David Lush

Throughout his career as a journalist, media entrepreneur and development worker in southern Africa and Europe, David and his colleagues have grappled with a constant dilemma: how to pay for producing journalism long-term without compromising its quality?

David’s PhD by Portfolio aims to better understand how quality journalism can enhance the viability of media in “fragile media ecosystems” – places experiencing armed conflict, rapid political change, natural disasters and authoritarian rule.

Questioning the tendency to frame journalism according to its role in relatively stable western liberal democracies, David is looking to define “quality” from the perspective of those who produce and consume journalism in less stable and less democratic societies.

His study examines the value quality journalism creates for those best placed to sustain it in societies such as these and, thus, how journalists, media outlets and their allies can enhance this value.