When the Federal Government announced it would cease funding The Conversation earlier this year, it didn’t look much like a blessing in disguise.
The end of $1 million a year in federal funding placed in jeopardy several editorial jobs and threatened to diminish the service we provide. But then two very good things happened.
First we approached readers for support and were overwhelmed by the response, with total donations of more than $500,000. It wasn’t quite enough to get us out of the woods, but it went a long way to rubbing out the funding gap and gave a fillip to the team to learn that so many readers value what we do.
Second, the Victorian Government this week announced it was stepping into the breach and replacing the federal funding at $1 million a year for the next three years.
The money will help us continue to offer our existing service while developing some new areas - such as editorial targeted at teachers and schools, the appointment of a global editor, and better coverage of the digital economy. It will also give us time to grow and develop new streams of revenue so our longer term future is secure.
As with the support from readers, we’re particularly heartened by the support of the Victorian Government for our work. They were there from the very beginning backing this innovative idea, and it’s great to have them still with us as we develop a global network of sites in the UK, US, Africa and now our new colleagues in France.
You can read the Victorian Government’s media release here.