The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday September 21, 2015 - 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.

    Grants Awarded

    May 8th, 2015

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $71,300 in grants to journalists working on 15 projects in the United States and around the world. With FIJ grants, journalists investigate abuse of power in the public and private sectors. The financial support helps freelancers and reporters working for nonprofit news organizations cover the necessary costs of document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and rental fees for equipment used for multi-media story-telling. FIJ also pays small stipends. A typical grant is $5,000.

    The following reporters and non-profit news organizations received grants:

    Ana Arana, Mexico City-based reporter

    Ken Armstrong, Seattle-based author

    Amy Bracken, Boston-based freelance reporter and radio producer

    Olga Ceaglei, investigative reporter from the Republic of Moldova

    Steve Fisher and Anabel Hernández, fellows, the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley

    The Investigative Reporter Project of

    Kay Mastenbroek, Myanmar based journalist and film maker

    Jarrett Murphy, executive editor and publisher, City Limits

    Mark Olalde, Chicago-based investigative reporter

    Camila Osorio, Colombian investigative reporter based in New York.

    Christopher Pala, free-lance journalist based in Washington, D.C., with special interest in Pacific issues

    Miranda Spivack, Washington-based reporter specializing in accountability stories

    Kolawole Talabi is an independent storyteller based in Ibadan, Nigeria

    Lee van der Voo, author

    Nancy West, New Hampshire based investigative reporter

    The Fund’s program of grant-making for domestic stories is supported by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Park Foundation, and The Gannett Foundation. Domestic and foreign projects are supported by The Reva and David Logan Foundation, The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation and The Green Park Foundation. General support has been granted by The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Nara Fund, The Herb Block Foundation, 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.

    Grant Application Deadline Approaching

    May 7th, 2015

    (Washington) Reminder: the deadline to submit proposals for grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism is approaching. The upcoming deadline is Monday, May 11, at 5pm Eastern time. The Fund’s Board of Directors looks for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power in the public or private sectors.

    A typical grant is $5,000 and covers out-of-pocket expenses. Small stipends are considered as part of the grant.

    Detailed instructions are here:

    The next deadlines are set for September 21, 2015 and February 1, 2016 – both at 5pm Eastern Time.

    Executive Director Sandy Bergo welcomes questions about the application process and requirements by email, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or phone, 202-662-7564.



    Addicted in Puerto Rico, Homeless in Chicago

    April 16th, 2015

    SONY DSCFrom Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, a fellow at the Social Justice News Nexus, at Northwestern University, reporting for This American Life and WBEZ-Chicago: the government of Puerto Rico buys one-way tickets to send drug addicts to Chicago, with promises of drug treatment and housing. But the addicts get no treatment and no housing. If they want to go back home, they’re on their own.

    [Major funding for this report was provided by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation and The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, with additional funding from The Gannett Foundation and the Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Adriana Cardona-Maguigad

    “Dirty Little Souvenirs”

    April 16th, 2015

    Off-Rio-Bravo2From Kent Paterson for Frontera NorteSur, part one of an investigation of the legacy of a demolished 100-year old plant in El Paso Texas. The Asarco smelter is gone but the metal contamination in surrounding neighborhoods lives on. In part two and part three, Paterson investigates the impact on workers’ health.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Bob Chessey

    Fund for Investigative Journalism – Logan Fellows Announced

    April 16th, 2015

    (Washington) Four journalists whose work has been supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) are headed next week to the 2015 Logan Symposium, hosted by the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program.

    Over the course of three days, invited journalists, academics, government officials, and philanthropists will hear presentations by new players in the field of investigative journalism – such as The Marshall Project, Gawker Media, BuzzFeed, and First Look Media – learn about innovative storytelling techniques, and discuss the state of nonprofit investigative reporting.

    A generous grant from the Reva and David Logan Foundation allowed the Fund for Investigative Journalism – Logan fellows to attend the 2015 Symposium.

    The Reva and David Logan Foundation, one of FIJ’s major supporters, also endowed a chair in investigative journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, now held by Lowell Bergman.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism – Logan fellows are:

    *Zahra Burton, founder of Global Reporters for the Caribbean, which reported on police shootings in the Dominican Republic with grant support from FIJ.

