Perspectives on challenges and innovations in journalism funding

Ahead of the International Communication Association annual conference, June 20 -24, we are sharing a series of interviews with prominent media scholars on future directions for journalism.

The interviews were recorded at the Novel Directions in Media Innovation and Funding post-conference held in Toronto in May 2023 following the International Communication Association’s annual conference. To learn more about these discussions, please download our conference report.

To further these conversations there is a follow-up post-conference in 2024 during ICA, News Industries: Funding Innovations and Futures, organised by Sora Park, Caroline Fisher, Terry Flew, Aljosha Karim, Janet Fulton, and Agata Stepnik.

1. Hanan Badr, University of Salzburg

Hanan Badr discusses the importance of quality journalism that is connected to the communities it serves. She points out that in the Global South, journalists often rely on funding from Western countries, which can lead to self-censorship to meet Western expectations. Badr also defines exile journalists as those who leave their home countries due to unsafe conditions and face challenges like language barriers and lower-status jobs when reporting in their new countries
Badr defines exile journalists as those who leave their home countries due to unsafe conditions and face challenges like language barriers and lower-status jobs when reporting in their new countries.

2. Diana Bossio, Swinburne University of Technology

Diana Bossio talks about how quality journalism should serve public interest and reflect diverse voices. She examines the Australian News Bargaining Code, which looks into regulating digital advertising technologies to create a more balanced and sustainable media industry. Bossio emphasizes the need for journalistic integrity in the digital age.

3. Hossein Derakhshan, London School of Economics and Political Science

Hossein Derakhshan mentions that cultural relevance, nowness and global connections are the three pillars of journalism. In order to regain relevance, he believes that journalism should adopt dramatic structures that are similar to podcasts or theatrical works. He defines this as performative journalism.
Derakhshan discusses the collaboration between artists and journalists for funding non-fiction narrative works, such as documentaries. He introduces the idea of performative journalism, where live artistic performances incorporate journalistic storytelling.

4. Shirley Roburn, York University

Shirley Roburn talks about hyper-local journalism, using The Local, an independent magazine in Toronto, as an example. She explains how community engagement and bringing local news to politicians can improve the quality of reporting on social issues. Roburn also highlights the need for equitable journalism within newsrooms, suggesting that funding can help attract a diverse range of journalists. She mentions The Local’s fellowship program, which hires people with less experience but relevant lived experiences.

5. Hadiya Roderique, University of Toronto

Hadiya Roderique examines how media can perpetuate racism through biased language. She advocates for journalism that is decolonized and debiased, avoiding stereotypes and prioritizing inclusivity. Roderique argues that white journalists often lack the resources and understanding to accurately report on race issues, leading to lower-quality stories. She suggests that white journalists should support journalists of color by questioning systemic biases and promoting equitable practices in media organizations.

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