New public-private partnership will deliver
data-driven digital platform to help independent news media become
WASHINGTON, March 27,
2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Internews, Microsoft Corp. and
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a
new public-private partnership to develop a Media Viability
Accelerator to help independent news outlets become more
financially sustainable. The announcement, made in advance of the
2023 Summit for Democracy, illustrates a shared commitment among
government, business and civil society to shore up democracy's
"Media around the globe face a dual threat: repression and
bankruptcy," said Jeanne Bourgault,
president and CEO of Internews, a nonprofit that supports
independent media in 100 countries. "Thousands of media outlets
have closed around the world in the past decade due to disruption
of traditional media business models. In service of democracy, the
Media Viability Accelerator will help reverse that trend by
assisting media to survive and become more competitive."
The Media Viability Accelerator is a web-based platform
that will help news media become more financially
sustainable by accessing solutions and market insights to
inform effective business strategies. Participating media
outlets will, free of charge, learn from a community of peers,
access a multilingual tool that visualizes media performance data,
and receive actionable daily alerts based on thousands of market
and media sources. Media outlets, businesses, governments and
nonprofits interested in participating can sign up.
"Independent journalism is essential to a healthy and vibrant
democracy, but technology has unfortunately eroded traditional
ad-based business models," said Brad
Smith, Microsoft's vice chair and president. "Our hope is
that this AI-powered data aggregation and visualization tool will
offer media outlets the kind of market intelligence they need to be
In a three-way memorandum of understanding that underlies the
- USAID agreed to support the development and growth of the Media
Viability Accelerator platform, and set and monitor high-level
objectives for the project.
- Microsoft will contribute expertise in data analysis,
visualization dashboards, cloud services and AI and agreed to
provide in-kind technical support to develop and sustain the Media
Viability Accelerator platform.
- Internews, in concert with other media development
organizations, agreed to register up to 500 media outlet users
within six months, with a focus on media from low-resource
countries and emerging democracies.
Other organizations supporting the effort include Free Press
Unlimited, Global Forum for Media Development, IREX, SembraMedia
and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.https://www.trust.org/
"Independent media is both a public good and a private
enterprise, but it has faced significant financial headwinds
of late," said Samantha Power, USAID
administrator. "The U.S. government will use every tool at our
disposal to support independent media, including by drawing on the
expertise of our partners in the private sector. The Media
Viability Accelerator is a model public-private partnership that
will help keep independent media outlets around the world
financially sustainable so they can continue their vital work."
Internews is a nonprofit that supports independent media in 100
countries. Internews trains journalists and digital rights
practitioners, tackles disinformation, and offers business
expertise to help media outlets thrive financially. For 40 years,
it has helped partners reach millions of people with trustworthy
information that saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds
On behalf of the American people, the U.S. Agency for
International Development promotes and demonstrates democratic
values abroad, and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.
In support of America's foreign policy, USAID leads the U.S.
Government's international development and disaster assistance
through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce
poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge
from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) enables digital
transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an
intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every
organization on the planet to achieve more.
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SOURCE Microsoft Corporation