The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday May 22, 2017 - 11:59 pm (Eastern)
  • How FIJ Helped to Uncover the My Lai Massacre

    Seymour HershClick here to hear veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh tell how – with financial support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism – he learned about the massacre of civilians in Vietnam, how he tracked down Lt. William Calley and, in so doing, changed the world’s perception of American intervention in Southeast Asia. It demonstrates how small grants from our fund have enabled talented journalists to produce big, important stories, changing the course of history.

    FIJ awards $120,000 in grants for investigative journalism

    April 19th, 2017


    APRIL 19, 2017
    FIJ awards $120,000 in grants
    for investigative journalism
    WASHINGTON – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $120,000 in grants to journalists working on projects across the United States and around the world. Grants from FIJ help freelancers and reporters working for nonprofit news organizations cover expenses such as document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and equipment rental fees.”The record number of grants, and dollars committed to journalists is buoyed by an increase in funds flowing from the public to FIJ,” said Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, FIJ’s board president. “By plowing these donations into the work of investigative reporters, we are recognizing the value the public has placed on independent journalism in speaking truth to power.”The grantees include:• Andrew Burton, a San Francisco based filmmaker and photographer
    Rebecca Clarren, reporter for InvestigateWest
    Erika Cohn, an investigative journalist and filmmaker
    Roy Gutman, a freelance correspondent covering the Middle East
    Beau Hodai, a freelance investigative reporter focused on national security
    May Jeong, a Kabul-based investigative reporter
    Sophia Jones, an Istanbul-based journalist with The Fuller Project
    Jeff Kelly Lowenstein, a journalism professor working with a team of journalists and students
    Maureen Nandini Mitra and Zoe Loftus-Farren of Earth Island Journal with Candice Bernd of Truthout
    Maeve McGoran, an audio journalist based in Miami
    Shawn Musgrave, a Boston-based investigative reporter
    Rina Palta, a correspondent for KPCC covering the social safety net
    Kate Pastor, a freelance journalist
    Daniel Ross, a Los Angeles-based investigative journalist
    Sabrina Shankman of InsideClimate News
    Fabiola Torres Lopez, who specializes in health care investigations for Peru-based OjoPúblico
    Curtis Waltman, a Boston-based reporter at MuckRock
    Rob Waters, a California-based journalistThe Fund for Investigative Journalism supports groundbreaking investigative stories that otherwise would not be told. Founded in 1969, FIJ makes grants to independent investigative journalists who have great tips, ideas, and sources, but need financial resources to do their work.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism |
    529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor | Washington, D.C. 20045 | Phone: 202.662.7564 | Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required | www.fij.org

     

    Mine closures in South Africa scar communities

    April 17th, 2017

    The mining industry built South Africa, but gold deposits are nearly depleted and coal markets are drying up. Documents uncovered by Mark Olalde reveal that major mining houses fail to properly close mines and instead sell their assets to smaller companies that lack funds for environmental rehabilitation.

    Olalde also delved into the environmental, social and economic implications of South Africa’s failed system of mine closures, as well as the questionable practices international mining companies employ to turn a profit. In communities like Amadiba, some are pushing back against projects financed by international mining ventures.

    (Photo by Mark Olalde: Former South African miners and the country as a whole struggle to cope with a minerals extraction industry that is ill-prepared for mine closure and life after mining.)

    [Reporting for this project was was sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    March 2017 Newsletter

    April 1st, 2017

    NEXT APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, May 22, 2017


    MARCH 2017
    The Park Foundation gives generously in support of investigative journalism

    The Park Foundation is extending its support of independent watchdog journalism. The foundation announced this month that it is awarding FIJ another $50,000.This is the seventh year the Park Foundation has given toward FIJ’s mission.

    “This is a vote of confidence in the Fund’s expanding role as an underwriter of vital, independent investigative reporting,” said Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, chair of FIJ’s Board of Directors. “The Park Foundation’s support fuels our ability to underwrite outstanding journalism.”

