Media Development Loan Fund

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Media Development Loan Fund is a New York-based non-profit that "provides loans to independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression".


Media Development Loan Fund is a mission-driven investment fund for independent news outlets in countries "with a history of media oppression. We provide low-cost capital and technical know-how to help journalists in challenging environments build sustainable businesses around professional, responsible, quality journalism.

Working in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Southeast Europe and the CIS, we help essential independent news providers to expand their audience, improve their news products and become financially self-sustainable.

MDLF provides leading journalists with the support they need to create lasting institutions for change".

Founded in 1995, MDLF is a New York-registered not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)(3) public charity status.[1]


MDLF was founded in 1995 by Sasa Vucinic and Stuart Auerbach.

Sasa was a Serbian journalist and media manager who had run B92, Belgrade's leading independent radio station, during the early years of the Milosevic regime, while Auerbach was a vastly experienced Washington Post journalist and foreign correspondent. Though from very different backgrounds, they "shared a passion for quality journalism and a belief in the importance of independent media".

Together they had the idea of launching a ‘media bank' to help leading journalists in countries with a history of media oppression build sustainable news businesses, strong enough to stay independent of governments, political parties and oligarchs.

Sixteen years after making its first loan to a small Slovakian newspaper called SME, MDLF has grown faster than they - or anyone - imagined. MDLF has now provided well over $100 million in affordable financing and helped about 80 independent news businesses to flourish and grow.

Auerbach died in 2003. Sasa served as Managing Director from 1995 until March 2011.[2]

Board of Directors

As of 2011;[3]

Previous Chairs and Board members


As of 2011;[4]]

Funders and lenders

Since starting work in 1996, many foundations and organisations have supported different MDLF projects in different ways. Each "contribution has increased access to independent news for someone somewhere in the world".

Funders of MDLF's Loan/Investment Pool, include:[5]

And the generous support from: