The Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund acknowledges the enduring support of philanthropic co-funders in providing a lifeline for investigative journalism as a public good.

Alongside core funding from the European Commission, three foundations and one municipality have committed fresh contributions to IJ4EU’s coffers.

Their pledges underscore confidence in the programme against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and a deterioration in media freedom in many countries.

The Oslo-based Fritt Ord Foundation and the German city of Leipzig have thrown their weight behind IJ4EU for a third straight year.

Meanwhile, the global network of Open Society Foundations (OSF) has committed funds for a second time, with money available right up until April 2023. 

The Swiss-headquartered Fondation Nicolas Puech has come on board as a new co-funder, pledging money for the next three years.

“This multi-annual support is a huge boost for watchdog journalism in Europe,” Timothy Large, IJ4EU programme manager for the International Press Institute in Vienna, said.

“Not only does it help journalists collaborate across borders on ambitious investigations that would otherwise be almost impossible, but it sends a powerful message about the need for the long-term sustainability of watchdog journalism.”

He added: “The enduring support of co-funders validates our model of creating a firewall between givers and grantees while ensuring that the IJ4EU fund is not seen as an instrument of any single donor.”

IPI leads a consortium of intermediary organisations dedicated to ensuring that public and philanthropic money flows to judiciously selected projects without compromising the editorial independence of investigative teams.

The other members of the consortium are the Maastricht-based European Journalism Centre and the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom in Leipzig.

Since its inception in 2018, the IJ4EU fund has disbursed more than €2.5 million in grants to high-impact, cross-border projects — along with other forms of assistance including training, mentoring, networking opportunities and legal support.

Investigations have tackled myriad topics, including organised crime, corruption, money laundering, public health, the environment, extremism, security, EU spending, surveillance, migration, disinformation, human rights abuses and more.