    The Park Foundation’s grants support media work such as investigative reporting, public broadcasting and documentary filmmaking. The foundation’s other philanthropic causes include the environment and animal welfare.

    Foundation’s Fundraising Challenge Continues

    The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation awarded FIJ $50,000 for the coming year – and pledged $25,000 more if FIJ can come up with $25,000 in new donations from other donors by Jan. 31. FIJ encourages supporters – including individual donors – to help secure the matching funds.


    HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
    Kurdish militia behind Arab expulsions in Syria

    Ibrahim Abo Omar, 61, a Syrian Arab, describes the eviction of his family from their home in Tel Abyad, Syria, last spring by the Kurdish YPG militia. “They just locked the door. Put the keys in their pocket.” (Photo for The Nation by Roy Gutman)


     

    Roy Gutman set out to investigate
    what appeared to be an ethnically motivated mass expulsion of Arabs in northern Syria from late 2014 through mid-2015 by a Kurdish militia allied with the United States, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

    While Gutman could not document any systematic “ethnic cleansing,” he found evidence that the militia, the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had organized widespread expulsions of Arabs, a war crime under international humanitarian law, and systematically violated the human rights of Kurds and Arabs in northern Syria. The expulsions were largely political, undertaken at the behest of the Assad regime, with which the YPG is closely allied.

    A six-month investigation for The Nation shows that the militia has evicted Arabs from their homes under threat of violence starting in 2013 and subsequently has blown up, torched, or bulldozed their homes and villages.

    In addition, Gutman found that the Syrian militia has used whatever means necessary to recruit fighters, even at gunpoint, as it kills political opponents and suppresses the news media.

    Central to Gutman’s reporting is the struggle for Kurdish independence, which has had a long and violent history across Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.

    Debris from a demolished home is loaded onto a truck. Detroit’s demolition protocol requires that dust be sprayed down, which is not occurring in this case. (Photo for The Nation by Eilís O’Neill)


     

    In cities like Detroit, demolishing old buildings might help rejuvenate blighted neighborhoods. But doing so has unintended consequences, according to a report by Eilís O’Neill for The Nation.

    The problem with destroying tens of thousands of old homes is that many are covered in lead paint, and demolition crews risk unleashing clouds of lead dust into the environment — near schools, bus stops and neighborhoods with young families — and threatening the health of children.

     

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Rebuilding from Nepal quake hampered by sluggish funding

    March 30th, 2017

    Lucinda Fleeson traveled to Nepal to probe delays in distributing housing grants to residents trying to rebuild after the disastrous 2015 earthquake. In her piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fleeson writes about that only a meager 3 percent of the $936 million promised to residents has been disbursed.

    NiemanReports recently featured her work with journalists in Nepal, who produced multimedia stories and interactive data graphics published on the website of the Center for Investigative Journalism-Nepal. The stories reached tens of thousands of readers and listeners. They were published in the three largest English-language newspapers and the leading English-language weekly. The BBC-Nepali radio service broadcast a series of related-stories throughout the country, where listenership counts more than 2.2 million.

    Photo: Kathmandu Post reporter Roshan Sedhai talks with members of the Tamang community in the hills outside of Kathmandu. (Photo courtesy of Lucinda Fleeson.)

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    Worldwide shortage of surgeons takes massive toll

    March 29th, 2017

    The shortage of surgeons leads to more than 17 million deaths worldwide every year. In his book, A Surgeon in the Village, recently published by Beacon Press,Tony Bartelme explores the problem by chronicling an American neurosurgeon’s quest to teach brain surgery in a poor and remote area of Tanzania. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Dilan Ellegala, visited Tanzania in 2006 and was surprised to learn that the country had only three brain surgeons for its entire population of 43 million people. Bartelme’s book documents the unintended consequences of the short-term medical mission model and new ways to reduce the global surgical gap.

