FP Virtual Dialogue: Independent Media & the Advancement of Democracy

Mobilizing international action to save journalism and why democracies worldwide depend on it.

Uncovering truth and promoting accountability, independent media has long been a pillar of democracy. In a functioning democracy, free media plays a vital role in producing widely accessible information, unconstrained by institutional bias or censorship, and cultivating a well-informed civil society that is resilient against authoritarianism. However, due to political polarization and declining revenues, public interest media has been on the decline for years. Autocratic leaders are increasingly using censorship, targeting journalists, and curbing press freedoms. Coupled with the economic pressures of the COVID-19 crisis, these trends pose an existential threat to independent media, which is threatening democracies worldwide.

Now more than ever, access to reliable information is vital for defending against polarization, mistrust, and misinformation endangering democratic governance everywhere. In a complex and unpredictable world, how can global stakeholders help restore independent media’s status as a vital public good? What can be done to amplify the voice of a free press in combating corruption, generating awareness around humanity’s urgent challenges, and building consensus among liberal societies? How might leaders across the public and private sector work together to prevent independent media’s extinction?

FP, in partnership with International Fund for Public Interest Media, hosted a conversation that explored multistakeholder pathways to securing free and independent media to advance democracy worldwide.

Join the conversation online using #FreeMediaforDemocracy

In partnership with


Samantha Power

Samantha Power was sworn into office as the 19th Administrator of USAID on May 3, 2021. In leading the world’s premier international development agency and its global s...

Frances Z. Brown

Co-Director and Senior Fellow, Democracy, Conflict and Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Dr. Frances Z. Brown is a senior fellow and co-director of Carnegie’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program, who previously worked at the Whit...
Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.15.04 AM
Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 10.15.04 AM

Patrick Gaspard

President and CEO, Center for American Progress (CAP); CEO, Center for American Progress Action Fund
Patrick Gaspard is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Chief Executive Officer of the Cent...
PG high res
PG high res

Mark Thompson

Co-chair, International Fund for Public Interest Media
Mark Thompson is Chairman of Ancestry.com, an advisor to the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE and a Trustee of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He stepped down as President &...
mark thompson final
mark thompson final

Ravi Agrawal

Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade, including his most recent position as the network’s New...
ravi agrawal
ravi agrawal

For more information, contact Diana Marrero, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development.