Philanthropist looks to ‘local’ focus with $70+ million gift

Nov 24, 2023 at 12:22 pm by admin

There are hopes of an announcement next week that billionaire Judith Neilson’s Institute for Journalism and Ideas may be back next year, after a spectacular bust-up with four directors 18 months ago.

The five current board members are expected to approve a new strategic plan, which Foundation and Family Office chief executive Simon Freeman says “will take a more hands-on approach” in the allocation of grants for journalism.

He is quoted that funding priorities will focus on local and community storytelling, independent freelance reporting, investigative and collaborative-type projects, answering criticisms that too much of the money had previously gone to industry majors.

Remaining staff of the Institute finished at the end of 2022, with the website and building in inner-city Sydney closed.

Earlier this year, the philanthropist and art collector (pictured) renewed her pledge to invest $100 million in a centre for journalism, estimated to leave a further $70-72 million to spend.

Freeman said at the time that Judith Neilson wanted a reconstituted JNI to focus “more on support for independent media, grassroots journalism, photojournalism, and journalism that looks to serve underrepresented groups within Australia”.

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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