It is a fundamental right to know, to express one’s opinions and to communicate them freely: in order to form one’s own judgement, each individual must necessarily benefit from reliable and enlightened information. Access to and transmission of knowledge are only possible if the freedom and independence of the press are respected.
The press sector has been in the hands of a few billionaire oligarchs for several years in France, who share 90% of the national daily newspapers. How can quality information be produced and disseminated if the rulers try to control it in order to influence public opinion and ensure that their private interests prevail?
Information is a public good and must remain so. Providing free access to information free from dependence or censorship is essential in a democracy. Only the independent press can guarantee this.
Moreover, recent years have seen increased pressure from public authorities against news media and journalists who want to do their job: searches of premises in the context of prosecutions for the secrecy of sources, police violence during recent social movements, a new national policing scheme preventing journalists from fully reporting on demonstrations, etc.
A year ago, the Free Press Fund (FPL) was created as a non-profit organisation to support and defend freedom of expression, press pluralism and independence of journalism. Born from the common will of the co-founders of Mediapart and its employees, the FPL is an endowment fund that has no equivalent in France; it intends to participate in the construction of a real ecosystem of the independent press and quality information. By supporting this independent press, the FPL will help to promote public interest journalism, bearing humanist, democratic and social values, in the service of the common good and equal rights.
Precise information on the composition, rights and duties of the FPL is available on its website: https://fondspresselibre.org.
In order to carry out its actions, the Fund needs support. It cannot receive public funds. Its resources rely solely on private donations, and partly on dividends from Mediapart, whose capital is held, sanctified, by the FPL. Private donations benefit from the provisions relating to patronage: they are 66% deductible from income tax.
Financial support can be sent via the FPL website, by cheque to Fonds pour une Presse Libre, 31-35 rue de la Fédération – 75015 Paris, or by bank transfer (our bank details can be sent on request).