PIJI has an ongoing research program into taxation to encourage investment in public interest journalism.

The potential of philanthropy to contribute to the development of non-profit news production in Australia is under studied. PIJI will undertake extensive research in this space in 2021.

1. Reviewing proposals to facilitate philanthropic funding of news in Australia

Multiple government and regulatory inquiries have examined the financial difficulties facing the news industry over the past decade. A recurring recommendation of these inquiries is to provide incentives for philanthropic giving to the news sector. The comparison is often drawn to the United States, where philanthropy contributes around US$500m every year.

PIJI conducted a review of proposals to government inquiries over the past decade and found that:

  • the two options consistently suggested are 1) to create a new category of deductible gift recipient for journalism, and/or 2) create a central philanthropic trust to receive and distribution donations;
  • there are some indicators that there is likely to be demand for funding but no comprehensive study of the potential uptake of non-profit, charitable, deductible gift recipient status among news organisations; and
  • there has been no research in the Australian market among philanthropic funders to assess whether they are interested in giving to journalism and, if so, what incentives and barriers may exist.

These findings will inform the next stages of PIJI’s research into this issue.

Gary Dickson, Research & Projects Manager, Public Interest Journalism Initiative

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