GRI Media Supplement to Measure ‘Brainprint’

In 2011, a committee of organisations came together to develop a GRI Supplement for media organisations. They consulted the global community through a public advisory which was completed in May 2011. The full supplement will be launched later in 2012.

You may find the most recent version below – it has been updated since, but gives a good idea of what can be expected in the final version. For more information, please visit

Why is GRI reporting important to the media sector?

The Media Sector Supplement enables media organizations to measure and report on their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, and also on the specific issues related to content creation and dissemination.

The environmental impacts of activities are commonly called the environmental footprint. Media organizations, via content, have a potentially great influence on individuals or groups of people. This influence can be called a ‘brainprint’. The media sector is not a major environmental polluter, but canclearly pollute minds; media organizations should therefore report on their potential ‘brainprint’, whether positive or negative.

Thanks to the content that it creates and disseminates, the media sector is uniquely positioned to address and communicate sustainability issues.

News media organizations often serve as watchdogs, holding others to account on society’s’ behalf, and are expected to follow high governance and ethical standards themselves.

By communicating information, and providing access to it, media organizations can help to ensure that citizens are equipped with the tools to make informed choices on issues that affect their lives.

Media outlets are also crucial to the exercise of freedom of expression, a fundamental element of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because they provide the public platform from which the right is exercised effectively.

The concept of media as a platform for democratic debate embraces a variety of overlapping functions. The media’s roles in freedom of expression, fostering inclusive citizenship and catalyzing community activity are all key elements of the sustainability agenda; its effectiveness in supporting democratic processes arises from its being participatory, transparent and accountable, and encompassing all members of society.

Media organizations therefore have a responsibility to ensure that their content is relevant, understandable, credible and accountable. They also have a responsibility to ensure that their content is diverse, represents a plurality of views, and promotes cultural diversity as “a mainspring for sustainable development for communities, peoples and nations.”

MSS Full Draft 2011

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About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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