Discover the power of a
Healthy Information Ecosystem

In our rapidly evolving digital age, the quest for a healthy information ecosystem has emerged as an important priority. The spread of misinformation, disinformation, surveillance and other unhealthy practices erode trust, polarize communities,
and threaten democracy itself.

To address this issue effectively, we must adopt an ecosystems approach that recognizes the interconnectedness of all elements, actors and practices involved.

Only by fostering a healthy information ecosystem can we safeguard the integrity of information, protect democratic values, and ensure a more informed and enlightened global society.

How does this work?


Key factors

Access to

  • Proactive provision
  • Freedom of Information Act
  • Procedural Efficiency
  • Officials Engage with press


  • Transparency
  • Culture
  • Trust

People and

  • Information needs
  • Beliefs
  • Civic and Scientific literacy
  • Media and Information literacy

Media system

  • Entertainment
  • Diversity and Pluralism
  • User-generated content
  • Transparency

News / Non-fiction media

Preparedness and Resilience

  • Safety and Security
  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Training and Capacity Building
  • Adaptability
  • SEO, metadata, digitalization

Biz / Org

  • Economic model
  • Ownership and Independence
  • Sources and Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Platforms


  • Norms
  • Habits
  • Standards and Codes of Ethics
  • Training and Skills Buildings


  • Inclusivity
  • Languages
  • Factchecking and Verification
  • Independence
  • Coverage / Beats

Private sector

  • Market Research and Audience
  • Teach / ICT companies
  • Legal organizations
  • Advertising

Civil society

  • Independent, self-regulatory professional
    bodies / associations / unions
  • Monitoring groups
  • Digital Rights Organizations
  • Academia

Public sector

  • Legal regulatory system
  • Competition standards
  • Privacy / Data protection

Public sector

  • Political interventionism
  • Press / internet freedom
  • Funding for Public Service Media

Keystone species

  • Investigative Media
  • Watchdog Media
  • Public Service Media
  • Alternative Media
  • Local Media
  • National Media


Datification and

  • Labeling and Classification
  • Platforms / Mediums
  • AI / ML
  • Data
  • Business Model
  • Authentification / Provenance
  • Content Moderation

Access and


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Main elements of the
ecosystem analysis


ICT Infrastructure

The infrastructural layer of information ecosystems provides a common set of conditions and digital resources that, when balanced with non-digital resources, shape information flows and nurture the ecosystem.

  • Contemporary Information Ecosystems: Built on digital technological infrastructures that include platforms from prior eras (e.g. broadcast, print) but are distinct in their generativity, adaptivity, and networked nature. The penetration of digital platforms affects the health of the ecosystem.
  • Importance of Infrastructure: Ubiquitous, reliable, and durable, generating dependency and habituation within an ecosystem. Information providers depend on platforms for access to networks, audiences, data, publishing protocols, advertising revenue, and funding, influencing editorial, organizational, and business choices in the media system.

Dynamic Conditions

  • Access and Connectivity are key conditions connecting the infrastructural level with the rest of the system.
  • Datafication and Digitalization make contemporary information more valuable and create a feedback loop between the media system and the infrastructural layer.
  • The Media System is at the center of a healthy information ecosystem, including entertainment media, user-generated content, and nonfiction media like news, documentary, and educational media.
  • The News Media is represented by anchor institutions that shape the flow and distribution of information in media systems, analyzed along four key dimensions: editorial (content), business or organizational aspects (institution), professionalism (norms/practices), and preparedness and resiliency (people, institution, practices).
  • Transparency and Accountability are promoted by news media holding those in power accountable.
  • Anchor Institutions and Keystone Species are vitally important to ecological survival of the ecosystem, sculpting the environment and helping create a habitable environment for many other types of species.
ALL MEDIANews/Non-fiction MediaPublicInterest MediaWatchdogInvestigativePublic ServiceAlternativeLocalNational

Keystone species exist at various levels
of analysis:

  • Media system is a keystone species within the info ecosystem (of agiven locality)
  • Non-fiction media and news specifically are keystone species within the media system
  • Public interest media are keystone species within the news ecosystem
  • Within public interest media there are several keystone species. They include:
    • Public Service media
    • Watchdog media
    • Investigative media
    • Alternative media
    • Local media
    • National media

Boundaries of the ecosystem

  • Diversity and pluralism along with transparency are characteristics of healthy systems and keystone species alike. These closely related features are important to all elements of the media system, from business models and ownership, to norms and skills, to editorial aspects such as content and languages, to the digital infrastructures of each outlet.
  • Similarly, transparency is a key feature that is relevant to all aspects of the system and critical to cultivating trust among components of the system and with the humans involved.
  • The Private sector, in particular advertising, is foundational to the business of media. Market research and audience measurement firms provide data and analysis needed to develop robust business models and understand audiences.
  • Civil society provides spaces for community building, capacity building, norm development, advocacy, and protection. Keystone species include independent, self-regulatory, and professional bodies as well as press freedom monitoring groups.
  • Academia provides both research and theory as well as a talent pipeline into the media system.
  • Public Sector influences the broader environment in which the ecosystem exists. The legal regulatory system and levels of internet freedom shape the media system and its keystone species as well as the link between people, communities, and the media system. Access to information and public funding for public service media contribute to healthy information ecosystems.

Key factors

  • Access to information, people and communities and norms help with the proactive provision of information flows through the ecosystem, creating data, providing fodder for public service media and watchdog media, and enacting transparency.

Enhance your understanding of communication landscapes by downloading our ‘Healthy Information Ecosystem’ PDF, by the expert Dr. Courtney C. Radsch. Gain valuable insights into creating a thriving media environment.

Download now
For more details on philanthropic support for healthy
information ecosystems feel free to reach out
Contact TAI