Coordinating help for independent news media

WAN-Ifra has joined the Independent News Emergency Relief Coordination in its work to coordinate help during the pandemic.

INERC is an effort to help assist funders willing and able to provide significant financial support for independent news media, and aims to guide emergency funding to those independent news media around the world who need help the most during the coronavirus crisis. It will support better understanding where the need is greatest and coordinate the efforts to make the most significant possible difference in this difficult moment.

Many independent news media across the world are facing potentially catastrophic declines in income and consequently contemplating significant cost-cutting and at worst closing down - bad news for society and the ability to combat the coronavirus.

INERC is based on the idea that better information on the need for and supply of emergency funding relief can help ensure this relief is more effectively and evenly distributed globally, especially to the less well-known news media that often get little or no support.

It is believed to be unique in that INERC directly connects several major funders, networks organising independent news media, media development organisations, and research capacity to enable more effective and informed coordinated emergency relief. It is a temporary initiative, initially planned for six months, and supplement the important work done by others to coordinate media funding and media development.

Members aim to coordinate their response to the crisis in part by facilitating collection of data which is anonymised, analysed, and presented publicly and to the group's members to enable a better understanding of the coronavirus crisis' impact on independent news media and to enable more informed decision making among major funders offerings emergency relief for journalism. All the data collected as part of this research is kept strictly confidential and is only available to researchers at the Reuters Institute.

Hopes are that this temporary collaboration will also inform and support the creation of the International Fund for Public Interest Media (IFPIM) to provide more long-term structure for channelling funding from development agencies, philanthropic donors and platform companies to independent journalism across the world in a way that protects news media's editorial independence. The founding members have initiated INERC on the basis of long-running conversations in informal advisory conversations around the IFPIM and hope other funders will join the coordination effort.

Founding members include BBC Media Action, Center for International Media Assistance, Facebook, Google, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Luminate and WAN-Ifra.

Contact the INERC secretariat at if you are interested in submitting data, joining the group, or being considered for possible help by the funders involved.

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