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Victorian Government provides $3m in funding for The Conversation as it launches in France

ConversationThe Victorian Government has pledged $3m in funding to help support academia meets journalism website The Conversation, securing 32 jobs there.

In May the Federal Government pulled funding for the publisher, forcing them to launch an appeal to readers for donations, which ended up topping $500,000.

Now the Victorian Government has pledged to provide a $3m investment over three years towards the site, on the same day The Conversation announced it is launching in France.

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino said in a statement: “Our $3 million commitment will allow The Conversation to continue operating for the next three years while it works towards becoming self-sustaining.”

The Conversation publishes essays and articles from academics on current affairs and relevant social issues, and circulates them in a free morning email to subscribers. It operates under Creative Commons allowing any other website to republish the work.

“This partnership with The Conversation is another example of this Government’s commitment to making Victoria the Education State, where we are world leaders in education and research,” said Merlino.

Commenting on the funding, The Conversation executive director and editor Andrew Jaspen said in a statement: “The funding commitment from the Victorian State Government has secured all our 32 jobs and allowed us to focus on delivering and growing our service. The three-year commitment also provides the bridging support we need to secure our long-term sustainability. We are mightily relieved.”

the conversation FranceThe site’s launch into France is the fifth territory the site has pushed into following its launch in Australia in 2011, a move to the UK in 2013, the USA in 2014 and most recently a launch in Africa in April this year.

The Conversation France has funding support from Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, Université Paris Sorbonne Cité, Paris Saclay, Université de Lorraine, l’Institut Universitaire de France and la Conférence des Présidents d’Université.

Commenting on the launch, TC-France Editors Fabrice Rousselot and Didier Pourquery said in a statement: “We are very excited to be part of The Conversation network and to launch TC France, as a unique opportunity for French academics to take part in a global debate about global issues.

“We will offer French audiences a different approach to day-to-day news — a new realm of topics, a fresh view on current debates and surprising insights.”

Jaspan said in a statement: “I first met Fabrice Rousselot in 2009 while working in Paris on a project at the Liberation newspaper. We kept in touch and I always hoped we might work together.

“It is a great joy that Fabrice, Leighton Walter Kille and Gabrielle Boeri-Charles and their colleagues have pulled together the launch of TC-France. It’s our second launch into Europe after the UK and our fifth launch globally. On behalf of the global TC family, I wish the TC-France team every success and professional pride in this great leap forward. Bon chance!”

Miranda Ward

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