Around 100 media professionals, donors, EU officials and representatives of media development organisations met in Riga, Latvia, on 13-14 November for “The Eastern Partnership Media Conference 2019: Business and Sustainability". The Conference was an opportunity to discuss strategies for increasing the viability of independent media in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, and was organised by the European Commission with the support of the European External Action Service and the Government of Latvia.
Participants outlined challenges faced by journalists in EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) and presented examples of individual media outlets successfully transitioning to profitable business models.
Digitalisation, better access to data analysis and audience research, monetisation strategies, diversification to new platforms and services, and the development of media management skills were among the proposed solutions aimed at strengthening the capacities of independent media in the region. The findings and recommendations of the conference are designed to contribute to shaping future media assistance in Eastern partner countries.
The 2019 Conference followed up on the 2nd EaP Media Conference, which was held in Kyiv in 2017 and identified economic sustainability as a key challenge faced by media professionals across the region.