6 April 2022

The Journalism Funders Forum calls for “public-benefit journalism” to be recognised as a public-benefit purpose in tax law

President von der Leyen announced in her 2021 State of the Union address that the European Commission would safeguard the pluralism and independence of the media in the EU internal market. The European Commission has now collected views in a public consultation on the European Media Freedom Act, which is expected to be presented by the Commission in the third quarter of 2022.

The Journalism Funders Forum (JFF), an open community of European funders working together to ensure more effective and impactful funding of journalism in Europe, hosted by Philea, has contributed to this consultation to stimulate more philanthropic funding of public-benefit journalism.

In its contribution to the consultation, the JFF calls on the European Commission to include in the European Media Freedom Act recognition of the important role of public interest journalism for our democracy, and recommends that Member States be called on to introduce “public-benefit journalism” as a public-benefit purpose in tax law. The contribution also reiterates Philea’s call for better recognition of and dialogue with the philanthropy sector; facilitation of cross-border philanthropic action; enabling and protecting the civic space; and co-granting and co-investing for the public good in Europe, as set out in its European Philanthropy Manifesto.

Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, said: “Media are a pillar of democracy. But today this pillar is cracking, with attempts by governments and private groups to put pressure on the media. This is why the Commission will propose common rules and safeguards to protect the independence and the pluralism of the media. Journalists should be able to do their work, inform citizens and hold power to account without fear or favour. We are now consulting broadly to come with the best proposal.”

The full contribution to the consultation by the Journalism Funders Forum can be accessed here.


Hanna Hanses
Policy Manager