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Aimed At Fighting ‘Fake News’, $100 Million Pledged by EBay Founder

Aimed At Fighting ‘Fake News’, $100 Million Pledged by EBay Founder
With the intention of supporting investigative journalism and countering the rise of "fake news", $100 million has bene pledged to be donated by the billionaire founder of eBay.
A "global trust deficit" has been created and the division between governments and society has been increased by what Pierre Omidyar describes as misinformation and hate speech and which is being aimed to be fought by him in his latest philanthropic venture.
Among the independent and investigative media outlets to receive funding over the next three years will be the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the group that was behind the uncovering of the Panama Papers last year.
In order to expand its investigative reporting, the ICIJ will receive up to $4.5 million. And among others so far announced to receive funding are The Anti-Defamation Legue (ADL), the world's leading anti-Semitism organization and Alianza Latinoamericana para la Tecnologia Civica (ALTEC), a project designed to promote civic engagement and transparency in Latin America.
Omidyar and his wife founded the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm in 2004 and it is this investment firm that would be used to provide the funds for the philanthropic work. Including $220 million towards a Government & Citizen Engagement initiative which aims to drive accountability and transparency within government this fund has so far committed more than $1 billion to good causes.
"Across the world, we see a worrying resurgence of authoritarian politics that is undermining progress towards a more open and inclusive society," stated Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannick.
"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facts are being devalued, misinformation spread, accountability ignored, and channels that give citizens a voice withdrawn.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."
There has been a growing mistrust within the public about the mainstream media due to accusation and growing accusations against mainstream media outlets by governing bodies and the recent emergence of corruption scandals within governments from Brazil to France. Trust levels of less than 50 percent in their country's mainstream institutions have been expressed by citizens living within two thirds of the world's major economies according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer.
"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," said Gerard Ryle, director of the ICIJ.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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