Who are the speakers at the event “The Role of Journalism in the Era of Impact Economy“, organized by Torino Social Impact as part of the Torino Impact Journalism initiative? Journalists, communicators, and impact experts will intervene on Friday, May 10th, at 10:30 am in the Sala Bianca.

One of them is Zoe McDonagh: she is part of the global Outreach and Strategy team at the Media Development Investment Fund and is responsible for funding and investor relations. She spent almost a decade at the CRT Foundation, where she gained extensive experience in implementing international projects in impact entrepreneurship, data science, AI, and business acceleration. Zoe McDonagh’s professional background also includes roles in the education sector, having taught both in the UK and in Italy, as well as training programs for social entrepreneurs in collaboration with the UN.

As Zoe McDonagh will delve into at the Salone del Libro, the Media Development Investment Fund invests in businesses that deal with information in countries where access to free and independent media is threatened. At the core of its mission lies a vision that sees timely, accurate, and relevant information as a tool to ensure broader participation in public life and greater protection of individual rights.

Investing in independent media to promote societies that can thrive

In many countries, funding for media companies is contingent on editorial conditions. Thus, the Media Development Investment Fund offers an alternative aimed at safeguarding editorial independence.

It does so by providing the debt and equity investments that independent news outlets need to grow and compete with the competition; but also by supporting investments through intense financial monitoring, technical assistance, and strategic advice that allows them to make the most of the funding received. It also helps outlets expand their audience, improve their journalistic products, and increase their revenues.

Funding media for social impact

As reported by the Media Development Investment Fund, from 1996 to December 2023, MDIF has invested in 152 clients in 47 countries. It has also provided financing totaling $316.2 million, including millions in loans and equity investments, and grants for technical assistance.

Starting from the premise that 80 percent of people live in countries with limited access to independent information and news, MDIF, in its 25 years of work, has virtuously and effectively contributed to creating and supporting financially sustainable media institutions that have contributed, and continue to contribute, to political, social, and economic development, protecting the rights of individuals and minorities.