The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    To Be Announced
  • 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.

    Mozambican Elephant Slaughter

    September 30th, 2014

    Elephant killedFrom Estacios Valoi for Oxpeckers, findings of official complicity in the slaughter of elephants – which has become “industrial” in scale in northern Mozambique.

    “The killing of elephants in the north of Mozambique is reaching proportions never seen before,” an advisor to the World Conservation Society told Valoi. Their ivory tusks are then smuggled across borders, mainly to China and Vietnam.

    Despite tougher laws, Valoi’s investigation found that officials facilitate the illegal trade. “Some sell weapons and ammunition, military uniforms and boots, and others facilitate the release of detainees and the disappearance of evidence,” reports Valoi.

    Valoi is a member of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters.

    Photo credit: Estacios Valoi

    [Reporting supported by The Green Park Foundation and The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

     

    “Fighting Goliath” in the Pacific Northwest

    September 22nd, 2014

    Mildred LakeFor “Making Contact” and KBOO-FM – Portland, Barbara Bernstein has produced the radio documentary “Fighting Goliath,” exploring the environmental protest in the Pacific Northwest over proposed industrial trucking corridors for heavy mining equipment. The equipment “mega-loads” were headed to Canada and the sites of the controversial Tar Sands mines, one step in the process of exploiting Canadian oil resources for American gas tanks, if the Keystone Pipeline is authorized. If the US pipeline is not approved, the tar sands oil will go through Canadian pipelines to the Pacific coast.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

    Cameroon Waters Soiled by Palm Oil Farming

    September 22nd, 2014

    TombstoneFor Info-Afrique.com, reporter Christian Locka reports that a contractor working for the leading palm oil corporation in Cameroon dumped human excrement in the Mboma river, polluting water used for drinking and cooking water. The company, formerly owned by the state, is now owned by a French businessman.

    Land has been taken to make way for the palm oil farms, and graveyards, schools, churches – entire villages have been destroyed.

    The government, which receives money from the corporation, remains silent in the face of the abuses.

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

    photo credit: Christian Locka

    Money Flows, Clean Water Does Not

    September 19th, 2014

    ChadFrom Chad Bouchard for 100Reporters, the tragic story of millions of dollars from the U. S. State Department squandered on misguided attempts to bring clean drinking water to rural residents of Iraq. The project in the Sinjar district, in northwestern Iraq, was undermined in part by a history of government corruption in the region, corruption that has fueled anger and aided Islamic State recruitment. Since Bouchard’s visit there, the Islamic State attacked Sinjar and now controls the area.

    The Iraqis accuse Americans in charge of reconstruction projects with refusing to listen to local geologists familiar with water and soil conditions, preferring to do things their own way.

    The projects, marked by cracked pipelines, stolen parts, and shoddy materials, have been largely abandoned. Residents have to pay out of their own pockets to provide basic water services their government and American dollars have not provided.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Sami Hilali 

     

     

     

    A Pesticide Too Dangerous for Homes, Still Used on Farms

    September 8th, 2014

    Lovett-pesticide notice-orangesLi Miao Lovett reports for the National Radio Project that a chemical considered too dangerous for household use is still being sprayed to kill insects on croplands, exposing farmworkers and their families to its hazards.

    An excerpt from the report:

    In 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – EPA – moved to protect children by banning in-home use, but the pesticide [chlorpyrifos] remains widely used in agriculture.

    So you won’t find this chemical now in your can of bug spray but farmworkers and their children continue to be exposed to chlorpyrifos.

    Photo credit: Li Miao Lovett.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Shining a Light on Boston Public Housing

    September 8th, 2014

    buld_1buld_1HUD jpgFrom Spare Change, the nation’s oldest street newspaper, published in Boston and sold by homeless and low-income vendors: an investigation of public housing conditions by Shawn Musgrave. In his initial report, Musgrave details the frustrations in getting public records from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although some housing advocates in Boston say housing conditions have improved in recent years, Musgrave’s attempts to check that out have been stymied, so far, by HUD’s failure to provide timely information. But Musgrave is not done investigating.

