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Foundation for Public Interest Journalism


25 June 2009 at 1:01 pm
Staff Reporter
Swinburne University's Institute for Social Research has established a Not for Profit foundation to help develop new ways to fund and support journalism following a trend that has already found traction in the US.

Staff Reporter | 25 June 2009 at 1:01 pm


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Foundation for Public Interest Journalism
25 June 2009 at 1:01 pm

Swinburne University’s Institute for Social Research has established a Not for Profit foundation to help develop new ways to fund and support journalism following a trend that has already found traction in the US.

The Foundation for Public Interest Journalism will support investigative, interactive journalism while exploring ways of making good journalism sustainable in the new media age.

Dr Margaret Simons, a journalist, author and lecturer at Swinburne, says the foundation was being developed because of concerns about the impact of the global collapse of the business models supporting traditional media forms.

Dr Simons says this is a serious threat to journalism, and therefore to the health of our society.

Bringing together journalists, publishers, academics and community representatives, the foundation will develop and test new business models for the industry.

The Foundation will fund worthy journalism projects initiated by either members of the public or practising journalists, and is likely to incorporate approaches from similar projects overseas, such as www.spot.us

The Institute’s Director, Professor Julian Thomas, has called for suitably qualified and experienced people from any of these sectors to nominate for membership of the foundation’s board.

Nominations should include a 500-word statement about the applicant’s relevant experience and what they can offer the foundation. They must be received by close of business on Tuesday 30 June.

The foundation will also be seeking support to help fund its work.

Prof Thomas says the Foundation will be seeking support from philanthropic organisations and individuals who appreciate the importance of a healthy, active media for our society.

Donations will be tax deductible.

Projects will be assessed on their capacity to serve the public interest, with priority given to issues that are under-reported by the traditional media.

As well as publishing works of journalism, the foundation will make a major contribution to journalism education and research.

The foundation is the brainchild of a group of journalists and publishers who have been working with Swinburne University over the past year.

It is expected to be operational by the end of 2009.

The Foundation for Public Interest Journalism is calling for journalists, publishers, academics and community representatives to nominate as board members by 30 June 2009.

For more information contact Dr Simons via email at msimons@swin.edu.au



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