DC-Sustainability: Introduction


The relationship between journalism and digital technology in today’s world is nothing less than intrinsic. Given that contemporary news media and journalism organisations produce and distribute content as well as interact with their audiences through digital technologies, the future, overall sustainability, and even existence of professional journalism and news media is now inextricably linked to the way different layers of the Internet are regulated and managed.

In fact, there is hardly an aspect of this sector – which includes organisations that range from news publishers and digital news platforms, to investigative journalism collectives, and local, regional, community, and cross-border journalism networks – that is not touched by Internet policy and how the Internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs) are governed. Internet governance discussions also impact the work of the journalism support and media development community, and its commitment to supporting strong, independent, and pluralistic media ecosystems.

Yet, journalism and news media perspectives are consistently missing from these important conversations despite their increasing relevance and emphasis on multi-stakeholder inclusion. Internet actors and policy-makers in the age of digital convergence are directly shaping the future of journalism and news media, and the issues discussed – from how digital markets are governed, to the way artificial intelligence (AI) impacts content – all require voices from the journalism and news media communities to be heard.

Emphasising the need to include and amplify such voices in Internet governance discussions, the founding stakeholders organised a symposium on media development and Internet governance at the 12th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2017, which resulted in the production of an issue paper that was launched at the second symposium at IGF 2018 in Paris, France. The document formulates a clear and concise agenda by outlining key issues relevant to the journalism support and media development community vis-à-vis Internet policy-making, development, and regulation, as well as providing recommendations for common priority areas of engagement. The issue paper specifically identified one such area that urgently requires greater policy support: the sustainability of journalism and news media in the digital age, and included establishing a Dynamic Coalition (DC) within the IGF as a key recommendation.

Forming a multi-stakeholder Dynamic Coalition focusing on the sustainability of journalism and news media within the IGF ecosystem provides a clear space to welcome both new and existing stakeholders into IGF discussions and processes, while also inviting more opportunities to engage with important Internet policy matters and sharing information. Moreover, there are many opportunities to collaborate with existing DCs on relevant focus areas while also addressing policy areas that are not currently within the scope of the existing DCs and other IGF structures.

We invite interested stakeholders from across the IGF community to join our efforts, and encourage you to contact us for more information or to collaborate with us. For more information, see our official Charter.