The Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI) was established to ensure Australia develops a sustainable ecosystem of independent, pluralistic journalism. We are a non-partisan organisation conducting research, developing policy solutions and building a public conversation on the importance of this issue.
Public interest journalism is in crisis. An informed community is crucial to our democracy but the advertising revenue that once funded reporting has shifted away from journalism. Classifieds have moved onto dedicated websites like Craigslist and Gumtree. For every $100 spent in digital advertising, Google and Facebook capture $68, leaving everybody else to split the remaining third. Australia, like many other countries, has yet to find durable solutions to this problem.
As this business model has collapsed, newsrooms across Australia have shrunk and closed. An estimated 3,000 journalists have lost their jobs in the last six years through redundancies alone, with more expected. That has seriously affected the media’s ability to conduct public interest journalism, particularly in suburban, regional and rural Australia.
Independent public interest journalism is the cornerstone of democracy. Without it, ours is under threat.
We aim to:
- Establish a network of expertise across research, strategy, industry, philanthropy and communications to inform the work and test options;
- Fill critical research gaps;
- Propose policy options;
- Analyse ongoing public interest journalism developments in business, government and social sectors;
- Develop PIJI as a focus point for public concern and develop sound commentary, reporting and creation of resources.