For journalism, financial independence is editorial independence. Whether it’s rich proprietors or philanthropists or any special interest group, newsrooms that are overly reliant on one funding source are always at risk. Meanwhile business models for journalism are precarious and constantly being disrupted: a trend highly likely to accelerate with recent rapid advances in AI and other emerging technology. And much high-quality, deep investigative reporting is expensive: it takes time, it is resource and labour-intensive. Even when the impact and the social value is clear, the numbers often don’t add up.

So how do you build a sustainable, resilient business to support high-quality investigative reporting? This panel will explore the multiple ways that award-winning newsrooms are growing and experimenting with mixed income streams: foundations, subscriptions, membership, voluntary reader donations, contracts, partnerships and much more. They will show how it’s possible to run a sustainable business even in the most repressive circumstances; when you have been exiled from a country and your reporters persecuted and jailed. And how it’s also possible to run successful outlets in crowded media markets that compete with far more established players. They will talk about how collaborations between large established brands and smaller independent players can be most effective, and equitable. And about how you maintain your independence and values while still making ends meet.

Sponsored by Open Society Foundations.