First Global Fund to Safeguard Independent Journalism launches at UN World Press Freedom Day event




International Fund for Public Interest Media





International Fund for Public Interest Media


As the United Nations marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, the world’s first global and multilateral fund to support independent media will launch at official events in New York.

Read this press release in Spanish, French, or Arabic.

In the run-up to the anniversary, the United Nations stated: “…media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack, which impacts the fulfillment of other human rights.”

The International Fund for Public Interest Media (“International Fund” or “IFPIM”) seeks to arrest the decline of independent journalism and foster lasting solutions for media ecosystems around the world. It will do so through ramping up direct financial support to media organizations and accelerating long-term, systemic initiatives that address structural challenges in global media ecosystems and enable media markets to work for democracy. It will fund experimentation and innovation in a number of cross-cutting priority areas, including engagement with young audiences, promotion of inclusive newsrooms, and use of emerging technologies.

The International Fund has been endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and supported by world leaders including Presidents Biden and Macron and former President John Kufuor.

Board co-chair-elect Mark Thompson, in New York for the UN events, said: “We are thrilled that after a year of successful fundraising and increasing support from governments around the world, the International Fund can mark the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day by launching its first phase of operations.

“The challenges facing media entities in mid- and low-income countries are more urgent and acute than ever and collective, multilateral action is the best way to start to overcome them,” he said.

​​​​Board co-chair-elect and Nobel Peace Laureate Maria Ressa said:​ “We can’t keep trying old solutions to new problems. The International Fund for Public Interest Media is a new solution to counter existential problems for journalism. It will help independent media survive during these times before legislation and other systemic interventions can kick in and protect our information ecosystem.”

Khadija Patel, Journalist-in-Residence, will announce the International Fund’s launch at Tuesday’s UN event and detail the International Fund’s strategy, including its impact goals and priority regions.

She said: “Independent journalism faces an existential economic crisis: traditional business models have broken down; new ones will take time to emerge. Economic levers are being used to silence critical voices, and private and political interests are capturing economically weak media.”

As well as outlining the nature of the crises facing independent media, Patel will discuss the critical importance of independent journalism for global democracy in ensuring access to trustworthy information, countering disinformation, and holding power to account. She will call on governments, the private sector, and civil society to further their commitments in support of independent news media.

In the way that the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund for Aids, TB and Malaria transformed access to vaccines and life-saving treatments, the International Fund seeks to radically change how independent media is financed at scale.

The International Fund has already raised close to $50 million USD from more than fifteen governments, philanthropies, and corporate entities and aims to reach at least $500 million USD in financial support in coming years. Overseen by an independent board, it will allocate resources to media organizations in low- and middle-income countries while supporting them to innovate towards new, more sustainable business models.

It this first phase of its operations, the International Fund will make grants available for media organizations in four focus regions: Africa & Middle East, Asia & Pacific, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.

The International Fund has already completed a small-scale pilot funding round that awarded 13 pilot grants to media organizations in Brazil, Colombia, Lebanon, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, and Ukraine. In its first phase of operations, the International Fund will continue to work in these countries and in at least 30 others.

Africa and Middle East: Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Tunisia.

Asia and Pacific: Bhutan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pacific Islands (Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu), Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Timor Leste.

Latin America & the Caribbean: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Paraguay.

Eastern Europe: Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

See more


World Press Freedom Day

3 May acts as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom and is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.


Inside the Drive to Create a ‘Global Fund’ for Public Interest Journalism

UN Dispatch, Global Dispatches podcast


A free press is the lifeblood of democracy – journalists must not be silenced

Journalists risk everything to hold power to account, crucial work for which a $1bn global fund should be established

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