In 2017, 93.7 million people received their news from MDIF clients, 50.6 million online and 43.1 million through traditional media. For the second year in a row, more people have received news from MDIF clients online than through traditional media sources, a results that mirrors a rapidly changing global media landscape.
After five years of working with MDIF, client reach increased by a median of 32% (on average by 176%). In mission terms, increased reach means that more individuals have access to the quality, independent news. In financial terms, audience growth is critical to the long-term sustainability of the media companies we support.
After five years of working with MDIF, clients increased their sales by a median of 105% (204% on average). Clients see their sales increase by a median annual growth rate of 20% (CAGR) during their first five years working with MDIF. The increase in sales contributes to the long-term financial well-being of the media we support, which in turn enables high-impact journalism.
In 2017, MDIF clients generated a record high of $381.4 million in sales. Each $1 invested by MDIF leveraged $5.32 in client sales in 2017.
According to our risk rating, 76% of MDIF loan clients were classified as having low or moderate risk. In 2017, median risk rating of our loan portfolio was 5.71, squarely within the moderate risk range.
In 2017, according to the survey responses of the companies we support, economic challenges have posed the greatest risks to their work.
In 2017, 89% of MDIF-supported media businesses declared that their reporting on corruption, accountability or social issues published in 2017 created impact that brought about transformative changes to their communities. 96% of this journalistic work took place in countries where the press is partly free or not free.
From changing lives to changing laws, independent media produce many forms of public benefit. Out of all social outcomes said to have followed clients reporting, 38% were institutional, 29% civic and 19% personal, with 14% mentioning other changes.
28 Corruption Perceptions Index
Not free The World Press Freedom Index
In Guatemala, the housing shortage is severe, with a deficit of 1.7 million dwellings. Moreover, 61% of homes are inadequate, that is, they require reconstruction or lack basic services, like water or sewage. The Government tries to address the problem by channeling construction through the Guatemalan Housing Fund (FOGUAVI), which offers subsidies towards new home construction. The daily elPeriódico investigated the prominent Xoná family, who abused the Fund and collected millions in state subsidies for constructing houses for low income residents without competing in a single tender. elPeriódico revealed that in many cases the buildings were undelivered or of very poor quality. It also discovered that the family scammed hundreds of people, cashing an illegal advance for future homes before the subsidy was even approved. The mother and daughter of Xoná family have been arrested and are under investigation.
81.21 Social Progress Index
PARTLY FREE The World Press Freedom Index
In Poland, a man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for repeated rapes and cruelty towards his wife and two daughters. The daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza gained unprecedented access to the abused wife, who shared her story on condition of anonymity. In addition to describing her ordeal, the article exposed serious mistakes by the prosecutor's office, which dismissed the case twice. With rape victims often disbelieved and their evidence dismissed, the article highlighted how the Polish justice system is ill-equipped to handle sexual abuse and protect women. After publication, the District Attorney reviewed the case for potential involvement of other individuals in the abuse and filed a criminal investigation into alleged misconduct by the prosecutors tasked with trying the case. Moved by the article, many of Wyborcza's readers sent donations to the foundation that supports the victim and her daughters, with the collected money spent on further therapy.
-0.23 World Bank Voice and Accountability Indicator
PARTLY FREE The World Press Freedom Index
In Nepal, millions voted in a historic general election held for the first time since a civil war ended and the monarchy was abolished. To ensure transparency, Nepali-language magazine Himal Khabarpatrika investigated election spending. It found that in the early 1990s, when Nepal held its first parliamentary elections under the 1990 Constitution, the polls cost just Rs110 million (USD1 million). In November-December 2017, the Election Commission spent that much in just repairing old vehicles. The total cost of the polls was Rs10 billion—90 times higher than in 1990s. One reason why the parliamentary-provincial polls were so expensive was kickbacks by Election Commissioners, who bought luxurious vehicles and unnecessary equipment and materials at inflated prices. They even submitted fake bills, and moved an official who refused to go along with the scams. The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has begun investigating allegations of corruption.
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