Email if you're interested in joining the funding hub and becoming a funding partner for the Independent Media Association (IMA) and it's growing membership of independent media platforms. 


The Funding Hub: 


The Independent Media Association is well placed to fairly, transparently, and democratically distribute funding against the following priorities: 


  1. Support for new and emerging independent media platforms

  2. Bursaries journalists for working-class and underrepresented backgrounds

  3. Funds for specialist correspondents working in specific communities or on solutions, or specific system problems - i.e. climate action or democratic reform. 

  4. Funds for collaborative campaigns across the IMA membership 

  5. Representation for the sector with decision-makers, influencers, and government


As a membership cooperative driven by people with lived experience of working in the independent media sector, we can offer additional advice and support to grantees as well as a thriving hub of mutual support through IMA membership. 


Distribution of Funds:


The IMA has several mechanisms at its disposal for the distribution of funds, all of which would require a formal application process. 


  • Funds distributed by the IMA Cooperative board against specific funding criteria defined by the funder. 

  • Funds distributed by popular vote across the IMA membership against specific funding criteria defined by the funder. 

  • The appointment of citizen and/or stakeholder panels for the purpose of distributing funds against specific criteria defined by the funder. 

  • A public calls out against specific funding criteria and a formal application process. 


Commitment to transparency & Accountability 


The IMA is committed to transparent and accountable processes across all its activities. All members of the IMA have access to finance, income and governance information and the IMA board is elected annually by its members through democratic elections, with an assigned one vote per member organisation.  

More About the Independent Media Association: 

The Independent Media Association (IMA), previously known as the Media Fund, currently represents 44 independent media publishers across the UK, with a combined annual readership of more than 20 million people.  


Unlike other representative organisations in the sector, the IMA is made up of, and delivered by people who run independent media platforms day in, day out. It is the largest grassroots, non-partisan, representative organisation for independent media platforms in the UK. 


The IMA has a crucial role to play in linking hyperlocal publications that serve their communities with public interest news and UK-wide platforms that break stories of national importance. A corporate media owned by a select group of billionaires has let too many stories of corruption, incompetence and greed fly under the radar. This is dangerous for our democracy. Independent media has a vital role to play in increasing media literacy and active citizenship and exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuses of power. 


The IMA has fulfills a shared need for a representative, networked and equitable organisation which brings together independent media platforms to work collaboratively and support each other. Incorporated as a cooperative in 2018 with media platforms as equal members of the cooperative, the IMA is unique in aspiration, form and function in the UK.  


Membership of the IMA Cooperative:


Membership in the IMA Cooperative is democratic with all members meeting regularly and each holding one vote on all activity within the IMA. This includes elections, agenda items, calling special meetings, nominations for new members, and governance roles. At these meetings member organisations share knowledge, challenges, opportunities, best practice and explore scope for collaboration, syndication and amplification of specific stories and campaigns.


At its core, the IMA supports news organisations that are run in the public interest, that are financially independent, and that act as factually accurate sources of information.


Members are considered on the basis of meeting the following parameters: 


  • Membership of the NUJ or IMPRESS.

  • If not members of the NUJ or IMPRESS, a commitment to join either body within twelve months of joining the IMA.

  • A commitment to abide by the NUJ Code of Conduct.

  • Financial independence - with 50% or less of revenue from the state or multinational corporate sources.


As well as facilitating network and communication functions between members, the IMA also delivers public-facing activities for members and citizens interested in our work: 


  • IMA Talks, a monthly podcast exploring the state of the media in the UK.

  • The Independent Media Awards -  in development, an awards ceremony celebrating the best work of the IMA membership. 

  • The IMA blog on the IMA website, allowing our supporters to keep up-to-date with our work.