Guardian Australia & University Of Melbourne Launch Civic Journalism Trust

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Guardian Australia has announced a new philanthropic fund to support public interest journalism and invest in the next generation of Australian journalists.

The Guardian Civic Journalism Trust has been established with the Centre for Advancing Journalism in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne to provide funding towards journalism projects that advance public discourse and citizen participation in areas such as the environment, Indigenous affairs, human rights, inequality and governance, and accountability.

So far, the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust has raised $700,000 in philanthropic grants for projects on Indigenous affairs and governance, and political accountability over three years, and is looking to raise more funding for other areas of civic journalism.

All projects have an educational component to equip the future generation of Australian journalists with skills through capacity-building programs with the Centre for Advancing Journalism, including student internships, cadet mentoring scheme, guest lectures and student workshops.

The Guardian Civic Journalism Trust has secured two grants for launch, which include:

  • The Balnaves Foundation has provided a grant for in-depth reporting and educational activities on Indigenous affairs over a period of three years.
  • The Susan McKinnon Foundation has provided a grant for investigative reporting and educational activities on governance and political accountability over a period of three years.

The trust has tax-deductible status and has the benefit of an advisory group, which includes Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor, academic experts in journalism from the University of Melbourne and senior leaders in the uni’s Faculty of Arts.

The University of Melbourne is the trustee and administrator of the trust.

Guardian Australia’s parent company, Guardian News and Media, has contributed an initial gift of $50,000 which establishes the trust and is held in perpetuity.

Taylor said: “The trust allows us to accept donations towards doing more of the journalism that our readers want and that our democracy needs, and at the same time, help educate and mentor the next generation of civic journalists in Australia.”

Professor Denise Varney, dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne, said: “It is fantastic to see the trust provide an opportunity for our students to work so closely with professionals in the field of investigative journalism, especially on such important topics.

“We’re very keen for our students to benefit from work-integrated learning that helps them to understand how best to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, and this trust will enable students in our Centre for Advancing Journalism to take steps towards making a broader contribution to the quality of public debate in Australia.”

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