Event Reports

Followers are not just some abstract numbers - they are the humans we report for as journalists!

by Ivanina Georgieva

Adenauer Media Online Training on the topic of alternative media funding

Especially in the current pandemic, mainly smaller media outlets are facing financial challenges. However, larger and established media are also struggling.

Traditional financing models are losing their importance due to the internet and the constantly progressing digitalisation. Users prefer more and more often digital content. This development became even more visible during the Covid pandemic. Media companies must quickly adapt to the circumstances and possibly switch to alternative financing models and concepts.  

Journalist and media expert Norbert Sinkovic and crowdfunding expert Maja Ledjenac from Serbia presented their experiences and gave insights into the topic of "Crowdfunding and Community: Towards Financial Independence of Media" at the fourth Adenauer Media Online Training. They introduced different models of online fundraising, their advantages and disadvantages as well as areas of implementation. The theoretical models were underpinned with examples of already successfully implemented local and international fundraising campaigns.

Both trainers focused on the fact that alternative media funding is hardly possible without a strong (online) community: "It is important to know the difference between social media followers and the social media online community. Followers are usually a number of users, an orientation value for the reach and popularity of an account. However, they are not necessarily active users who are willing to pay for content. The online community, instead, are the active users who have actually joined together to form a virtual community and usually also pursue a higher goal, expecting benefits from a collaborative approach - which means they are also willing to pay for this good cause."

Both trainers emphasised that one must also bear in mind that quality has its price. In order to deliver high-quality content, sufficient resources must be available. It is often the case when journalists (especially in smaller independent media) not only deliver content, but also take care of the resources needed to provide this content - a challenge that has to be met well prepared and with innovative ideas in the future.