The non-profit Rudolf Augstein Foundation defines itself as part of civil society. It identifies with Rudolf Augstein, the founder of the German news magazine DER SPIEGEL, and his devotion to quality journalism, his support of the arts, and his dedication to underprivileged children and youths. Rudolf Augstein, above all, stands for freedom of the press and critical journalism. His slogan “Tell it as it is“ should be an inspiration and guide to future generations. In order to attain this goal, the foundation has an extra line of funding for journalists. The foundation began its funding activities in 2005. Since then it has awarded more than 800 grants with a total value of more than ten million euros.
In the journalistic field the foundation provides financial support to projects that strengthen investigative journalism and that contribute to the networking of journalists and to diversity in editorial offices, as well as to those that explore new ways of communicating content. It also provides support for the trialling of new business models.
Recently, the foundation has published the book “Reclaim Autonomy – Self-Empowerment in the Digital World Order”. In this anthology well-known thinkers of the networked society answer pressing questions such as: How can digital capitalism be tamed and how can we (re)conquer autonomy in a digitized world? Among the authors are economist Shoshana Zuboff, internet sceptic Evgeny Morozov, sociologist Saskia Sassen, the speakers of the Chaos Computer Club Constanze Kurz and Frank Rieger as well as Yvonne Hofstetter, expert on so-called artificial intelligence.
The publication follows the symposium of the same name organised by the Rudolf Augstein Foundation in memory of the publicist Frank Schirrmacher. It focused on the power of digital corporations as well as the potential of distributed ledger technologies and the future of democracy in the digital age. All videos of the symposium can be found here.
The journalist Wolfgang M. Schmitt said: “SPD and CDU-/CSU-politicians should urgently read 're:claim autonomy' in between the coalition negotiations instead of fighting sham fights on Twitter”.