Democracy Fund, First Look Media Give $12M To News Organizations

To support “an independent, robust free press,” First Look Media and Democracy Fund are giving more than $12 million in new grants to news organizations.

Three nonprofit news organizations — The Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, and ProPublica — will each receive $3 million in grants.

“The role of journalism in our democracy is facing unprecedented challenges," Democracy Fund wrote in a statement, adding that the grants are to help ensure journalists have the resources to "meet the reporting challenges of today’s political landscape.”

The organization's president Joe Goldman added that investigative journalists "play a crucial role in our political system."

“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. A robust free press is essential. We must not take it for granted," he stated.



The organizations are likely referring to the White House's recent hostility toward the press, as well as the President and his surrogates touting "fake news."

Democracy Fund and First Look Media, both created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, are also giving $500,000 in grants to the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University to “expand accountability reporting collaborations between university students and professional journalists.”

A $275,000 grant is supporting a collaboration between New York University professor Jay Rosen and Dutch news site De Correspondent to “test new models of community support for investigative reporting.”

Independently, Democracy Fund announced an $800,000 grant to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to help ensure investigative journalists have legal support and First Amendment protections.

Democracy Fund is also putting $1 million into the establishment of a new fund for local and state investigative reporting, and inviting others to join them.

“In the weeks and months to come, we hope to work with partners from all sectors to find other ways to do our part to ensure that journalists can play their rightful role in our democracy,” Goldman wrote in a memo.

The organization also contributed $200,000 to the Knight Prototype Fund.

First Look Media is providing a grant of $550,000 over two years to support The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute to support investigative reporting on Wall Street, as well as on environmental issues for The Intercept, one of First Look Media’s investigative brands.
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