$100 million donation for a world-leading journalism institute in Sydney | radioinfo

$100 million donation for a world-leading journalism institute in Sydney

Friday 30 November, 2018

Australian philanthropist Judith Neilson announced a commitment of at least $100 million to create a world-leading journalism institute based in Sydney, the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism & Ideas.
The aim of the institute is to celebrate and encourage quality journalism in Australia and the world and to support more reporting on Asia by helping journalists engage more closely with their peers across the region.
Judith Neilson who will be the patron of the Institute, says, “Asia will increasingly be a source of breaking global news and there is a need for informed, intelligent reporting and commentary on the region.”
A recently purchased a building in Chippendale, Sydney, which will serve as the Institute’s headquarters, is currently undergoing renovation to make it fit-for-purpose as a technology and media hub and events venue.
Judith says her hope is that this new Institute can play a role in preparing Australian journalists for an exciting but more complicated and challenging future.
“As an avid consumer of news, I recognise the need to support evidence-based journalism and the pursuit of truth in an increasingly complicated and confusing world. I am delighted to support the establishment of this Institute and I will look to experienced journalists and other experts to manage and guide its work.
“I know that traditional forms of journalism are going through massive change and Australian journalism and intellectual life needs a shot in the arm. Journalism doesn’t just need critics, it needs champions – people and institutions with the resources to help educate, encourage and connect journalists and their audience in pursuit of excellence.
“Through targeted funding and education, we can strengthen Australian journalism and help restore faith in its central role in a healthy democracy.”
The Institute will be governed by an experienced board of directors and supported by an International Advisory Council, so it can exist as be an independent and non-partisan institution.
Work has commenced on a detailed program of activities and a global search to identify key staff, including the founding Executive Director, will begin immediately.
Collaboration with existing journalism schools and news organisations is seen as vital as is allowing the Institute to act as a venue for debate about how best to report on the region, as well as on the key policy issues facing Australia.
Judith Neilson says “I want to contribute to something that makes a lasting impact and I acknowledge this will require a significant and sustained commitment. I see it very much as a national project, an initiative that will deepen our understanding of the big issues facing Australia and contribute to a more informed discussion of them.”

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