Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2009

U.S. Public and Private Funding of Independent Media Development Abroad

Peter Graves

December 2007

National Endowment for Democracy


U.S. efforts to develop an independent media sector abroad are a relatively recent phenomenon. Both public and private funders have supported journalism training since World War II, but some of the most significant opportunities to develop the independent media sector came after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since most media in Eastern European countries and the former Soviet republics were controlled by the state during the Cold War, the fall of communism spurred American interest in developing free and independent media in these countries as a building block toward transparent and democratic societies.