Independent public interest journalism

What does Civitates want to achieve?

Civitates aims to establish a strong cohort of independent, public interest journalism organisations which defend democracy in Europe by exposing abuses of power and drivers of polarization, and defending a space in which all voices are heard. Our hope is that we can help bring substantial funding into the sector, while in the meantime providing structural, core support for the exciting but stretched organisations that exist in this space.

Why is it so important to support independent, in-depth journalism in Europe?

Independent, in-depth journalism in Europe finds itself increasingly under pressure. The driving factors behind this can largely be divided into three categories.

What exactly do you mean by independent, public interest journalism?

We mean journalism that informs the public about what matters to everyone in society, made by actors who are independent of vested (political, corporate or other private) interests, and that is committed to the pursuit of truth, seeking to provide the public with reliable and accurate, balanced and representative information, in accordance with the standards of the profession.

What role is there for Civitates to play in this field?

Public interest journalism, which is of great significance for society but currently unsustainable, is an area in which philanthropy has an important role to play – to ensure not just its survival, but its growth.

Not only is there little funding available for journalism initiatives within Europe, the field is also siloed: there are few funders that take an ecosystem view, focusing instead on specific elements, specific countries, or specific challenges.

By acting collaboratively, participating foundations show the philanthropic sector’s solidarity with the struggling journalism sector. By pooling journalism funding under the umbrella of Civitates we try to bring home the message that independent, public interest journalism is essential to democracy.

Moreover, Civitates provides an easy entry point for foundations currently not funding journalism, but with an interest in doing so – thereby bringing more resources into the field. Together we can strategically maximize the limited funding available in this area, and catalyze results towards a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable field.