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?
- Proactive provision
- Freedom of Information Act
- Procedural Efficiency
- Officials Engage with press
- Information needs
- Civic and Scientific literacy
- Media and Information literacy
- Diversity and Pluralism
- User-generated content
News / Non-fiction media
Preparedness and Resilience
- Safety and Security
- Digital Infrastructure
- Training and Capacity Building
- SEO, metadata, digitalization
Biz / Org
- Economic model
- Ownership and Independence
- Sources and Proximity
- Standards and Codes of Ethics
- Training and Skills Buildings
- Factchecking and Verification
- Coverage / Beats
Market Research and Audience
- Teach / ICT companies
- Legal organizations
Independent, self-regulatory professional
bodies / associations / unions
- Monitoring groups
- Digital Rights Organizations
- Legal regulatory system
- Competition standards
- Privacy / Data protection
- Political interventionism
- Press / internet freedom
- Funding for Public Service Media
- Investigative Media
- Watchdog Media
- Public Service Media
- Alternative Media
- Local Media
- National Media
- Labeling and Classification
- Platforms / Mediums
- AI / ML
- Business Model
- Authentification / Provenance
- Content Moderation
Want to know more
about the project?
- An ecosystem is a dynamic and flexible network comprising interconnected systems and heterogeneous species, including actors, institutions, and technologies.
- A healthy ecosystem is dynamically balanced, with diversity, resiliency, and integrity as defining characteristics.
- Coexistence and cooperative competition among these elements sustain the broader ecosystem while promoting individual survival and growth.
- Ecosystems are complex, requiring balance and resilience to absorb change, adapt, and transform while maintaining consistent processes and structures.
- Ecosystems are not static; they possess persistent structures shaped by their own history and exhibit a stable participation of interconnecting groups of people, their tools, and practices.
- Information ecology and ecosystem studies.
- Media development, journalism, disinformation, and platformization.
- Mapping specific news ecosystems and their entities, or the journalistic process.
- Community-centered, needs-based approaches for individuals and groups.
- Network analyses of mis-, dis-, and mal-information flows and influence operations.
A healthy information ecosystem is a well-balanced and diverse system where information is created, shared, and used responsibly. It allows individuals and communities to access and analyze information for decision-making and accountability.
A healthy information ecosystem operates through complex interactions between various elements without a single controlling authority. It emphasizes the diversity of information sources and platforms, focusing on larger networks rather than individuals.
The ecosystem can be analyzed at different levels, from local to global, with key aspects highlighted in a taxonomy graphic.
Information ecosystems are a close reflection of our interconnected world. Any ecosystem thrives on balance, diversity, and resilience where various species can coexist and interact. The same principles apply to information ecosystems.
Adopting a systems-based approach enhances awareness of resource allocation, identifies gaps, and uncovers the interactions between different funders and programming so that they can design more meaningful and effective objective-oriented interventions and support.
A reactive response alone is insufficient: Collectively, funders need to think about how to better support all the elements of the ecosystem and how the streams of programming fit together. This is the only way to live in an environment where information nurtures, empowers, and sustains us all.
Main elements of the
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.
- 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.
Keystone species exist at various levels
- 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.
- 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
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