The Balnaves Foundation announces arts reporting project with Guardian Australia

Published by The Guardian Australia
15 July 2020

The Balnaves Foundation has contributed a significant philanthropic grant to the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust, allowing Guardian Australia to commence an in-depth arts reporting project and educational outcomes for University of Melbourne students for more than three years.

Guardian Australia’s arts desk has always been committed to covering, critiquing and celebrating the arts in Australia, including publishing Walkey-winning work. This grant will fund the new dedicated series Australian arts in focus and will allow further investigations into the issues affecting these industries, particularly through the current coronavirus crisis. The Balnaves Foundation grant will allow Guardian Australia to hire a dedicated arts reporter and expand its freelance contributor base. This will ensure the arts team can continue to both celebrate the arts and scrutinise and investigate the industry. The reporter will be dedicated to covering arts news and investigations, allowing for broad and consistent reporting and analysis.

This is the second project of its kind where The Balnaves Foundation has supported the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust. It follows the successful launch of an Indigenous investigations project in 2018. Those investigations have now won two Walkley Awards. “We are proud to have supported the Guardian’s independent Indigenous reporting for the last two years and have witnessed the impact their important journalism can have”, says Hamish Balnaves, Chief Executive of The Balnaves Foundation. “We know that investigative journalism allows important stories to be told and debated and our diverse arts industry vitally needs this in-depth analysis more than ever before.”

Guardian Australia Editor, Lenore Taylor said: “The Balnaves Foundation has enabled us to conduct editorially independent investigations on Indigenous issues that have been widely recognised for their excellence. We look forward to a similar outcome from the new arts reporting project.” All reporting published by Guardian Australia will be editorially independent and will clearly identify the support provided by The Balnaves Foundation.

The Balnaves Foundation was founded by Neil Balnaves AO in 2006, with a mission to create a better Australia. The Balnaves Foundation provided the founding grant for the Guardian Civic Journalism Trust (GCJT) in 2018. The GCJT is a partnership between the news organisation and the Centre for Advancing Journalism in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. The trust provides funding towards important Australian journalism projects that advance public discourse, citizen participation and essential training experiences for students. Grants to the trust have enabled significant investigations, touching government transparency with the Susan Mckinnon Foundation, environment with the Limb Family Foundation, and Indigenous investigations reporting with The Balnaves Foundation.

By the Guardian Press Office