Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar (pictured) has announced $100m of funding to help independent media and investigative journalism.
The funding from the Omidyar Network will be distributed globally over the next three years.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which coordinated last year’s Panama Papers investigation, is to receive $4.5m from the fund to expand its investigative reporting.
Omidyar Network managing partner Matt Bannick said: “Across the world, we see a worrying resurgence of authoritarian politics that is undermining progress towards a more open and inclusive society.
“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facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn.
“These trends cannot become the norm, and we must protect the principles of openness, participation, and accountability. These are the foundations of a healthy democratic society.”
He cited recent events such as the UK debate on EU membership and the US presidential election as events which have eroded trust in institutions, experts and the media.
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyy found that two thirds of the 28 countries surveyed are now “distrusters,” meaning less than 50 per cent of a country’s respondents trust the mainstream institutions of business, government, media and NGOs.
Edelman found that trust in the media has declined sharply with media institutions being distrusted in 82 per cent of countries.
Gerard Ryle, director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, said: “At a time when autocrats, demagogues, criminals, dodgy businessmen, and other shady characters are seeking to enrich and empower themselves at the expense of society, it is more important than ever that journalists can remain the world’s independent eyes and ears, and root out corruption and wrongdoing. But more and more this kind of vital work is only possible in the non-profit sector.
“Funding from organisations such as Omidyar Network enables us to continue producing groundbreaking, nonpartisan investigative projects that have real and measurable impact on communities around the globe.”