To: UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova

Ask United Nations members to fund 4th Estate

Ask United Nations members to fund 4th Estate

Petition Text

We, the undersigned, are asking UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova to consider the evidence for GJC, a global journalism crisis. DG Bokova is urged to declare such a crisis and help lead our call for emergency funding to rescue the 4th Estate from oblivion, with 0.7% of global aid.

Why is this important?

OVERVIEW

Please consider putting your name to this petition.

It calls for United Nations members to recognise the Global Journalism Crisis and support rapid expansion of emergency funding.

An initial target is 0.7% of global aid spending, amounting to US$1.4 billion.

This is equivalent to 14,000 global news positions.

BACKGROUND

Global aid targets aim for 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product, worldwide.

The Journalism Agenda 2025 narrows that target by calling for 0.7% of global aid to go towards globalising the 4th Estate.

Why? News media have suffered increasingly severe cutbacks ever since the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate.

GLOBALISATION

Journalism has fallen far behind globalisation.

Evidence for this comes in the form of a war on terror started on misleading information, and a global financial crisis missed completely by news media too busy cheerleading “free” markets.

Averting global collapse of social cohesion requires strong, independent journalism not tied to corporate and/or political interests.

INDUSTRY TARGET

Longer term, the agenda targets the communications industry to share 0.7% of their own communication spending, to go towards independent, investigative journalism.

Ethics-based, solutions-focused and forward thinking, JA2025 applies multiple layers of crowd-sourced media accountability systems.

Ranging from Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, and LinkedIn thumbs up, JA2025 adds survey or wizard-based responses to each story for complaints, praise, corrections or fresh details.

FINE-GRAIN GROUND-TRUTH

As an additional layer of accountability, these surveys can then also be compared with existing reputation rankings via social networks, e.g. pwik, opendns, klout, and/or the web of trust.

Such an approach enables a finer-grain response to each issue, enabling journalists to build ground-truths into the institutional memory of the 4th Estate.

This is an example of JA2025 proposals using open newsroom standards.

JA2025 is platform neutral – no proprietary software means we can network with anyone, anywhere, using their tools not ‘ours.’

POLICY EQUITY

Creating policy equity with legislators, executives and the judiciary, @jagenda2025 drafts out a 10 year plan to rescue journalism, and rebuild the 4th Estate into a worldwide institution. Journalism aid could include investing a recommended ratio towards a permanent trust fund. To put that in context, the US alone has fired 20,000 journalists since the Global Financial Crisis. There are now just 39,000 journalists left in the United States. The US figures suggest an estimate of 50,000 or more also being sacked, worldwide.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

Journalism was a public good.

No longer functioning as the 4th Estate, journalism cannot hold power to account and protect human rights, anywhere.

Newsroom pay rolls began shrinking in 1990, beginning a 25 year decline in journalism jobs.

WHY JOURNALISM IS A PUBLIC GOOD

A strong, independent press is the globe’s best chance of responding to looming challenges from climate change.

Informing the public is the most sacred duty of our local, national, regional and international representatives.

There can be no public unless there is public media. Publicly or privately owned, news media are a public service.

WHAT IT IS

We, the undersigned, petition world authorities to fund independent, investigative journalism.
JA2025, the global journalism agenda, calls for at least 0.7% of aid to be quarantined for news media.

That slice equals aid funding of US$1.4 billion, representing equivalent spending on 14,000 new journalist positions, about 10% of newsroom jobs lost worldwide since 1975.

CHALLENGE

A challenge will be issued to NGOs, governments and companies to match this funding. This challenge calls for another 0.7% sliver, of all communications, public relations and other corporate messaging, a further US$3.6 billion in funding for independent, investigative journalism.

SOURCES

Pew Institute, state of the media
US Census figures
European Journalism Centre
Media Rights Agenda (Africa)
Asia-Pacific Association of Press Clubs
Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (Aus, NZ)
Pacific Freedom Forum

How it will be delivered

Signatures to this petition will be presented digitally, and in person, to UNESCO.