The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Sept. 23, 2019

  • You Are Invited!

     
    FIJ is celebrating its 50th year of funding award-winning investigations with a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., this October 24. Join us as we celebrate a half-century of funding award-winning journalism and the journalists who have dedicated so much to make it.

    View the invitation here | Click here to help sponsor the event

     


     

    Announcements from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and work from FIJ grant recipients

    FIJ at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention

    August 14th, 2019

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) organized a panel at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Miami, Florida, on August 7 to talk about the nitty-gritty of grants for journalists.

    FIJ board member Lottie Joiner and Director of Operations Ana Arana answered questions from journalists about the best way to get story ideas funded.  Joiner encouraged journalists at the gathering to not be afraid to take the plunge and apply for grants to complete stories.  Also participating in the session were the Pulitzer Center’s senior editor Tom Hundley.

     

    Ana Arana, left, Lottie Joiner, center, and Tom Hundley

    The Power Brokers

    August 14th, 2019

    Juiced,” a report by the North Bay Bohemian, a Northern California news site, looks at how California power giant PG&E oiled political machinery after the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires that killed more than 100 people and caused vast destruction in residential communities. PG&E was found responsible for the most lethal fire and is implicated in others.

    It is part of an investigative series by the North Bay Bohemian called “The Power Brokers.”  It focuses on the nexus of power, money, media, and politics in Sonoma County. One previous story, “Graton Expectations,” revealed how lobbyist and local media magnate Darius Anderson defrauded an Indian tribe that was developing a casino business.

    Artwork by the North Bay Bohemian

    Poisons in Washington State’s Puget Sound

    July 22nd, 2019

    In 2017, the U.S. Navy scraped the hull of the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Independence directly into Puget Sound, dumping tons of toxic, copper-laden debris into Sinclair Inlet near Bremerton, Washington. Now environmental groups, the Suquamish Tribe and the state of Washington seek to hold the Navy responsible for what they say is an “egregious violation” of water quality laws that could harm wild salmon. Cascadia Magazine investigates.

    Photo: The USS Kitty Hawk, by Nia Martin 

    First Amendment and Open-Records Laws May Limit California’s New Privacy Law

    July 22nd, 2019

    A Los Angeles woman who alleges that her doctor raped her at home five years ago has tried in vain to get “people search” sites such as MyLife and Spokeo to stop posting her address, to no avail.

    The California Consumer Privacy Act, a statute approved last year and scheduled to become law in January 2020, could help victims like her. But even this groundbreaking legislation may not force the sites to delete personal data. The law’s impact is apparently limited by the First Amendment and open-records statutes, the San Francisco Public Press reports.

    Photo by Taskin Ashiq on Unsplash

    FIJ Awards Grants to 10 Investigative Journalists

    July 22nd, 2019

    The board of directors of the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $57,000 in 10 grants to investigative journalists in its most recent round of funding.

    The grants will help cover the costs of reporting work, such as travel, document fees, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

    The grant recipients are:

    Peter Byrne, a Northern California-based investigative journalist and science writer,
    Pamela Dempsey, executive director of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting,
    Bridget Hickey, a reporting fellow with the Columbia Journalism Investigations,
    John Kelly, editor of The Chronicle of Social Change,
    Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, a Michigan-based independent journalist,
    Keith McQuirter, executive producer of Decoder Media, a New York City production company,
    Vladimir Otasevic, a Montenegro-based investigative journalist,
    Amanda Robb, a New York-based investigative journalist,
    Mosi Secret, a New York-based investigative journalist,
    Dylan Smith, editor of TucsonSentinel.com

    The Impact of Fracking Boom in Ohio: Who’s Listening

    July 22nd, 2019

    Julie Grant, with The Allegheny Front, a Pittsburgh-based public media news outlet, examined how Ohio agencies are reacting when residents, landowners, and activists raise concerns about the oil and gas industry in their communities. Grant produced Who’s Listening, a 4-part public radio and online package for stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

    Story 1: Some Ohio Citizens Who Complained About Oil and Gas Feel “Abandoned” by the State

    Story 2: Ohio Law Favors Energy Development Over Private Property Rights

    Story 3: Citizens Stepped in to Protect Water When Ohio Lawmakers Did Not

    Story 4: Health Problems Abound Near Oil and Gas Wells in Ohio

    Patrick Hunkler and Jean Backs get drinking water for their house from spring water collected in this cistern. They are concerned that fracking could affect their water. Photo: Julie Grant

    A Postcard from FIJ Executive Director Sandy Bergo

    June 19th, 2019

    At the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference, Houston, June 14.

    Executive Director Sandy Bergo explained to a roomful of journalists the ins and outs of applying for a Fund for Investigative Journalism grant. In the tradition set forth by founder Philip Stern, who launched FIJ in 1969, Bergo described how the Fund awards up to $10,000 to reporters to pursue investigations on government corruption and wrongdoing. The session also honored FIJ’s 50th anniversary.
    It was co-led with Steve Sapienza of the Pulitzer Center. The session was opened to include introductions from two other grant-makers: Laird Townsend of FIRE and Jane Sasseen of The McGraw Business Journalism Fellowship.

    Steve Sapienza, left, and Sandy Bergo

    California won’t prosecute all violators of data-privacy law

    June 19th, 2019

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra says his office is ill-equipped to prosecute violations of the state’s landmark data-privacy law, which takes effect in January, the San Francisco Public Press reported. Only a handful of the most egregious cases will be prosecuted per year. Instead, he wants aggrieved consumers to take violators to court on their own. The story was the third part in a series on data privacy, “Your Data, Their Dollars,” online and in print editions of the Public Press this year.

    Stacey Schesser, supervising deputy attorney general on consumer protection, testifying at a state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in April in support of Senate Bill 561, which would give consumers the power to sue companies under the California Consumer Privacy Act. At left is committee chair Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Democrat from Santa Barbara, who sponsored the bill. Photo via California Senate

    FIJ Diversity Fellow featured at IRE Panel in Houston

    June 19th, 2019

    Angelika Albaladejo, a Fund for Investigative Journalism Diversity Fellow working with The Marshall Project, was featured in a panel at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Houston on June 13. The panel focused on how to report on people from marginalized communities.

    Albaladejo, who has a background in foreign policy, talked about her experience as a freelance journalist in Medellin, Colombia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she worked for two years focusing on social justice, crime, corruption, and security. She said she decided to go to Latin America to gather stories that “weren’t just about being a victim.”  She said she learned it was important to not expose her sources to harm, “that the story is not more important than their safety.”

    Albaladejo has been published by the Guardian, CNN, Splinter, the World Policy Journal and the British Medical Journal, among others.

    Albaladejo chats with a conference participant after her presentation. FIJ photo

    Tips to Get Grants and Fellowships with Sandy Bergo and Steve Sapienza

    May 23rd, 2019

    Come join us Friday, June 14, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for a brown bag lunch hosted by the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), in honor of its 50th Anniversary, at the 2019 IRE conference in Houston.

    FIJ will team up with the Pulitzer Center to give out tips for winning reporting grants. FIJ Executive Director Sandy Bergo and Pulitzer Center Senior Strategist Steve Sapienza will explain the nitty-gritty of applying for grants and fellowships from both organizations and will answer any questions. Grab carry-out from one of the vendors at the hotel, then join us for the one-hour session in Kingwood, located on Level 3. We will provide drinks and desserts.

    FIJ is a proud sponsor of the 2019 IRE conference     

    Sandy Bergo (top) Steve Sapienza (bottom)