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The Economics of Integrity: Trust and Revenue in the Digital News Ecosystem

Independent journalists have been struggling for years to connect with readers and advertisers through social media platforms like YouTube and Meta. With readership and revenue dwindling, news media remain in crisis, posing a fundamental challenge to democracy and social stability around the world. Many initiatives are now developing digital labels and certifications designed to help struggling independent outlets to be more visible to audiences and advertisers. In CIMA’s recent report, “Digital Trust Initiatives: Seeking to Reward Journalistic Ethics Online,” Dr. Eleonora Mazzoli analyzes how these so-called “trust initiatives” seek to change the economics of online news.

On ThursdayFebruary 8, CIMA will host a virtual panel with Mazzoli and other global experts to explore this emerging set of online standards and indicators, developed for and by journalists, to make ethics and integrity a cornerstone of trust and profitability. Are long-standing codes of journalistic ethics still relevant in the digital media environment? Can independent news media be privileged without infringing upon online freedom of speech? The event will explore the opportunities and complex challenges inherent to these efforts.