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Pulitzer Center Update July 13, 2015

This Week: A $1 Million Commitment to Multimedia Freelance Journalism


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Belying Australia's positive international reputation, mining companies from Down Under are accused...

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The Pulitzer Center is pleased to announce the Catalyst Fund, a $1 million initiative aimed at fostering strategic partnerships between the Center and major news outlets to support work by freelance multimedia journalists on systemic global issues.

The Catalyst Fund is testament to the model we have built, and to the hundreds of superb freelance journalists with whom we have had the honor to work. We are grateful to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, and the individual donors whose support has made this possible.

"The Pulitzer Center is a leader among a growing field of nonprofit news organizations bringing creative models of production and dissemination to a disrupted news industry," said Kathy Im, director of the MacArthur Foundation's Journalism and Media Program. "MacArthur is pleased to support the Pulitzer Center's plans to deepen and expand its support for some of the most important and powerful international reporting of our time."

Journalists looking for support for international reporting projects will still apply through our online Grants tab, as before. What the Catalyst Fund facilitates is more strategic collaboration between the Pulitzer Center and leading news outlets, as we seek out opportunities to showcase innovative multimedia journalism—and to sustain the careers of freelance journalists.


An 18-month investigation of Australian mining operations in Africa has documented 380 deaths from accidents or incidents linked to Australian companies since the beginning of 2004. The inquiry, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and involving 13 African reporters, includes detailed data by country and haunting stories of workers injured or killed with little or no compensation for their families.

With Pulitzer Center support the ICIJ produced a multimedia interactive that captures the immense scale and the stark human costs of the exploitation of Africa's mineral resources in recent years.

The ICIJ investigation documents locally-filed lawsuits, violent protests and community petitions criticizing some Australian companies. The companies involved denied that they were responsible for the reported incidents. Tracey Davis, an attorney with the Centre for Environmental Rights, in Cape Town, disagreed.

"There is a very strong perception that when Australian mining companies come here they take every advantage of regulatory and compliance monitoring weaknesses, and of the huge disparity in power between themselves and affected communities, and aim to get away with things they wouldn't even think of trying in Australia," she said.

Until next week,

Jon Sawyer
Executive Director





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