Financial sustainability is one of the biggest issues currently facing media newsrooms. To keep their doors open and produce good quality journalism, newsrooms need to think innovatively about revenue generation. To help with this, fraycollege, in collaboration with UNESCO, Wits Centre for Journalism, and the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) hosted an online workshop on revenue generation for African newsrooms. The workshop, which was held at the end of March also served as the launchpad for fraycollege’s e-course on the subject and included a variety of media financial sustainability specialists.  

Below are five main take aways from the workshop:

1. Innovation Prioritises Efficiency over Invention: It is important for newsrooms to enhance their existing processes rather than incessantly pursue novel methods. By consistently reassessing internal systems and imparting new skills to personnel, media enterprises can bolster efficiency and adapt to evolving trends.

2. Embrace Sustainable Journalism: To stay relevant, media entities must produce content that fosters sustainable societies while also generating revenue. This entails not only concentrating on economic sustainability but also environmental and social sustainability. This may include implementing environmentally sustainable production and distribution methods, alongside gender-balanced and inclusive newsrooms to cultivate audience trust- an invaluable asset for any media organisation.

3. Drive Change: It is imperative for newsrooms to embrace technological advancements, particularly mobile platforms, to reach broader audiences, including international markets. African newsrooms ought to leverage their innate technological inclination and adapt organisational structures to facilitate innovation.

4. Multiple streams of income: Newsrooms can no longer depend on one source of income; they need to experiment with different revenue sources. A mix of revenue generation methods can include advertising, paid content, events, and training services.

Additionally, the workshop participants highlighted several strategies for revenue generation:

5. Collaborations: Collaborating with non-direct competitors can mitigate legal risks and broaden reach. Collaborations also help newsrooms to build relationships with communities.

Find out more about the fraycollege revenue generation e-course:

Click here to watch the full recording:

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