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TRUSTEE - Finance specialist


Media Defence is a charity that helps journalists, citizen journalists and independent media defend their rights. Media Defence has its base in London but works globally. We do this in three interconnected ways:

  • we provide grants to help cover legal fees and technical legal support;
  • we take strategic cases to improve the regulatory environment in which the media operates; and
  • we build local legal capacity through training of lawyers and grant making and practical support to organisations providing legal support to media in their

We are unique in what we do: we are the only organisation in the world solely focused on providing this critical help to journalists and have established ourselves as a leader in the legal defence of journalists and independent media worldwide.

A small, specialist organisation, Media Defence is run by 16 full time staff and supported by the Board of Trustees that currently comprises eight members, but we punch above our weight. To date, we have supported 900+ cases, helping hundreds of journalists in over 110 countries. Our work has contributed to prevent nearly 300 years of detention for media workers and avoided over $650m in damages. We have supported 33 partners and have trained 100+ lawyers to defend media in their country or region.

Role description

The Board of Trustees is jointly and severally responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of Media Defence, and for its financial health. It is the responsibility of the trustees to further the organisation whilst keeping within its charitable objectives.

To supplement the range of skills and knowledge already present amongst its Board, Media Defence is recruiting a finance specialist with a good knowledge of charity finance. We are looking for someone with appropriate experience to provide oversight and guidance on financial matters and strategy in line with good practice and in accordance with our governing document and legal requirements. The finance specialist would work with and provide strategic advice to Media Defence's Chair and senior management.

The position of Trustee is unpaid. However, Media Defence will reimburse reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the duties of Trustees, which will include attendance of three virtual and one in-person Board meeting in London (funding permitting) per year.

Duties of Trustees

The duties of a trustee are as follows.

  • Ensuring that Media Defence pursues its stated objects (purposes), as defined in its governing document, by developing and agreeing a long-term strategy;
  • Ensuring that Media Defence complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations;
  • Ensuring that Media Defence applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its charitable objects;
  • Ensuring that Media Defence defines its goals and evaluates performance against agreed targets;
  • Safeguarding the good name and values of Media Defence;
  • Ensuring the effective and efficient administration of the organisation, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place;
  • Ensuring the financial stability of the organisation;
  • Protecting and managing the property of the organisation and ensuring the proper investment of the charity's funds;
  • Following proper and formal arrangements for the appointment, supervision, support, appraisal and remuneration of the CEO; and
  • Attend meetings of the Board of Trustees four times per year (one meeting in person in London and three virtual meetings).

In addition to the above statutory duties, each trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions. This may involve:

  • Scrutinising board papers;
  • Leading discussions;
  • Focusing on key issues;
  • Providing advice and guidance on new initiatives; or
  • Other issues in which the trustee has special

Person specification

  • Experience with accounting (including the Statement of Recommended Practice on Accounting and Reporting for charities), finance and strategy;
  • A commitment to the Media Defence's aims and objectives;
  • A willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to effectively support the organisation (including attendance board meetings four times and four finance committee meetings per year);
  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship;
  • A commitment to Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership;
  • Good, independent judgement;
  • An ability to think creatively; and
  • A willingness to speak their

Media Defence's trustees believe Board diversity is an imperative. The Board pledges to take the necessary measures to achieve this and to support diverse participation. Currently the trustees are seeking to improve the representation of Trustees and therefore encourage applications from persons with or from South or Southeast Asian heritage/origin/nationality which are underrepresented on the Board. Please be assured that we do not discriminate, ensuring that each candidate is assessed only in accordance with the ability to perform the role.

If you are interested in undertaking this role, please email your CV and a covering letter (max one page, exploring your background and interest in the role) to by 31 May 2022.