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Do donations reduce editorial independence?

Donors have the power to influence coverage, implicitly and explicitly, and this piece unpacks why that’s happening and how media organizations can protect their independence.

This piece focuses on the implications for increased donations to for-profit news organizations and the implications for where coverage is concentrated in a world where political leaders interrogate press independence. The author concentrates on the blurred distinction between advocates and journalists that funders encourage, whether explicitly or with the incentive of funding. This piece goes a step further with insights into how organizations and funders should restructure their relationships.

“If we want to protect newsroom independence from donors who make news decisions then there will need to be structural barriers in place–new walls to replace the old ones between the news side and business side. However, it will probably have to be the donors that set up such mechanisms because they are bigger and have the capability to do so.”