It’s Official! Guardian is a Charity Case

Yesterday the Guardian announced that it has set up theguardian.org, a non-profit charitable organisation to funnel money from “private foundations, corporations, government entities and private donors that share our goal to support independent journalism and promote freedom of the press.”

The biggest donors to date have been:

  • Skoll Foundation funding for a solutions-oriented series on climate change in America;
  • Support from Humanity United to allow the Guardian to continue its in-depth look at modern day slavery; and
  • A grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support compelling journalism on the subject of early childhood development.

Joining existing donors:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding for the Global Development site;
  • Ford Foundation support for reporting on women’s rights and inequality;
  • Rockefeller Foundation support for the Guardian’s Cities site, which focuses on building resilient cities.

They say they have strict “conflict of interest guidelines”; no doubt they do. Journalists, however, would only be human if they thought it might not be career enhancing to slag off the sources of millions in funding for their salaries. It is fair to say that the policies of some of these foundations have not been without controversy over the years. This is not a left-right issue. The tension inherent between newspaper commercial advertising and editorial departments is nothing compared to journalists being given funding and guidance on what subjects to write about by sponsors…


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