Charitable Journalism Project

Newsrooms that work in the public interest need support. Easier access to charitable status would help them secure a sustainable future.

We are journalists, lawyers, funders, academics and media experts working together to protect and develop public interest journalism.

“Many witnesses in our current inquiry suggested that the Charity Commission should take a more expansive approach to charitable status for public interest news organisations, which they argued is achievable under existing charity law.”

– The House of lords’ INQUIRY INTO the future of journalism, 2020

Latest news: DCMS local news inquiry recommends philanthropic funding for public interest journalism

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have released their report on the sustainability of local journalism, to which the gave evidence.

The MPs of the DCMS committee recommended a number of actions to the government to end the “damaging decline” of the local journalism sector, including recommendations that would make philanthropic support of public interest journalism easier to enact.

On charitable status for public interest journalism, the committee recommends:

…that the Government, in its response to us, indicates what options it might consider to make it easier for local news organisations to achieve charitable status. We also recommend that the Government assess ways to encourage more philanthropic donations to local news publishers for whom charitable status would not be appropriate.” (p38)

Quoting from our evidence, part of which you can watch below, the report stated:

The Charitable Journalism Project said it had “gathered assurance over the last couple of years that there are philanthropic funders who would be prepared and keen to fund journalism, if the regulatory environment enabled them to do so”. The injection of philanthropic funds into the local news sector could also help stimulate innovation that would benefit the whole sector.”” (p26)

Read the report.

WATCH: CJP evidence to DCMS Local News Inquiry

7th July 2022: Our Chair, George Brock, discusses our mission, and our research on local news deserts in the UK, with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons.

LISTEN: World Press Freedom Day Interview

3rd May 2022: On World Press Freedom Day our Chair, George Brock, appeared on the Voice of Islam’s DriveTime Show to discuss the CJP’s efforts to develop the infrastructure of UK journalism, and why the progress we are making is so crucial for its future.

Interview begins at 35m35s. Thanks to Zakarya Sheikh and team for having us.

Guide: Charitable Status for Newsrooms

Could your newsroom become one of the UK’s first to gain charitable status with CJP’s help?

Latest Research: UK News Deserts

concrete ruins under white sky

Our current research project will illuminate the rise of ‘news deserts’: areas of the UK where local news coverage has declined, or disappeared altogether.

CJP’s Journey to Charity Registration

One of our primary missions is to help newsrooms register as charities. This is the story of our own process of registering as a charity.

Public Interest Journalism?

What do we mean by ‘public interest journalism’, and how does it align with charitable status for newsrooms?

Focus Areas

What are the focus areas of the CJP’s research and activity?


Articles, reports, organisations, other links and guidance to help you understand what the CJP does, and why.


Find out about other groups, projects and organisations around the world working towards aims aligned with the CJP’s.