The Global Editors Network, GEN, on Thursday announced that it will cease its activities due to lack of sustainable finances.
GEN, the worldwide association of editors-in-chief and senior news executives, was established in 2011 as a Non-governmental Organisation “to help news media navigate the disruption brought on by technology, to facilitate collaboration, promote innovation and support sustainable business models.”
A statement issued by GEN CEO Bertrand Pecquerie, noted that “it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a balance between GEN’s three main sources of funding and to further diversify them, particularly given the many pressures on the news industry.”
GEN’s funding came primarily from three sources: platforms, foundations and news organizations according to the statement.
The statement quoted GEN President Jim Robert’s as saying: “In recent weeks, the GEN board explored numerous avenues in hopes of continuing GEN’s work, but ultimately concluded they would not be enough to sustain the organization.
“Despite the disappointment of the moment, members of the board and myself all feel distinct pride in what GEN has accomplished, from fostering news startups to supporting independent journalistic voices to celebrating the best of data journalism. We believe that the community of editors that GEN has helped promote will continue the fight for a better future of journalism. We are very grateful to them and to all GEN supporters.”
Pecquerie however, expressed optimism about the future of the media industry. “I certainly do not want to communicate a message of hopelessness. The challenges are immense, but new, creative initiatives abound and it is important to keep fighting for independent and quality news media,” he said.
Some of the achievements of the Global Editors Network in its nine years of existence include:
Nine GEN Summits in Hong Kong (2011), Paris (2012 & 2013), Barcelona ( 2014 & 2015), Vienna (2016 & 2017), Lisbon (2018) and Athens (2019) which brought 4,000 editors and senior news executives, data journalists, startup CEOs and technologists from all over the world together to debate the major challenges facing the industry and to propose collaborative solutions.
Initiating the first international Data Journalism Awards, DJA, back in 2012, to support and celebrate the best of data-driven storytelling, among others.
“The board and staff of GEN are very grateful for the support that GEN received from many companies and foundations over the past decade and from 40,0000 editors, news executives and media innovators,” Pecquerie said.