At the December 2021 Democracy Summit, President Joe Biden committed critical seed money to a new initiative to save independent media from “extinction”. President Emmanuel Macron also pledged to contribute. This is good news at the time when advertising has moved to tech platforms leaving conventional media with US$30bn losses in 2020 alone; media are exposed to political pressure and co-option; and are struggling to engage across all of society, unable to reach the “unnewsed” media consumers. And more good news: the post-truth Trump era and the “infodemic” of misinformation spread during the Covid-19 pandemic, have driven a huge increase in audiences to trustworthy media!

But, the media’s capacity to provide trustworthy information for all is diminishing rapidly. Is public interest media (PIM), which is the focus of the new initiative supported by some world leaders, an answer? Can PIM attract the audience which do not trust journalism anymore? Is PIM capable of reaching the electorate across all of society? Is it capable of including “others” in public debates on issues of common interest, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, and age? Can it attract the audience which is not interested in conventional ways of getting the news? Is infotainment inclusive of diversity an answer?

Organised in association with Media Diversity Institute.