Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar’s philanthropy promised $100 million over the next five years to support journalism and fight fake news, the foundation announced Wednesday.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which broke the story of the controversial Panama Papers, is the first organization to receive funds from the Omidyar Network – a three-year grant of up to $4.5 million “to expand its investigative reporting”.
“Across the world, we see a worrying resurgence of authoritarian politics that is undermining progress towards a more open and inclusive society,” Matt Bannick, Omidyar Network Managing Partner, said. “A lack of government responsiveness and a growing distrust in institutions, especially the media, are eroding trust. Increasingly, facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn.”
Formally announcing the commitment at the Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship in Oxford, England, the Omidyar Network has also promised support to the Anti-Defamation League, devoted to fighting anti-Semitism, and the Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology (ALTEC).
Established in 2004 by Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the Omidyar Network supports organizations to foster economic and social change.
Reporting on the Panama Papers revealed secret, so called offshore financial accounts that were hiding assets to avoid tax payments.