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.]

    Unintended consequences as cities address blight: lead contamination

    March 3rd, 2017

    In cities like Detroit, demolishing old buildings might help rejuvenate blighted neighborhoods. But doing so has unintended consequences, according to a report by Eilís O’Neill for The Nation. The problem with destroying tens of thousands of old homes is that many are covered in lead paint, and demolition crews risk unleashing clouds of lead dust into the environment — near schools, bus stops, and neighborhoods with young families — and threatening the health of children.

    PHOTO: Debris from a demolished home is loaded onto a truck. Detroit’s demolition protocol requires that    dust be sprayed down, which is not occurring in this case.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Kurds push out Arabs and use intimidation to recruit fighters

    March 2nd, 2017

    Roy Gutman set out to investigate what appeared to be an ethnically motivated mass expulsion of Arabs in northern Syria from late 2014 through mid-2015 by a Kurdish militia allied with the United States, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). While Gutman could not document any systematic “ethnic cleansing,” he found evidence that the militia, the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), had organized widespread expulsions of Arabs, a war crime under international humanitarian law, and systematically violated the human rights of Kurds and Arabs northern Syria. The expulsions were largely political, undertaken at the behest of the Assad regime, with which the YPG is closely allied.

    A six-month investigation for the Nation shows that the militia has evicted Arabs from their homes under threat of violence starting in 2013 and subsequently has blown up, torched, or bulldozed their homes and villages.

    In addition, Gutman found that the Syrian militia has used whatever means necessary to recruit fighters, even at gunpoint, as it kills political opponents and suppresses the news media.

    Central to Gutman’s reporting is the long struggle for Kurdish independence, which has had a long and violent history across Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.

    PHOTO:Ibrahim Abo Omar, 61, a Syrian Arab, describes the eviction of his family from their home in Tel Abyad, Syria, last spring by the Kurdish YPG militia. “They just locked the door. Put the keys in their pocket. They said ‘if you come back, we will slaughter you.’” He and his family — wife Jamila al Hussein Yusuf, 51 and son Ali, 12, are sitting just to the right of him — now live in Akcakale, a Turkish city just across the border from Tel Abyad. (Photo for The Nation by Roy Gutman)

    [Reporting sponsored by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.]

    Grantee leads Nepalese journalists in reporting of quake aftermath

    February 27th, 2017

    FIJ grant recipient Lucinda Fleeson has been in Nepal to help a team of journalists report on the aftermath of the massive 2015 earthquake that toppled centuries-old buildings. The temblor killed some 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The team has been analyzing data and tracking the progress of rebuilding.

    NiemanReports recently featured the project on its website.

    Inside the big-money world of seafood

    February 15th, 2017

    In her book, “The Fish Market,” Lee van der Voo tells the story of the people, such as small boat fishermen, and the communities left behind in this era of ocean privatization – a trend that now controls more than half of America’s seafood. Following seafood money from U.S. docks to Wall Street, she explains the methods investors, equity firms and the seafood industry have used to profit from the sustainable seafood movement. She also goes behind the scenes of the so-called “slow fish” movement that advocates both for quality food for consumers and a decent living for fisherman.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and The Park Foundation.]

    Race plays role in court cases in Oregon

    February 15th, 2017

    For its Unequal Justice project, InvestigateWest collaborated with the Pamplin Media Group, Portland State University’s Mark G. Harmon and independent journalist Kate Willson in analyzing a decade’s worth of court records by race. The team sifted through 5.5 million court records and reported out the unique experiences of African Americans in the Portland urban area and that of Latinos in the state’s rural expanses. The reporting discovered that blacks and Latinos were charged more frequently for such violations as jaywalking, spitting in public, traffic infractions and drug-related offenses.

    [Photo: March for Justice and Equality on Jan 28, 2017. Photo by Jaime Valdez.]

    [Reporting sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]