DC-Sustainability: Action Plan


This Dynamic Coalition aims to address key policy challenges that impact the sustainability of journalism and news media in the digital age.

By bringing together stakeholders who have traditionally been absent from digital policy discussions, we strive to amplify the voices from the journalism, news media, journalism support, and media development communities when shaping digital policy and informing regulation. Indeed, such policies have significant impact on news media sustainability (including individual media outlets, journalistic networks, and media markets), but also impact a range of topics related to the broader IGF ecosystem, such as freedom of expression, access to information, digital inclusion, and algorithmic transparency.

We also recognise, however, the importance of collaborating with and learning from the IGF’s rich community of stakeholders. By uniting under the banner of this DC with stakeholders from across the IGF community, we will strive to develop an inclusive and diverse group of voices to address how the IGF can support digital policy areas that include but are not limited to:

  • Challenges to media sustainability such as: advertising dynamics, data governance policies, analytics, transparency, and intellectual property and taxation rules.
  • Content monetisation and sustainable economic models for journalism and news media organisations online.
  • Regulation and market rules for the new era – e.g., regulation of data flows for the Internet economy, antitrust action, and media consolidation. This also includes market regulation failure and its relationship to the rise of disinformation, misinformation, and other online harms, media plurality, and new threats to democratic systems.
  • Emerging issues significant to media innovation and viability like copyright in the digital environment, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic accountability and transparency.
  • Striking the right balance online between the safeguard of free speech and that of other human rights such as dignity, privacy, etc.

To achieve our goals, this DC will conduct the following activities:

  1. Inform: We will regularly create opportunities to address the Internet governance community to explain what are the challenges are to journalism and news media sustainability, and how they are directly impacting the spread of disinformation, threats to freedom of expression, and other relevant digital policy areas. It will also entail creating fact sheets for members of the IGF community to better inform them about the linkages and relevance of media sustainability to digital policy.
  2. Disseminate: This DC will act as a central hub to share information, connect with new and existing stakeholders, and coordinate both within and beyond the IGF ecosystem. We will use our respective channels and tools (such as articles, blog posts, newsletters, conferences, GFMD’s Internet Governance Working Group, and more) to spread that same information, and the fact that we are sharing our point of view, to our constituencies, with the objective to ensure that we keep our peers interested and engaged.
  3. Publish: We will create and promote an annual report that highlights our work over the past 12 months, which will also include a list of that year’s threats to media sustainability, why they matter for digital rights, and solutions to address them via digital policy processes. This will not only add value for others within the IGF ecosystem, but will also better position ourselves to approach donors and ensure our DC is financially sustainable.
  4. Advocate: We will ensure that the voices of the journalism and news media community are included in digital policy discussions and processes.

We plan to conduct these activities within the IGF ecosystem (including its national and regional initiatives), as well as within processes and events in the wider Internet governance landscape, such as the RightsCon Summit Series, Internet Freedom Festival (IFF), MisInfoCon, ICANN, and more. The DC will meet annually at the IGF to highlight journalists’ voices, review our annual activity, take stock of current Internet and digital policy-related issues facing the journalism and news media community, and plan the next year’s activities. 

More information on the group’s working modality can be found in the DC-Sustainability charter, ratified on 27 November 2019, which is available here.