The global loss in revenue in 2020 of newspapers alone is estimated at US$30 billion. When independent media is weakened, it impacts all of society and threatens democracy.
Corruption can be expected to rise. Violent extremism – often fuelled by corruption – finds more fertile ground. Social cohesion is diminished, particularly where media falls into the hands of those who co-opt it to advance their own political or factional agendas. Conflict and instability become more likely.
To avoid the collapse of vital independent media, we need a more coordinated global response that creates a step change in support.
Read more about the issues here.
The Fund complements existing efforts. It catalyses new money as a globally coordinated but fully independent vehicle that can activate quickly to provide critical funding and support to hundreds – if not thousands – of public interest media organisations worldwide.
The Fund has been designed to minimise interference in the internal affairs of the countries it supports. Its governance arrangements and international nature ensure funds are allocated efficiently and in ways that command maximum legitimacy in the eyes of media institutions and other democratic stakeholders in beneficiary countries.
We have developed the concept, completed a detailed Feasibility Study, have a founding team, and operational funding in place. Now, we need the decisive will and action to raise funds at scale to strengthen public interest media around the world.
Sustain independent media in countries around the world by channeling funding via an independent, apolitical vehicle
Invest in the development of long term, systemic strategies capable of sustaining public interest journalism in the future
Reduce the impact of mis- and dis- information on democracies by ensuring that ethical, non-partisan, credible media has the financial backing to succeed
Bolster press freedom by supporting journalists and news organisations that speak truth to power
Be a critical tool to complement other existing initiatives providing support for independent media and press freedom
Nishant Lalwani, Director of Independent Media at Luminate
Are independent of vested - political, corporate or criminal - interests
Publish reporting that informs the public, objectively and accurately, on the issues that shape their lives
Strive to be balanced and representative in a way that allows public debate and dialogue across society
Work to hold power to account on behalf of the public
The Fund will have three main components to its work. The first is an investigative journalism fund. The second will work through a series of regional centres to provide financial support to independent public interest media at a national level. The third is to support media development or other intermediary organisations in a position to financially support independent media – especially where legislative or other obstacles prevent support through regional centres.
Cutting across all of this work will be a “What Works” unit designed to crystallise learning of which strategies are most effective over time.
The Fund’s activities will be broadly divided between: providing financial support to independent media; and working with a range of stakeholders to map out and support long term systemic strategies capable of fixing the current market failure confronting independent media.
The goal is to reach a billion dollars of additional funding for public interest media around the world.
The Fund makes increasing support to independent media simple, effective and most likely to develop the kind of long term strategies that can more systematically address the business model challenge.
We are seeking to partner with government, big tech and other private sector companies, development agencies, philanthropists, and others to ramp up their support and funding to public interest media and protect its critical role in our societies.
This is an opportunity for existing funders of independent media to pool resources. It is also a cost-effective mechanism for new donors seeking to support independent media.
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