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Biden plans to fund international 'independent media' using tax dollars
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Biden plans to fund international 'independent media' using tax dollars

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. would provide funding for media outlets around the world in an effort to globally support free speech.

Biden announced his plan to fund journalism as part of the Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal while addressing world leaders at the International Summit for Democracy.

"A free and independent media — it’s the bedrock of democracy. It’s how publics stay informed and how governments are held accountable," Biden told world leaders in his opening remarks.

The White House released a fact sheet with an overview of Biden's initiative. The administration's goals include supporting free and independent media, fighting corruption, bolstering democratic reformers, advancing technology for democracy, and defending free and fair elections and political processes.

Biden's initiative would direct USAID to give up to $30 million to the International Fund for Public Interest Media, a new multi-donor fund that seeks to "enhance the independence, development, and sustainability of independent media, especially in resource-poor and fragile settings." USAID will also provide an additional $9 million to support a global defamation defense fund that will provide liability coverage to journalists and the companies that employ them. The defamation defense fund would "guard the essential work of journalism from spurious legal claims aiming to silence legitimate work," according to the White House.

In addition, the State Department will spend $3.5 million to create a "journalism protection platform" that will provide at-risk journalists with "with digital and physical security training, psychosocial care, legal aid" and provide additional forms of assistance to journalists in need.

Biden promised world leaders to commit "critical seed money" to the International Fund for Public Interest Media as part of America's commitment to "sustain independent media around the world," Fox News reported.

IFPIM is a new initiative from Luminate Group, a global philanthropic organization that works to "empower people and institutions to build a fair society" by "supporting for-profit and non-profit organizations that impact in the areas of Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media," according to the fund's website.

When asked about the intended goal of IFPIM, a senior official from the Biden ministration told Fox News that the new initiative would "operate by supporting independent media — including those led by and giving voice to women and other marginalized groups."

Luminate Group was founded in 2018 by the Omidyar Group, which was established by the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, and his wife.

Luminate Group has supported 348 organizations in 17 countries with over $414 million in funding since the group's founding, according to their website.

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