Funding by private foundations is filling gaps in mainstream news coverage, especially in areas like investigative, international and local journalism. However, researchers have found that this funding is inadvertently shaping the boundaries of international nonprofit journalism.
Two French investigative journalists are launching Disclose, a nonprofit newsroom which plans to produce investigative reports free of commercial pressures – and generate the impetus for meaningful change. Olivier Holmey writes about the new media group on the block for GIJN.
How do freelancers carry out a yearlong investigation when they only get paid at the end? Investigative reporter Samantha Sunne has a tiered approach to keep you from spending precious time and resources.
The Global Reporting Centre has launched an ambitious project investigating labor abuse, environmental impact and corruption in global commerce. Here’s the Centre’s Peter W Klein on how Hidden Costs will bring together award-winning journalists, scholars and major media organizations — including the New York Times, PBS Frontline, the Toronto Star, Smithsonian Channel, NBC News, DigitalGlobe and Google News Labs — to undertake investigative-reporting projects.
Canada’s OpenFile had an elegant concept. They would ask readers to tell them what they thought was important and make editorial decisions around that. But the platform’s initial success couldn’t be sustained as it struggled to make money and maintain the flow of reader-suggested stories. Here’s what the OpenFile journalists learned about community journalism along the way.
John Schrag had known for a while about an unexamined pool of data that could shed new light on the issue of concussions in high school sports. The executive editor of a newspaper in Oregon, his first instincts were to keep the story in-house and garner all the glory, but he quickly realized the only way the story would see the light of day was through collaboration.
The increasing lack of credibility and growing political meddling in Romanian mainstream media in recent years has resulted in many journalists leaving these outlets and starting their own independent sites. Some of these initiatives support themselves by relying on crowdfunding. But is it viable in the long term?
Interest by the philanthropic community in supporting public-interest media is not new. Donor-supported nonprofit magazines like National Geographic and Mother Jones have been around for decades. The original Fund for Investigative Journalism dates back to 1969, while America’s National Public Radio began in 1971. Following the end of the Cold War, Western governments and foundations pumped billions of dollars abroad, as part of an emerging “media development” field to establish independent news outlets in former Communist states and developing countries. Over the past few years, however, with the Internet-fueled spread of disinformation and a growing global backlash against free expression, donors are taking renewed interest in funding independent journalism.
Donors and prospective donors encounter not only difficult strategic choices, but also questions about how to measure the impact of their investments. These recent reports collected by GIJN delve into the social value of such philanthropy, assess programmatic options and provide measurement tools.
Journalists are not usually in the frame of mind for grants. They pitch their story to an editor, the editor says “no” or “yes” and they get to work. But drafting a grant application is a somewhat complex technique. Here is a list of mistakes that tend to kill many fledgling journalistic projects before they even stand a chance.