Foundation-funded Journalism, Philanthro-capitalism and Tainted Donors (Article)

Kate Wright

January 9, 2018

Publication

By Kate Wright, Martin Scott and Mel Bunce. Not-for-profit news organisations are increasingly funded by private foundations, supported by wealthy entrepreneurs. This raises a range of ethical dilemmas for journalists, which are particularly serious when their donors are alleged to have been involved in unethical or illegal activities. Although this is a relatively common occurrence in the non-profit sector, so far there has been no critical discussion of these issues in relation to foundation-funded journalism. In this article, we interrogate a rich and detailed case study of the relations between a non-profit news organisation and a donor accused of being involved in a massive, international fraud scandal. We document how the news outlet justified their acceptance of this donor’s money; the defensive strategies they used to protect their reputation, organisational values and editorial freedom; and the conditions that ultimately led to journalists parting ways with the foundation. In so doing, we draw on ideas about philanthrocapitalism, stakeholders and resource dependence in order to develop model of how non-profits respond to “tainted” donors.

The article Foundation-funded Journalism, Philanthrocapitalism and Tainted Donors (Wright, Scott and Bunce) is published in the academic journal – Journalism Studies – and is freely available (open access) here – http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1461670X.2017.1417053

Jho Taek Low at the Social Good Summit in New York – Photo from Facebook


Related Posts

What is humanitarian journalism? (Book chapter)

Mel Bunce

March 27, 2019

Publication

In this chapter, we define humanitarian journalism and give an overview of previous research on this subject.

Read More

Foundation funding and the boundaries of journalism (Article)

We show that foundation funding has a significant effect on how journalists understand, value and practice their work.

Read More

Popular Articles

Twitter

If we equally divided out UK research funding, every single academic would get £221,000 over 5 years!

This would reduce institutional inequalities, spark an explosion of creativity, and free up enormous amounts of currently wasted time.

Now get back to your grant writing... https://twitter.com/b_penders/status/1230120790026223616

ᴮᵃʳᵗ Penders@b_penders

@geoplace "If the budgets from the two types of competitive funding in the U.K. are combined, all junior and senior faculty could be given a baseline grant of ~£221k for five years". Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0183967

Interested in studying with us @cityjournalism?
Come along to our Open Evening tomorrow to find out more about all the courses we offer to help you get started on a career in #journalism https://twitter.com/CityUniLondon/status/1227140364965945345

City, University of London@CityUniLondon

Considering studying a master’s degree?

Come along to our Postgraduate Open Evening on 19/02/20 where you will get the chance to meet academics, receive guidance on the application process from admissions and hear current student experiences.

👉 http://ow.ly/cp0m50xTFwy

Best cakes to take to #UCUstrike picket, folks?