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Jonathan Heawood to lead new Public Interest News Foundation to support independent newsmakers

The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) announced today that Jonathan Heawood, the founder and CEO of IMPRESS, will join as its Executive Director.

Dame Frances Cairncross recommended a new public body, like the Arts Council, to support and fund public interest journalism. The Government rejected this proposal but has welcomed PINF as one way of taking forward the Cairncross agenda, alongside related initiatives from the BBC, Facebook, Google and Nesta.

PINF was born out of conversations between IMPRESS, independent publishers and other experts in the summer of 2019. As a result of those conversations, the new foundation was established to benefit the public by supporting independent news providers with grants, mentoring and peer-to-peer networking. PINF was initially hosted by IMPRESS until now, and the two organisations share a commitment to public interest journalism but are constitutionally separate.

PINF’s founding trustees are the former Chair of the House of Lords Communications Committee, the President of the BBFC, and the Deputy Editor of news website The Conversation.

The trustees of PINF are Jo Adetunji, Lord Richard Inglewood and Patrick Swaffer, who is standing down from the IMPRESS board to take up his new role.

Jo Adetunji, Deputy Editor of The Conversation and Trustee of PINF, said:

‘The Public Interest News Foundation was set up to strengthen the capacity of independent news publishers, so they can better engage communities, exchange ideas and build both infrastructure and sustainability, with a shared approach to high ethical standards. Journalism continues to face immense funding challenges in the digital era, and the foundation will seek to develop opportunities for publishers, and research that will benefit the public and contribute to the future sustainability of the sector.’


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