Through its various charitable funding activities, the Schöpflin Foundation supports and promotes the building of a sense of critical awareness in children, young people and young adults; equally it supports and promotes strong democracy and its further development. To achieve these goals, our society must be well-informed – and it is here that journalism has a central role to play.
Today, classic journalism of the type published by the media giants is going through a financial and structural crisis. State-funded media are trying to find a new role in an ever more digitalised society where most people below the age of 30 scarcely ever turn on the television for their news.
During this period of upheaval, we see non-profit journalism as a vital addition to the other forms of journalism currently on offer. While the major publishing houses are coming under increasing financial pressure and public broadcasters are becoming ever more main-stream, the non-profit journalism model adds an extra dimension to the mix.
As well as supporting actual journalism projects and initiatives, we also want to support all those business activities that are vitally important for the further development of non-profit journalism.
This includes the »Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus« project (»Non-Profit Journalism Centre«). Through this project we want to create a space where networking and collaboration can grow in order that journalism as a whole might flourish.
Rudolf Augstein Stiftung
CORRECTIV is the first non-profit investigative newsroom in the German-speaking world. CORRECTIV carries out extensive investigative research into stories that most other media ignore. CORRECTIV aims to give every citizen the information he or she needs in order to be able to understand the world. A key feature of what we do is to make our articles and contributions available to other media outlets, who can then publish them free of charge. It’s for this reason that CORRECTIV is also launching a journalism training programme so that as many people as possible can have access to the information.
A free press is a prerequisite for an open society and democracy. With the large publishing houses coming under increasing financial pressure, and state broadcasters tending to go ever more main-stream, the non-profit journalism model has an important role to play. This is where CORRECTIV comes in. It aims to give every publisher and every broadcaster in Germany access to its investigative and informative journalism so that the media can properly perform its watchdog role.
Together with CORRECTIV we want to work on the key questions currently facing our society. These include: What sort of future will our children have? How will we live together in the future? Who actually holds the reins of power in our democracy?
Diskutier Mit Mir is a new initiative that campaigns for democratic dialogue. Its first project was to develop an online platform tool for the 2017 German parliamentary elections. The tool brought together people with different political views in a one-on-one format and enabled them to chat about political issues. The www.diskutiermitmir.de website prompted a considerable media response and resulted in some 20,000 conversations between people with diverging opinions.
Political discourse in Germany has become characterised by what are known as online »filter bubbles« – in other words we are, for the most part, connected with only those people who share our views. Pre-selected information, and a lack of discourse and political polarisation – often led by the media – create a divided society. Instead of well-thought-out debate, emotionally charged half-truths seem to be the order of the day. We are supporting the Diskutier Mit Mir project because it promotes contact between people with diverging points of view.
We want Diskutier Mit Mir to become the go-to digital tool for interaction between people with different views and from different backgrounds.
Duration of building project still to be confirmed. Start of construction work: 2018
approx. € 25 m
In 2018 work will begin in Berlin on building a place where people will be able to learn how to gather information and news, how to edit it, and then how to disseminate it. It will be a place where people do media; a place for networking and a place for the future. This 500-square-meter, multi-storey building will house a newsroom, co-working work-spaces, living and relaxation space, a café, a restaurant and an event space. The bringing together of creatives from all fields – illustrators, media professionals, programmers, playwrights, film professionals and teachers, to name but a few – could give rise to totally new forms of non-profit journalism, and completely new products. Furthermore, the project will create and secure more than 200 sustainable jobs.
To have free and non-profit journalism you need an infrastructure and networking opportunities. In this way, synergies can be achieved and skills passed on. The building of the Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus is also about providing a space for a critical public.
The Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus will be a place where networking and collaboration can happen and where journalism in general can be further developed. While the centre will be equipped to meet the needs of regional and local media, it will also be able to welcome other European media professionals, thus giving the venue a true international feel.
Netzwerk Recherche e.V. was founded in 2001 by a group of journalists in order to bolster investigative and quality journalism in Germany. By 2017 this not-for-profit network had notched up more than 800 members from every branch of the media industry. In order to share its research techniques, the network runs conferences – like the network’s annual conference attended by some 900 journalists – and produces publications. Netzwerk Recherche directly supports journalistic work through research grants and provides bursaries for journalism projects.
By partnering with Netzwerk Recherche e.V. we believe there is an opportunity to further strengthen and grow investigative and non-profit journalism and thereby establish it as a third and important pillar of journalism, alongside the journalism provided by the major publishing houses and by state media.
Together we want to show that there are new ways to set up and finance non-profit journalism. The joint ‘Grow Bursary’ programme supports start-ups and non-profit journalism, helping them to implement their projects.
The majority of media articles are predominantly negative. Studies show that this leads to a skewed perception of reality and needless pessimism. The Noah Foundation therefore promotes journalism that focuses on opportunities and solutions. This gives readers a more balanced world view and increases the likelihood that they will play a more constructive role in society.
High-quality and constructive journalism contributes to a more optimistic and responsible moulding of society. It is therefore important to strengthen this form of journalism so that it becomes a truly integral part of what shapes public opinion.
Together we want to strengthen and grow support for solution-oriented journalism. In addition to its regular, tried and tested bursaries for journalists, the Noah Foundation has also developed its innovative Good News App.