Democracy Fund and First Look Media on Monday announced $9 million in funding to bolster an independent free press split evenly between three newsrooms: ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Democracy Fund and First Look Media are also committing an additional $3 million to support independent in vigorous journalism. It includes:
- The Knight Prototype Fund aimed at combating misinformation will receive $200,000.
- $1 million will go to establish a fund to support investigative work by state and local reporters.
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will receive $800,000 to protect the independence of journalists conducting hard-hitting investigations.
- $275,000 will go to New York University to establish “a laboratory for community-supported investigative reporting through a unique partnership between New York University and De Correspondent.”
In a post announcing the funding, Democracy Fund President Joe Goldman notes that the contributions come amid repeated public demonization of the press on the part of politicians in the United States.
…The political attacks that journalists have faced over the past 18 months represent something wholly new and potentially toxic to a free and open society. At the Democracy Fund, we believe that a robust free press is essential. We must not take it for granted. In times like these, we all must do our part to stand with journalists and fight for core democratic values and norms.
Democracy Fund’s announcement comes amid renewed philanthropic interest for newsrooms across the United States. Organizations including ProPublica, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists have seen gifts from public-spirited donors increase since the election of President Trump.
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He’s also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he’s still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.