A Slowly Shifting Field: Understanding Donor Priorities in Media Development


Funding to support independent media remains a small, but vital part of international assistance. But while the share of aid directed at this issue remains steady, there are signs that priorities within this field of international support may be shifting.

The new CIMA digital report by Shanthi Kalathil looks at the trends identified by CIMA in its efforts to profile the major donors in the field of media development assistance, situating the emerging priorities within a brief history of the field.

Assistance to media development, the report suggests, is beginning to acknowledge the importance of supporting media ecosystems more broadly, though perhaps not as quickly as some observers would like. The report also highlights several other important findings.

• Media development is emerging as a distinct funding area, but the lack of common budget codes still makes it difficult to trace spending on this topic.

• Though North-South funding continues to predominate, funds from new private donors and new governmental donors are beginning to reshape the sector.

• Research on media and media development, while not entirely neglected, remains a low priority in spite of being a recognized need.

Read the report ‘A Slowly Shifting Field: Understanding Donor Priorities in Media Development’ online