    Photo credit: Zhengzeng Wang for Spare Change News

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

    Lost in the Woods

    September 5th, 2014

    locg deckwith Dick FFor High Country News, Claudine LoMonaco reports on a bungled attempt to restore Arizona forest land. The project, she reports, is “in danger of unraveling. And the blame for the delays, uncertainty and outright failures seems to lie squarely with the [U. S.] Forest Service.”

    Photo credit: 4FRI/USDA Forest Service.

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

     

    Boys Home Investigated

    August 27th, 2014

    AcademyFrom Missouri, the legacy of a residential treatment facility for boys and young men, and stories of an abusive regime of “tough love.” Maurice Chammah, reporting for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, talks to the teens who lived there about the memories that haunt them. He also talks with the staff who tried to maintain control.

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

    Photo credit: Maurice Chammah.

     

     

    When Wall Street Invests in Plantations

    August 27th, 2014

    BadgleyFrom Cameroon, Christiane Badgley reports for Foreign Policy on the bulldozing of forest land for plantations of trees which produce an oil used as biofuel, and for household purposes such as cooking.  “The world is upside down,” the founder of a Cameroon NGO told Badgley, because the country has to import $600 million worth of food each year, while striking deals favorable to international agricultural ventures. The investors are allowed to buy land cheaply, receive tax breaks, and despite publicly proclaimed goals of lifting local people out of poverty, the projects raise many unsettling questions. Will the development be environmentally sustainable, and will it turn self-sufficient farmers into low-wage plantation workers?

    [Reporting sponsored by The Green Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Christiane Badgley

     

     

     

     

    FIJ Awards Grants to Investigative Reporters

    August 11th, 2014

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded nearly $80,000 in grants to support journalists working on 18 projects in the United States and abroad. The journalists are investigating negligence, corruption, and abuse of power in fields such as mental health, government contracting, and criminal justice.

    Since 1969, FIJ has supported independent investigative reporters with grants that cover the cost of reporting, such as travel, document fees, equipment rental; smalls stipend are also considered as part of the overall grant. A typical grant is $5,000.

    The following reporters received FIJ awards:

    Mark Betancourt, DC-based multimedia journalist

    Mariah Blake, Mother Jones

    Adriana Cardona-Maguigad and Rafael Franco Steeves, fellows with the Social Justice News Nexus at Northwestern University

    Beth Cortez-Neavel, Austin-based multimedia and data journalist

    Allyn Gaestel, international freelance journalist

    Wanjohi Kabukuru, Kenya-based journalist

    Jeff Kelly-Lowenstein, journalist and Columbia College of Chicago journalism professor

    Jeremy Knop, Montana Center for Investigative Reporting

    Christian Locka, multi-media investigative reporter

    Claudine LoMonaco, Berlin-based freelance reporter and radio producer

    Daniel McGraw, Cleveland-based investigative reporter and author

    Caitlin McNally, documentary filmmaker

    Christopher Richard, LA-based investigative reporter

    Mark Richardson, investigative reporter specializing in government and politics

    Joseph Sorrentino, Albuquerque-based photographer and journalist, focused on the US-Mexico border region

    Loren Stein, DC-based investigative journalist

    Estacio Valoi, Mozambican investigative journalist

    WAMU-Radio investigative staff

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is supported by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, The Park Foundation, The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, The Green Park Foundation, The Gannett Foundation, The Nara Fund, and individual donors, many of them referred by the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington.

    Pro bono legal services are provided by Dykema Gossett PLLC, a national commercial law firm with a broad portfolio of community service and pro bono clients.

    Pro bono business advisory services are provided by Leigh Riddick, Associate Professor of Finance at The American University’s Kogod School of Business.

    UPCOMING DEADLINE: FIJ is currently accepting applications for its next round of grant-making. The deadline is Monday, September 8, at 5pm Eastern time.