A not-for-profit (NFP) news sector could increase media diversity and help build sustainable new financial models, according to research by the Public Interest Journalism Initiative.

PIJI’s latest research – A review of proposals to provide news organisations with access to tax deductible gifts in Australia – examines recommendations to parliamentary and regulatory inquiries over the past decade.

It also provides a comparison with the experience of other countries in news philanthropy, including the US and UK.

There has been little research conducted into the potential for NFP news in the Australian market and no study of the views of Australian philanthropists and foundations.

“The lack of information about the levels of philanthropic interest and funding for public interest journalism is a significant barrier to understanding the long term potential for NFP mechanisms and models in Australia” says Anna Draffin, PIJI’s CEO.

“We are currently undertaking new research into this issue, including interviews with foundations, individual donors and news organisations to better understand the application of philanthropy for journalism.”

Investigating the role of philanthropic incentives is the second phase of PIJI’s research series into taxation reform for public interest news.

PIJI’s first series’ release examined the potential benefit of a journalism-based tax rebate. Following this philanthropic research, PIJI will explore commercial and impact investment models for the industry.

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