With the advent of 24-hour cable news channels and the rise of instantaneous blogs and web content, the media sector has undergone a series of profound changes over the past two decades. These shifting dynamics, from the rise of digital media services to sharp reductions in advertising revenue, have forced a variety of media companies to face business and financial challenges impacting the quality of coverage. Unfortunately – and alarmingly – this is also a time when budget constraints on media outlets, coupled with the necessary evolution of their business model, has limited their long-term, sustained presence in areas of instability globally. This accelerating trend is happening at a time when presence on the ground on a prolonged basis is crucial.
In a world filled with increasing humanitarian crises, information directly from the front-lines of the most pressing emergencies must not be compromised. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled over the past decade. As we look towards providing aid and relief to those affected by incidents ranging from natural disasters and disease outbreaks to terrorism and volatile political situations, we must have first-hand, authoritative knowledge of the real causes and consequences of these complex emergencies in order to effectively understand – and therefore mitigate – their costs.
Recognizing the urgency that exists and the critical role it plays for our world, Jynwel Foundation is investing in IRIN: the world’s award-winning provider of humanitarian news and analysis. IRIN delivers unique and independent reporting from the frontlines of crises to inspire and produce a more effective humanitarian response, alerting the public and the humanitarian community on crises before they happen, as they unfold, and during their aftermath, thereby ensuring their place on the policy agenda.
Previously a part of OCHA, IRIN is spinning off, effective January 1, 2015, to become an independent, non-profit news service providing critical analysis and multimedia coverage of humanitarian needs and aid. Jynwel Foundation is investing US$25 Million over the next 15 years to support IRIN through its transition – this investment will help IRIN scale its current operation, add Spanish and Mandarin languages, and further invest in digital engagement channels with the general public.
IRIN is a fitting partner for Jynwel because it shares in Jynwel Foundation’s vision of disrupting the status quo and creating the world we need.
Serving as a critical partner to media outlets around the world, and committed to filling in humanitarian coverage gaps and shining a spotlight on the world’s most neglected regions, IRIN realigns the way information flows and the way relief and recovery work is accomplished. Educating the public about emerging and ongoing crises is an essential function of new IRIN, and is an important part of our effort at Jynwel Foundation.
Our investment in IRIN is about life and death; about real people; about delivery of not only aid, but hope and survival, to people in urgent need. And if we execute the vision correctly, IRIN will have an impact on the lives of millions of people around the world.
In the coming months and years, we look forward to sharing many more updates on our partnership with IRIN right here on the Jynwel Foundation blog. You can learn more about today’s news here and on Twitter by following @IRINnews.