Public Interest Reporting Defense Fund


Sandy Tolan, Cecilia Vaisman, Ruxandra Guidi, Alan Weisman, Maria Blanco, and Jonathan Miller in 2014. Photo by Bear Guerra.

In response to alarming increases worldwide in the number of journalists being arrested in the line of duty, Homelands Productions, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has established the Public Interest Reporting Defense Fund (PIRDF). The fund is intended for journalists who need help paying legal fees and related costs incurred as a consequence of being arrested while doing their jobs, or those who are facing lawsuits filed against them because of their reporting.

The Public Interest Reporting Defense Fund provides a mechanism for donors who may be interested in a particular case (or in First Amendment issues in general) to make tax-deductible donations to help defray journalists’ legal expenses. Although these donors will be contributing to the fund, and not to an individual reporter, the online donation form allows them to indicate how they would like their donations directed.

Applications are reviewed by the Homelands Productions board of directors. Journalists whose cases are accepted for funding may direct donors to the Homelands Productions support page.

Please note that the PIRDF does not fund civil actions brought by journalists, but it may support journalists being sued in civil court by any person or entity objecting to how they fulfill their duty.

How To Apply

Please apply using this online form. If you would prefer to submit an application by another method, please contact us at

You may want to prepare responses to the following questions in advance:

How to Donate

The Public Interest Reporting Defense Fund relies entirely on donations and grants. Individual donors may use our online donation form or mail a check to Homelands Productions, 122 Judd Falls Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Although you will be contributing to the general defense fund, and not to an individual reporter, the donation form includes a message field for indicating how you would like your donation directed.

If you wish to contribute to the fund as a foundation or other entity, please contact us at