Launched by Internews on March 26 with US$100,000, the fund has already supported 25 small, local news organisations worldwide in the face of COVID-19.
“We are so delighted that Luminate have chosen to stand with us at this time of global crisis. We need trusted information providers now more than ever, but many are struggling to survive. Luminate’s support means we can immediately help many, many more organisations to ensure that people everywhere can safely access the information they need during this pandemic and beyond,” said Jodie Ginsberg, CEO, Internews Europe.
In this time of global health crisis, access to trustworthy and accurate information is not just important – it can save lives. Journalists play a pivotal role in providing that information, yet they face huge challenges in doing so. Funds from the Rapid Response Fund will support journalists and media outlets worldwide.
So far, Internews has provided grants to groups in more than 20 countries, covering the impact of the pandemic on a wide range of communities, including those based in refugee camps and informal settlements, and on issues such as domestic violence. Funding has helped pay everything from staff costs while traditional media adjust to a sudden drop in advertising revenue, to translation of international COVID-19 advice into local languages, to digital apps. Grantees have ranged from Ecuador to the United States to the Philippines.
"There was a chronic crisis in media before the pandemic – the business model for journalism had been systematically undermined by digital advertising and the attention economy - but that chronic crisis has now turned into an acute one. By providing direct support to local journalism, Internews' Rapid Response Fund will keep news organisations afloat and the public informed,” said Nishant Lalwani, Managing Director, Luminate.
The Rapid Response Fund is currently closed to new applicants and will reopen on May 18.
Internews has nearly 40 years experience working with journalists and media outlets in some of the most challenging environments in the world: from refugee camps in Kenya, to journalists on health crises like Ebola, to local reporters exposing corruption.
Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies - www.luminategroup.com
(Banner photo by David Creekmore/Internews)