Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2010

Reinventing the Media Investor

Don Podesta

March 2010

National Endowment for Democracy


Wanted: Media investors with a social conscience. Willingness to be satisfied with small return on investment strongly preferred. That is the message that Sasa Vucinic, managing director of the Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), is sending to the media development community. It also neatly encapsulates the formula that Vucinic says is the key to building sustainable independent media and reflects the way his organization operates. Since 1996, the MDLF has provided independent news media outlets with nearly $95 million in loans, grants, and equity investments. The MDLF has financed more than 200 projects for 72 independent media organizations in 24 countries, according to its Web site. More than 32 million people get their news from MDLF’s clients and former clients.