On the pre-conference day of the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation hosted a funders event in support of investigative journalism with international donors in Hamburg.
Programme on 25 September 2019
Investigative journalism funding under the spotlight – is it time for a new mindset?
International Fund for Investigative Reporting meeting
Session I: Investigative journalism funding under the spotlight
Rudolf Augstein Foundation, the European Journalism Centre’s Journalism Funders Forum, Deutsche Welle Akademie and the Expert Group for Quality Journalism in the Federal Association of German Foundations have joined forces to offer a workshop for current and future funders of investigative journalism.
On this occasion, Deutsche Welle Akademie published its new report, How to Fund Investigative Journalism. The report is based on interviews with experienced funders, investigative media outlets and academics from around the world. It presents best practices and highlights funding opportunities.
Field experts, such as editors and owners of investigative media outlets, also contributed their know-how.
This was an interactive workshop, where we discussed the following issues in small groups:
- Furthering your aim as a funder by supporting investigative journalism (IJ) – can it be done without compromising the independence – and security – of IJ organisations?
- What expectations of sustainability should donors have of IJ organisations?
- Is supporting IJ media in developing solid business models the silver bullet for ensuring their longevity and impact on society?
- Is it time for greater diversity within the IJ field – in terms of approaches, funding, gender, race/ethnicity?
Session II: International Fund for Investigative Reporting meeting
The Global Forum for Media Development chaired a working meeting on the potential establishment of an International Fund for Investigative Reporting as a follow up to the meeting organised in April at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy in cooperation with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
The meeting brought together key stakeholders from across the investigative journalism community, from journalism support and media development organisations, and from donors and funders with the aim of furthering the discussion related to the establishment of a basket fund for investigative journalism. As part of the meeting, the following issues were discussed:
- How can we access potential revenue streams for the fund?
- How can we identify target groups/potential beneficiaries and their needs?
- How can we establish new, or harness existing, mechanisms that would meet the proposed criteria for the purpose and the structure of the fund?
The meeting also included a presentation of progress made in different efforts currently underway to mobilise joint funding mechanisms for journalism internationally.
Contributors to Session I
Sameer Padania runs Macroscope, an independent consultancy supporting experimentation, innovation and learning in journalism, human rights and philanthropy. He has worked and consulted for leading organisations in these fields, on a wide range of journalism, digital media, activism and policy initiatives. He is the author of “An Introduction to Funding Journalism and Media”, an Ariadne Network guide for donors, philanthropists and other funders new to or curious about supporting journalism.
Richard Addy is a co-founder (with Luba Kassova) of AKAS (Addy Kassova Audience Strategy Ltd). AKAS provides audience/impact/narrative strategy advice for foundations (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Luminate, CIFF, OSF, Wellcome, Adessium Foundation, Schöpflin Foundation), media organisations (BBC News, Channel 4 News/ITN, The Guardian, Hromadske, EUobserver, Warner Bros, CPJ, ICFJ) and international institutions (World Bank Group, OECD, IMF, EIB, EBRD). Previously, Richard was the Chief Adviser to the BBC’s Deputy Director General who ran BBC’s Journalism Group. Richard helped to formulate strategies that maintained BBC Journalism’s weekly global reach at 250m+ adults.Richard is a Trustee at Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity. He is on the Advisory Board of University of South California’s Media Impacts Project.
Lina Attalah, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, Egypt, a cooperative online news outlet that features sharp-tongued comics next to investigations into human rights abuses – an attempt to challenge the overall lack of freedom of expression in the country. Their website has been blocked for over a year by the Egyptian authorities, but Mada Masr continues publishing via VPN and Facebook. In 2017, Lina was named ‘Muckraker of the Arab World’ by the Time Magazine.
Wahyu Dhyatmika is the editor in chief of Tempo.co, the digital arm of Tempo Media Group, an independent media based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2015, he led the Panama Papers reporting in Indonesia, the collaborative cross borders investigative project initiated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In 2017, with several other editor-in-chiefs of independent media in Indonesia, Wahyu initiated IndonesiaLeaks.id, a platform for whistle-blowers so they can securely send documents to newsrooms across the country. He is also sits on the board of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia and currently the Secretary General of Indonesia Cyber Media Association (AMSI). In 2015, he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, USA.
Anita Kömüves, investigative reporter and former head of the English section at Atlatszo.hu, Hungary, one of the few remaining independent news outlets in Hungary. Despite intimidation attempts by the government, Atlatszo.hu continues to investigate corruption of the ruling party. All articles that deemed ‘risky’ are checked by their legal team. With slogans such as ‘Give me 1% of your taxes – and we investigate what happens to the remaining 99%’, Atlatszo.hu has managed to source about 50% of their budget from crowdfunding. Anita joined Atlatszo.hu after she lost her job as an investigative reporter at the biggest newspaper in the country – it was sold to a company close to the ruling government and subsequently closed down.
Enrique Naveda, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Plaza Pública, an investigative news outlet and Guatemala’s first online magazine. Plaza Pública is hosted by a catholic university, which gives their reporters much more editorial freedom than most other media outlets in a country, where most media rely on government advertising. It has focused its reporting on power structures in the private sector, their investigation into child labour in sugar plantations gained international attention and impacted international labour organisations. Gabriel Garcia Márquez’ foundation named Enrique a New Chronicler of the Indies. His work has appeared in international news outlets, including the New York Times.
Rodney Sieh, founder and editor-in-chief of FrontPageAfrica (FPA), Liberia, the country’s leading independent newspaper that publishes investigations into high-level corruption and tackles social taboos. Rodney has made a conscious effort to hire female journalists and focus on ‘women issues’ – a report on female genital mutilation lead to the banning of this practice by law in Liberia. Rodney knows the risks of investigative reporting in his country: he spent four months in Monrovia Central Prison after a minister he investigated sued him and FPA for libel.
Elisa Simantke is the editorial director of Investigate Europe, a permanent crossborder team of European journalists. Before co-founding Investigate Europe in 2016 she worked for the daily newspaper Berliner Tagesspiegel, initially reporting on daily news, from 2014 on European affairs in general and the Greek crisis in particular. Elisa lives and works in Berlin.