Martin Kotynek leads the new Media Forward Fund

Launch of the first transnational fund for journalism funding in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in July

Martin Kotynek becomes Managing Director of the new Media Forward Fund | © Peter Rigaud, no fee | Download image

Berlin / Vienna / Zurich - June 5, 2024: Media manager and journalist Martin Kotynek (40) becomes the Founding Director of the new Media Forward Fund. The renowned media expert - he was editor-in-chief of the Austrian daily newspaper "Der Standard" for six years until the end of 2023 - will contribute his many years of journalistic experience and industry knowledge to the management role at the Media Forward Fund (MFF). As Founding Director, Kotynek is responsible for the conception and further development of the fund, fundraising, stakeholder relations and funding, among other things.

"In this new role, I can contribute my experience from leadership work in media companies for the benefit of the entire media landscape in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland," says Martin Kotynek: "Independent, critical journalism is an important foundation for our democracy. In this acute media crisis, I want to work with renowned foundation partners, philanthropists and impact investors to ensure that there are more sustainable business models for journalism in the future."

New business models for independent journalism

The Media Forward Fund is the first transnational fund for journalism funding in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The fund is committed to ensuring that there is more independent quality journalism with viable business models that publish strong, trustworthy content and are sustainably funded in the long term. The aim is to strengthen journalism and our democracy at the same time. Particular attention is paid to communities that have had little access to journalism to date. 

The Media Forward Fund is being established on the initiative of Schöpflin Foundation, Rudolf Augstein Foundation and ZEIT STIFTUNG BUCERIUS from Germany, Mercator Foundation Switzerland and Volkart Foundation from Switzerland, ERSTE Foundation from Austria, as well as the Berlin impact investor Karma Capital and Publix - House for Journalism & Publix Sphere. The first funding call starts in July 2024.

About Martin Kotynek

Martin Kotynek was most recently Editor-in-Chief of the Austrian daily newspaper "Der Standard" in Vienna for six years, where led the digital transformation and expanded investigative research, among other things. Prior to that, he was Deputy Editor-in-Chief of "Zeit Online" in Berlin, where he was responsible for the strategic development of the news site, investigative research, interactive storytelling, data science, community and social media. Previously, Kotynek worked as an investigative editor at the German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" and for five years as a political editor and head of the "Topic of the Day" at the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" in Munich. Kotynek is an alumn of the "Knight Journalism Fellowship" at Stanford University in California, where he worked on innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship in media. Kotynek studied neurobiology in Munich. He was born in Vienna.

Media Forward Fund launches first funding round in three countries

New fund for media diversity is initially endowed with six million euros - Grants of up to 400,000 euros will be awarded per organization - Applications are now open for the launch of the fund