The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has invested $75,000 with the Media Development Loan Fund, a New York-based non-profit that provides loans to independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression.
The monies will be invested in Free Press Investment Notes, a funding vehicle that has a one-year term and pays AAN 3 percent interest.
This investment allows AAN to support independent journalists across the globe — all while providing a competitive interest rate to the Association.
The resolution to make this loan from AAN’s financial reserves was approved by AAN’s Board of Directors in December.
“This decision emerged out of our desire to make both a sound investment and one in an organization with which AAN and its members have real solidarity,” said AAN President and Willamette Week editor Mark Zusman. “MDLF is an extraordinary outfit and I hope this is just the beginning of an enduring relationship.”
MDLF works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Southeast Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States to help independent news providers to expand their audience, improve their news products and become financially self-sustainable.
“We are delighted that AAN has decided to invest in MDLF’s work helping some of the developing world’s leading journalists build news companies strong enough to remain editorially independent,” said MDLF Deputy Managing Director Harlan Mandel. “While they may work in places like Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Guatemala, or Ukraine, MDLF clients and AAN members share the same fundamental principles: not only does high quality journalism lie at the heart of their businesses, each one provides a valuable alternative to the mainstream media.”