian billionaire. Using content analysis, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic research, we document the changes that occurred in IRIN’s outputs, target audience, and public service values, and the complex interplay of influences that produced these changes. We find that, in this case, donor power operated entirely indirectly and always in concert with the dominant professional values within IRIN. In doing so, this case study highlights the importance of journalistic agency and contextual variables in the journalist–donor relationship, as well as the potential significance of contradictory dynamics. We also use this case to test whether Benson, Hessérus and Sedel’s model of media owner power can help to explain the workings of donor power.

 

The article ‘Donor Power and the News – The Influence of Foundation Funding on International Public Service Journalism’ (Scott, Bunce, Wright) is available open access in the ‘International Journal of Press Politics’: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1940161217693394

Related Posts

Slack, virtual newsrooms and journalistic practice (Article)

Mel Bunce

January 10, 2018

Publication

By Mel Bunce (@meljbunce). Virtual newsrooms have enormous potential: enabling journalists around the world to pool their knowledge, skills and perspectives within joint projects, such as the Panama Papers. These virtual newsrooms are supported by Online Collaborative Software (OCS), the most popular of which is Slack. But although many of the world’s top news organisations […]

Read More

Foundation-funded Journalism, Philanthro-capitalism and Tainted Donors (Article)

Kate Wright

January 9, 2018

Publication

By Kate Wright (@newsprof1). Not-for-profit news organisations are increasingly funded by private foundations, supported by wealthy entrepreneurs. This raises a range of ethical dilemmas for journalists, which are particularly serious when their donors are alleged to have been involved in unethical or illegal activities. Although this is a relatively common occurrence in the non-profit sector, […]

Read More

Twitter

Last week to apply to our #globaldev #c4d faculty position @MalmoUniversity !! https://t.co/DRpe6VjKps

So... is there an etiquette around how many books you can ask an author to sign? #CityAdichie

Fantastic event this week for all those with an interest in media and comms in the south. Please RT
@hwasser @FilmandMediaUCT @WitsHumanities @WitsUniversity @SLLMCouncil @glendaADaniels @dinoleegz @iginioe @fuoteg @Dalislovechild @dailymaverick @thedailyvox @mailandguardian https://t.co/L7kKvQWl9k