It’s no secret that there’s a funding and financing crisis for journalism everywhere around the world. Most of the money to support independent media around the world comes from philanthropies, governments and tech companies from a few countries in the Global North. But Official Development Assistance (ODA) particularly tends to be routed through a small number of international intermediaries, with comparatively little reaching domestic, local and regional groups. Most governments – even those forming part of the Media Freedom Coalition, the Partnership for Information and Democracy, the Alliance for Multilateralism, and similar groupings – are providing little or no funding, whether directly or through mechanisms like IFPIM. And with Big Tech donors stepping back from funding journalism as the threat of regulation looms larger, another source of funding is being choked off. With the ‘polycrisis’, Global North philanthropic and government funding is more stretched than ever.

So it’s not surprising that the clamour is growing from media and communities around the world, from the local to the international level, for a greater proportion of this funding to be under their direct control. Whether that’s through local and city-level news funds in the US and UK, investment funds in the Balkans, national funds in South Africa, Taiwan and Brazil, or potential endowments in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, journalism sectors want independent funds, based in or close to where they are, rather than in London, New York, Geneva or Brussels.

The group in this session has direct experience across the world of either researching, or building funds at the local, national or international levels. We’ll give a brief tour d’horizon of the landscape of such funds, including specifically those backed by governments, talk through some of the early lessons, and offer practical advice to those looking to advocate for or establish such a fund.

Moderated by Sameer Padania.