The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday Sept. 26, 2016 - 5pm Eastern Time
  • 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.

    Diversity Initiative Supports Social Justice Reporting

    Through a collaboration underwritten by a Ford Foundation grant, The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University have joined forces to broaden opportunities for independent investigative reporting by women and journalists of color. Four independent, U.S.-based reporters with strong proposals to investigate significant systemic or social justice issues will receive competitively awarded grants up to $9,000 to pay for costs such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends.

    Georgia News Lab Exposes Unethical Practices

    June 24th, 2016

    GAunnamedThroughout the year, the Georgia News Lab has been responsible for stories that expose unethical practices in Georgia government. The Georgia News Lab is an innovative model for training diverse journalists from historically black universities. It combines classroom training with the real-world practice of journalism side-by-side with professionals at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) and WSB-TV. The results are impressive: student reporting teams, coupled with AJC reporters, produced investigations that broke news. In one story they reported on a state lawmaker who had not disclosed state payments to his private business. Another uncovered special interest campaign contributions to a candidate who had pledged not to accept such donations. The team also documented the wide-spread disregard by Atlanta judges in complying with financial disclosure requirements.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Gannett Foundation.]

    Photo courtesy of the Georgia News Lab

    “Writing That Makes a Difference”

    June 24th, 2016

    project_thrift_12 (1)Francesca Lyman’s investigation of a for-profit thrift store chain which does more than $1.2 billion in business a year, while masquerading as a charity, has won an Arlene Award for Writing that Makes a Difference. The award comes from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), which honors outstanding nonfiction work produced on a freelance basis each year.

    The story was reported for InvestigateWest with support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

    ASJA is the professional association of independent nonfiction writers, founded in 1948, with more than 1200 members who have each met exacting standards of professional achievement.

    The Little Known Subsidy for Illinois Unions

    June 24th, 2016

    INN_logoScott Reeder of Illinois News Network reports that taxpayers in Illinois are increasingly footing the bill for public sector union officials. It’s a policy called “release time” for public employees, who are paid up to $141,000, and is written into contracts to ensure labor peace. At least forty Illinois counties follow this practice.

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

    Dying Without Insurance

    June 24th, 2016

    From Mark Betancourt for The Nation, the story of the pain and suffering endured by terminally ill people who have no insurance. For the undocumented, no federal programs are available. Even those with legal resident status wait long hours in emergency rooms for pain medication; hospice care would provide relief, but it’s unaffordable without insurance.

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

    Watching the Watchmen

    June 13th, 2016

    CityLimitsSecurityGuardFrom City Limits, an investigation finds that weak laws and oversight, poor training and limited accountability affect much of the private-security industry in New York State. While pay has improved in recent years, many security workers still deal with low wages and training scams. Private security guards are everywhere in New York City, from construction sites to department stores, banks and homeless shelters, and yet New York’s laws and regulatory agencies have failed to keep up with the explosion in demand since September 11. The public has limited recourse when guards do something wrong.

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

    Photo credit: Adi Talwar

    Copa América Begins Amid Ashes of Scandal

    June 3rd, 2016

    From Steve Brenner for The Guardian, the story of the wide-ranging corruption scandal that almost scuttled the first Copa America football (soccer) tournament to be hosted outside of South America.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    Life Without Parole

    May 27th, 2016

    Dinah Robinson with Photo of Her son, Aaron JohnsonFrom David Krajicek for The Crime Report, an investigation of long sentences that test the question: how much punishment is enough? Focusing on Aaron Johnson of Alabama, convicted after a fourth trial for a 1994 murder, Krajicek writes: “His story is an example of the enduring after-effects of the politicization of American justice through legislated sentencing mandates. A generation ago, experts say, Johnson likely would have served fewer than 20 years for a comparable crime. Even today, he would be parole-eligible in many states.

    “Instead, he is caught in the country’s lifer bubble, roughly 175,000 strong and growing—a neglected remainder of the lock-‘em-up frenzy of the 1980s and 1990s. The number of lifers today is comparable to the entire U.S. prison population in 1968. The racial imbalance is striking: Half of all lifers are black, four times the percentage of African-Americans in the U.S. population.

    “Yet so far lifers have been excluded from reform discussions, even though the country’s long-term prisoners are the core constituency of the methodical mass incarceration that is widely viewed as racist and ineffectual.”

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

    Photo of Dinah Robinson, Johnson’s mother, by David J. Krajicek

    Armenian Journalist Weighs Differences Between Press Freedoms and Threats

    May 27th, 2016

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    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is sending six training fellows to conferences and symposiums across the globe. Marianna Grigoryan, the editor-in-chief and an investigative reporter for MediaLab.am in Yereven, Armenia, recently attended the Logan Symposium in Berlin, which was organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ).

     

    Thoughts About Today and Tomorrow From the Logan CIJ Symposium

    By Marianna Grigoryan

    I had the honor of attending the Logan Symposium in Berlin, thanks to the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The symposium covered secrecy, surveillance censorship — and the defense of freedom, democracy and a free press.

    Attendees heard from numerous speakers, including Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

    “You have to actually risk something if you want things to get better,” Snowden told us during a live video feed.

    I traveled from sunny Yerevan to cold Berlin. Accompanied by gloomy March clouds, I hurried to the Berlin Congress Сenter every day. I compared lives in the two cities, taking notice of people’s moods. I thought about my city, where the rich and the poor are polarized. And I asked myself if reporters truly have the power to change things and influence lives.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Can Colombia’s Displaced Go Home Again?

    May 24th, 2016

    ColombiaFrom Camila Osorio for The New Republic. Is it a new day in Colombia for the millions of peasants who were forcibly displaced from their land by paramilitaries or guerrilla groups during the past several decades? A land restitution law and peace process are in place, but for many, who have been threatened, and know of activists who were murdered, the choice is not clear. “The expectations are high, but so is the fear,” writes Osorio.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Camila Osorio

    Blood Rubies: A Troubling Pattern of Violence

    May 11th, 2016

    Rubi scenes DSC_0114 (4)From Estacio Valoi, for Foreign Policy and 100Reporters, the story of violence, including shootings and deaths of small scale miners who dig for rubies on a foreign concession in Montepuez, Mozambique.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Estacio Valoi