In advance of The Journalism Foundation’s gala fundraiser last week, luminaries from across the media and entertainment industries gathered to pay homage to the Foundation’s work around the world. The film above collates their views and was shown to guests on the night.
Featured in the video are the actor and campaigner Hugh Grant, broadcaster Jon Snow, barrister Baroness Kennedy, politician Lord Ashdown and the photographer Paul Conroy who was injured in Syria while reporting alongside the late Marie Colvin. The gala party was hosted by Richard Bacon with entertainment from Alexander Armstrong and Paul Zerdin and featured a video message of support from Tim Minchin.
The Journalism Foundation exists only through donation from people like you. To donate please click here. The renowned British jeweller Stephen Webster created an exclusive limited-edition bracelet to help raise funds for our projects around the world. Most of the bracelets were sold on the night, but we have a small number left. If you would like to buy one click here.
Read more about our upcoming project training young people to report on their local communities in South Sudan. We are also supporting a local newspaper in Tanzania. We continue to assist Pits n Pots in Stoke-on-Trent and plan to create a permanent school of journalism in Tunisia as part of our ongoing project there.
The film was shot and edited by Josh Feder and Saul Abraham (saulandjoshfilms.com and @sandjfilms) with sound recorded and edited by Daniel Smith. Music is by Where Ghosts Sleep (whereghostssleep.com)
Messages of support for The Journalism Foundation
“Vibrant, courageous, challenging, uncomfortable, even at times irresponsible journalism is crucial to a healthy democracy. We all know now, thanks to the actions of a few, that there need to be new standards. But there is a real danger that the pendulum will swing to far and healthy journalism may be damaged in the process. Getting the balance right now is crucial. There could not be a better time for an organisation like this to ensure that we get this right, preserving, even strengthening what is best and rejecting what we all know now has been so bad.”
“For over 20 years I have argued that democracy cannot flourish in countries without a free press. And it is only by championing brave, investigative journalists across the globe that international corruption can be tackled effectively. Now more than ever, we must support journalists who hold the powerful to account.”
At a time when newspaper practices are rightly and belatedly coming under intense scrutiny, this foundation serves to remind us all about the good journalism can achieve. A free press is not only a symptom of democracy, it is a necessary condition for democracy. Journalists can and must help hold the powerful to account, expose injustice, as well as inform people about the debates that will shape their lives. This is true not just on Britain’s national stage but also in emerging democracies and local communities. For journalism to survive in the face of multiple modern challenges, it is important not only to root out wrong-doing but also celebrate and nurture the best of this profession. I wish the Journalism Foundation every success in its endeavours.
“The Journalism Foundation has already taken its first steps towards giving practical support to the ideal of journalism that works for the public good in a healthy society. This will require not just words but deeds, and deeds means money. The Journalism Foundation couldn’t be more timely. I expect it to be an important voice in one of the critical debates of our time.”
Tom Stoppard, playwright
“This is a time when bad and corrupt journalism is receiving extraordinary exposure in Britain, which makes the promotion of good, brave and campaigning journalism all the more important. The objectives of the Journalism Foundation deserve the widest support from everybody who cares about honest communication in the 21st century.”
Sir Max Hastings, former newspaper editor
“At a time when journalism is rightly under the spotlight following exposure of disreputable and appalling practices across the board, real journalism needs all the friends it can get. Without a free and vigorous press, we cannot guarantee a free society.”
Zac Goldsmith MP
“We often only realise how important journalism is when it is appropriated by mendacious power, or simply lazy. A state of perpetual war might not now be consuming much of the world had western journalism fulfilled its famous freedoms and sought facts instead of amplifying deception, challenged instead of echoed. The same is true of the unchallenged rise of corporatism. The line between journalism and information control, or public relations, has been crossed; and good journalism has become the honourable exception. We need to talk seriously about this; and by ‘we’ I mean journalists themselves, those who teach budding journalists and, above all, the public. The establishment of the Journalism Foundation is good news if it provides a vibrant forum for real debate and ideas about championing the best of journalism.”
John Pilger, award-winning journalist
“A vibrant democracy and a free press go hand in hand. I applaud the work of The Journalism Foundation in trying to strengthen this relationship.”
“This is an important and valuable – and needed – initiative that aims to uphold and propagate the highest journalistic standards. I wish it the very best.”
Salman Rushdie, author
“Like many, I went into journalism because I wanted to make a difference and because in some way I wanted to change the world. The Journalism Foundation represents precisely the kind of resource that provides more backbone for principled, thorough, and ground breaking journalism. I’m delighted to be an early supporter of its work.”
Jon Snow, broadcaster
“The independence of journalists is a fundamental pillar of good democracy but in too many countries abroad this principle is simply igored. A Foundation to promote journalistic independence has never been needed more than now.”
Sir Menzies Campbell
“When it comes to reporting in a democracy we need to learn from the experience of others so that we can create our own. It is like a new birth. We have almost everything to do and that is where organisations like The Journalism Foundation can give invaluable help.”
Mongi Aouinet, co-ordinator of the Tunisian Journalists’ Union
“At a time when, quite rightly, a light is being shone on malpractice in some areas of the British Press, I am delighted to give my backing to an initiative whose purpose is to demonstrate the positive aspects of journalism. Free speech has always been a touchstone issue for me, and an organisation intent on giving people around the world a voice is worthy of widespread support.”