    *Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern, co-authors of Eternal Harvest, a book documenting the enduring hazards of bombs dropped over Laos by the American military during the Vietnam War. Those bombs are still exploding today, and have killed or injured more than 20,000 Laotian people since the end of the war. Coates and Redfern were supported by an FIJ grant.

    *Camila Osorio, a New York University graduate student whose FIJ-sponsored investigation will appear in both New York and Colombian news outlets.

    Chinese Factory Workers: Poisoned and Unprotected

    April 9th, 2015

    chinahealthcare-932x621From Michael Blanding and Heather White for Wired, the story of workers at many electronics factories in China: exposed to toxic industrial chemicals, then abused by the workers’ compensation system. Responsibility is buried along many tiers of sub-contractors. Heather White’s video dramatizes the human cost.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Green Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Sim Chi Yin

    Park Foundation Supports Investigative Journalism Grants

    April 8th, 2015

    (Washington) The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is pleased to announce that The Park Foundation has awarded $50,000 in support of FIJ’s grant-making program for independent investigative reporters. This marks the fifth year the Foundation has supported investigative projects screened and selected by FIJ’s board of directors.

    During the past year, with Park Foundation backing, reporters have exposed how rare it is for the federal government to prosecute corporate environmental crime, the pay-to-play culture connecting political money and government contractors in the District of Columbia, and the hazards of transporting explosive crude oil across America by train – along the country’s aging railroad tracks and trestles.

    The Park Foundation support helps underwrite FIJ’s program of grants for independent reporters who have the ideas, sources, and know-how to produce groundbreaking investigative journalism, but need help with travel and other expenses.

    Headquartered in Ithaca New York, The Park Foundation’s media program supports investigative journalism, public broadcasting programs, and documentaries. The Foundation also supports higher education, environmental causes, animal welfare, community needs and sustainability initiatives in and around Ithaca.

    Juvenile or Adult Court? In Louisiana, It Varies

    April 2nd, 2015

    JoshFrom Caitlin McNally for the New Orleans Advocate: In Louisiana, the decision to try a juvenile as an adult depends on the Parish where the crime took place, and the prosecutor in charge. At stake: adult sentences are longer; prison time is served with adult criminals. McNally reports on the fate of one teen charged with armed robbery. View the video and story here. The Advocate’s investigation finds that young offenders in New Orleans are much more likely to face adult court, and adult time. Read more.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Gannett Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Caitlin McNally

    The Herb Block Foundation Supports Investigative Reporting

    April 1st, 2015

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is pleased to announce The Herb Block Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant in support of FIJ’s grant-making program for independent investigative reporters.

    The award was made as part of The Herb Block Foundation’s “Defending Basic Freedoms” program, which supports projects that work to safeguard freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, that fight against prejudice and discrimination, and that hold the government accountable to the public.

    The Foundation was established with funds bequeathed by The Washington Post editorial cartoonist Herb Block, whose life’s work was devoted to exposing abuses of power. The cartoonist won three Pulitzer Prizes and shared in a fourth.

    This marks the second year that The Herb Block Foundation has granted general support for FIJ’s grants for investigative reporters.

    Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Supports Investigative Reporting

    March 17th, 2015

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism is proud to announce that the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation has renewed its support of the Fund’s grant-making program. The $100,000 donation from the Foundation will underwrite grants to independent reporters who have leads, ideas, and expertise, but need help paying the expenses of reporting.

    The Oklahoma City-based foundation has been a proud supporter of the Fund for many years, and more recently has aided the growth of many investigative reporting centers formed to serve urban and regional “news deserts” where metropolitan newspapers and broadcast stations once had robust, prize-winning investigative reporting teams.

    The financial assistance from the Fund – along with mentors recruited through partnerships with Investigative Reporters and Editors and with the Society of Environmental Journalists – helps independent investigative journalism thrive in an era of shrinking staffs and diminished newsroom resources.

    The Fund is grateful to the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for its continued support of a grant-making program for freelancers, who bring local investigative news to communities throughout the United States.