At a glance
- Reporting on global health and development is essential—but doing it well can be costly, often requiring extensive travel, additional time, and experienced journalists. Many news organizations have cut budgets in the face of rapidly shrinking revenue from advertising and subscriptions, and they struggle to adequately cover these complex and wide-ranging issues.
- When leading media organizations that serve the public interest are equipped to produce coverage of under-researched and underrepresented issues, they play a vital role in keeping the public informed and engaged about issues that matter to them and their communities.
- We work with media organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, Europe, and Japan—as well as non-media nonprofit entities—to support reporting on critical issues of health and development. We also fund research about issues facing journalism globally, including the representation of women in news.
- For all media grants, the foundation and grantees abide by strict principles:
- The foundation and our grantees must be transparent about the nature of the partnership and funds involved.
- Both parties must commit to ensuring creative and editorial independence. This means that our media partners are under no obligation to produce coverage about the foundation or our program strategies or take certain positions in their reporting.
- The outlets must demonstrate integrity, providing fact-based information and committing to the pursuit of truth.
News organizations that serve the public interest play a vital role in keeping people informed about and engaged with issues that matter to them and their communities. However, in-depth global health and development reporting is difficult and costly, often requiring experienced journalists and extensive travel. Most global news organizations struggle to report on these complex and wide-ranging issues. We aim to help address these limitations by providing grants to trusted news outlets that have set out to improve and expand their coverage of urgent global health and development issues that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people.
Why focus on global media partnerships?
Our foundation focuses on global health and development issues that disproportionately affect the world’s poorest people. Steady, reliable news coverage enables dynamic civic discourse about the adoption and implementation of evidence-based global health and development policies to provide every person the chance to live healthy, productive lives.
Although governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector have a fundamental role in health and development, many newsrooms are not able to sustain coverage of these issues or fulfill their responsibility to their communities to hold people and institutions accountable.
Across our foundation's programs, we fund solutions that may otherwise be overlooked because they address problems that disproportionately affect the poorest people, or for which the economic incentives aren’t strong enough to sustain the work without philanthropic involvement. Similarly, our grants to news outlets support institutions that may not otherwise be able to carry out their mission to cover a broad range of health and development topics.
Our foundation is one of many philanthropies that have been responding to media requests for additional funding to cover complex and far-reaching matters. Funding for journalism globally has risen steadily over the past decade, as misinformation and disinformation have proliferated and the need for credible sources of information has grown more acute. Notable media outlets including the Associated Press have embraced philanthropic funding to ensure dependable and informative journalism.
We work with numerous foundations and media outlets to ensure that the provision of grant funding does not corrode or challenge longstanding and vital traditions of editorial independence. These protections are important to funders, news outlets, and their audiences, who seek independent, trusted, and fact-based sources of information.
We support coverage of health and development issues by news organizations in the United States, Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and Japan. Many of our grantees use this funding to create and maintain internal news desks dedicated to consistent, in-depth coverage of these issues. Examples include NPR’s Goats and Soda blog and Kenya’s The Daily Nation news desk which focuses on health, development, climate, and gender. We also support niche news organizations—such as the South Africa-based Bhekisisa and the fact-checking outlet Africa Check— which are solely dedicated to in-depth reporting and fact-checking, respectively, of global health and development issues.
For all media grants, our foundation and news media grantees must abide by strict principles:
- Both parties must be transparent about the nature of the partnership and the funds involved.
- Both parties must commit to ensuring creative and editorial independence. This means our media partners are under no obligation to produce coverage about the foundation or our program strategies or take particular positions in their reporting.
- The news outlets must demonstrate integrity, providing fact-based information and committing to the pursuit of truth.
In addition to our grants to news outlets, we support research about issues facing journalism globally, including the representation of women in news.
The Global Media Partnerships media grants are distinct from other types of support the foundation provides for public information efforts, such as behavioral change communications, risk communications & community engagement (RCCE), and demand generation. These types of “communications for development,” include projects like public service announcements to promote risk reduction (in areas like tobacco use or HIV prevention) with organizations such as the BBC Media Action, and support to produce entertainment education TV shows, such as “Shuga” with MTV Staying Alive foundation, that presents issues of sexual health and gender equality.
Our goal is to inspire and enable more informed and intentional generosity by all. Giving time, money, and talent helps people shape the kind of world they want to live in.
Our goal is to harness the power of finance and economics to address poverty and inequality.
Our goal is to reduce tobacco-related death and disease in developing countries by decreasing overall tobacco use and preventing the initiation of new smokers.