Philanthropy plays a crucial role in supporting media that improves democratic processes. The exercise of free expression and the financial support that make it possible are especially needed in places that lack press freedom protections. Around the globe, media funders have been keeping an eye on troubling global trends and potential threats to democracy, journalism and free speech.

As anti-democratic, anti-media rhetoric increases globally, funders supporting journalism work must understand and incorporate security issues into their grantmaking in order to advance essential reporting and protect journalists and journalism.

Safety and security emerged as one of the major themes in Media Impact Funders’ forthcoming report, Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field of Media. Produced with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this research draws on media funding data from across the globe, as well as surveys, interviews and contributions from experts working in the field.

Watch the webinar below:

The webinar featured:

  • Sarah Armour-Jones, co-author of MIF’s forthcoming report, will provide an introduction to the research and share insights from the report.
  • Marius Dragomir of Central European University’s Center for Media, Data & Society (formerly of Open Society Foundations), will talk about how funders should respond to dramatic political shifts, such as the deteriorating climate in Hungary that has affected his work.
  • Rowan Reid, Project Director of Journalist Safety for global nonprofit Internews, will share tools and practices to improve digital and operational security, and how the sector can work collectively to broaden awareness and implement stronger practices.
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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.