The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Sept. 23, 2019

  • 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.


     

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

    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)         

    May 8th, 2019

    Join us at The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s

    50th Anniversary Dinner

    featuring

    a Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh

    Thursday, October 24, 2019

    National Press Club

    529 14th Street, NW

    Washington, DC

    We hope you will save the date to join us as we celebrate investigative journalism’s achievements over the last fifty years.

    Formal invitation with ticket details to follow.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism was founded in 1969 by the late Philip M. Stern, a public-spirited philanthropist who devoted his life “to balancing the scales of justice,” in the words of a friend. Stern was convinced small amounts of money invested in the work of determined journalists would yield enormous results in the fight against racism, poverty, corporate greed, and governmental corruption. Stern’s theory proved true in the Fund’s first year, when a modest-sized grant enabled reporter Seymour Hersh to begin investigating a tip concerning a U.S. Army massacre at the Vietnamese village of My Lai.

    And it’s still true today. A grant from the Fund helped author Eliza Griswold win a Pulitzer Prize this year for her book “Amity and Prosperity,” an investigation of the fracking industry.

    For further information, contact event planner Ivory Zorich, ivory@ivoryzorich.com.

     

     

    A Postcard from FIJ Executive Director Sandy Bergo

    May 7th, 2019

    (On a break from the Reva & David Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting at the campus of the University of California – Berkeley.)

    At the conference we heard Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists describe “how the sausage is made,” that is, how reporters come up with ideas, get interviews with reluctant sources, report in war zones, verify facts, and work with editors.

    Hany Farid, a newly hired UC Berkeley computer science professor, showed us how easy it has become to manipulate audio and video so that, in his demonstration, Jordan Peele’s words were coming from Barack Obama’s mouth. He said the technology has a benign purpose, to help movie producers avoid using subtitles on foreign language films, but could be misused by public officials to deny that a video had accurately captured their words.

    From left to right FIJ treasurer Mark Greenblatt and FIJ diversity fellow Maria Martin. To my left is Angelika Albaladejo.  Martin is an FIJ fellow working with Reveal this year; FIJ fellow Albaladejo is working with the Marshall Project for the year.

    Guards and Medics Prey on Women Prisoners at LA County Jail

    May 7th, 2019

    At the Los Angeles County Century regional detention facility for women, former and current inmates say prison deputies submit prisoners to a range of sexual abuse acts—from overt assault to more subtle misconduct.   A recent federal audit found the jail, located in Lynwood, a small city adjacent to Compton and Watts, to be in violation of federal sexual safety laws, and found evidence of “serious and troubling allegations of sexual abuse and sexual harassment.”

    But in her story in The Guardian, The California Jail where Women Say Guards and Medics Preyed on them, which was also published by WitnessLA,  Lauren Lee White, describes an even more toxic abusive culture where guards and other officials promote subtler encounters and behavior: Prisoners who flirt get extra food, and others who engage in exhibitionism get more time outside their cells.  This behavior is harder to track than overt sexual assaults.

    Michele Infante says she was raped at Century regional detention facility in 2011. Photograph: Tobin Yelland

    Learn Tips on How to Apply for Grants and Fellowships

    April 30th, 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 and all 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.

    Pulitzer Prize for book on fracking in Appalachia

    April 15th, 2019

    Congratulations to Eliza Griswold, who has won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for her book Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America. She received an FIJ grant to help her reporting on the health, economic and political costs that follow in the footsteps of the American fracking boom.

    The Pulitzer committee called the book “A classic American story, grippingly told, of an Appalachian family struggling to retain its middle class status in the shadow of destruction wreaked by corporate oil fracking.”

    Head Count: How many people died during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico?

    April 10th, 2019

    Radio Ambulante episode “Head Count” goes behind the scenes in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island on September 20, 2017. Ambulante’s reporters went to court to get the Puerto Rico government to release the mortality data.  The program brings to light how hundreds of victims, mostly elderly, died, not during the hurricane, but in the six months after the storm.

    The radio program was underwritten by the Ford Foundation, which sponsored the FIJ/Schuster Institute diversity fellowships.