The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Feb. 4, 2019 (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.


     

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

    Story highlights “crusade” against domestic violence in the black community

    October 25th, 2018

    Five black women were killed in Mobile, Alabama, in 2016, six in 2017 and five by April this year. That is 16 women dead, mostly at the hands of black men, over three years in this small Southern city.

    In a story for NBC News—and her latest piece on domestic violence in the black community—FIJ and Schuster Institute Fellow Chandra Thomas Whitfield tells of police sergeant John C. Young, who, in April, asked the Mobile City Council to address the issue of black women being killed by intimate partner violence.

    Young received a tepid response.

    A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study notes that black women are 35 percent more likely to be victims of domestic violence than white women. In the story, L.A. author Sa’iyda Shabazz says silence about the issue for many in the black community stems from worries of contributing to the racist stereotype that black men are more violent than men of other races.

    Meanwhile, Young says he will continue his one-man crusade despite the city council’s lack of response.

    John C. Young protests in front of the Mobile Government Plaza. Photo by Tim Jones

    [Funding provided by The Ford Foundation]

    Racism, the mob and the FBI converge in a Chicago dump for new podcast

    October 25th, 2018

    The Citya new investigative podcast from USA TODAY, tells the story of an undercover FBI investigation that failed to bring justice to a black Chicago neighborhood that had been the victim of illegal dumping perpetrated by the mob. 

    The City was created by investigative reporter Robin Amer, who received bridge funding for the show from FIJ. 

    The story begins in Chicago in 1990. Highways are rebuilt, old buildings demolished, new parks and skyscrapers erected. But all that rubble has to go somewhere: a pair of vacant lots in a black, working-class neighborhood called North Lawndale.

    At the helm of this operation is a guy sporting a Cosby sweater, manicured nails, and underworld connections: John Christopher. For more than a decade, what Christopher does on this lot is a tour through the underbelly of Chicago: aldermen get indicted; an FBI investigation goes awry; a neighborhood gets polluted with impunity. And a community’s resilience is tested—all under the specter of racism in America.

    A City of Chicago car drives past the illegal dump site at the center of the investigation. Photo by Brian Jackson

    [Funding for this project provided by The Park Foundation]

    FIJ funded earlier story about owner of N.Y. limousine company behind crash

    October 16th, 2018

    In 2011, FIJ helped fund investigative reporter Trevor Aaronson’s research into the FBI’s program of recruiting informants to break terrorist plots within the U.S. That reporting became the Mother Jones magazine story “The Informants,” which Aaronson wrote while a fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkeley. Part of that Mother Jones story followed the FBI’s involvement with counterterrorism informant Shahed Hussain – the owner of the company whose limousine crashed in upstate New York on October 6, killing 20. Ironically, Hussain’s relationship with the FBI began when he was caught running a scam at the New York DMV.

    Aaronson, now the Executive Director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributor to The Intercept, says, “I think there’s a valid question here about whether this horrible accident would have happened had the FBI not protected this guy from deportation and prosecution for more than a decade.”

    Investigation raises questions about police tactics in D.C. gun cases

    September 26th, 2018

    A months-long investigation by WAMU reporter Patrick Madden and a team of graduate students from the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University found evidence that many gun possession cases – nearly 4 in 10 – were dismissed in court, raising questions about police tactics in gun searches.

    The investigation “Collateral Damage” focused on the impact of the Washington police department’s aggressive focus on confiscating illegal guns. The series – produced for radio, video and web – explored how tactics used by police to search for guns are also angering and alienating residents, especially in the city’s predominantly black neighborhoods where police focus these efforts.

    Illustration by Ruth Tam / WAMU

    [This project was funded by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.]

    Diversity Fellowship Deadline: Monday October 1

    September 25th, 2018

    The September 24 deadline to apply for FIJ grants has passed, but it’s not too late to apply for a diversity fellowship.

    That deadline is Monday, October 1. FIJ will award up to four diversity fellowships in partnership with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting,  InsideClimate News, and the Marshall Project.

    Details of this fellowship opportunity are here: http://fij.org/fij-launches-new-collaborations-for-next-round-of-diversity-fellowships/

    The next deadline for general grants is Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. For instructions, visit the “Apply for a Grant” page: http://fij.org/apply-for-a-grant/

    Home healthcare investigation finds shortfalls in labor pool, oversight

    September 18th, 2018

    As America’s population ages, the need for homecare workers increases as well. FIJ and Schuster Institute Fellow Linda Matchan investigated this burgeoning industry in Massachusetts and found both a shortage of people willing to work in these low paying jobs, as well as a lack of oversight of the people taking care of the state’s elderly and homebound.

    Matchan covers the issue in two stories for the Boston Globe. In the first, she documents the neglect and abuse that some patients suffer at the hands of criminal homecare workers. In the second story, she follows a Ghanaian woman who is part of a coterie of foreign workers who help fill the gap in home healthcare needs. Additionally, in an interview with radio station WBUR, Matchan describes the reporting, as well as her own story of looking for a home healthcare worker.

    Photo of Deborah Lesco by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe

    [Funding for this project provided by the Ford Foundation]

    Black women more likely to be killed from domestic violence

    September 14th, 2018

    In the September/October issue of Ebony Magazine (subscription required), FIJ and Schuster Institute Fellow Chandra Thomas Whitfield takes an in-depth look at the troubling statistic that Black women are more likely than any other group of women in the country to be killed in domestic violence incidents. She writes that while media reports tend to highlight crimes committed by strangers, research shows that Black women are most likely to be harmed by those closest to them–their partners and spouses. According to a CDC report, Black women are twice as likely as White women to be killed by an acquaintance. Another source says that poverty is a factor, especially for women with children who depend on their abusers for income.

    [Funding for this project provided by the Ford Foundation]

    Bilingual project looks at immigration policies and outcomes between Guatemala and the U.S.

    September 10th, 2018

    Grant recipient Maria E. Martin has completed a bilingual web and radio project examining the effects of the Trump administration’s deportation policies on Guatemala.

    According to her reporting, approximately 200,000 Guatemalans leave for the United States each year. And for the past two years, more than 50,000 Guatemalans have been deported annually. It is estimated that between 1.5 and 2 million Guatemalans live in the U.S. and at least half of them lack legal status.

    Martin told the stories of deported Guatemalans, both recent migrants and people who had been living and working in the U.S. for decades, in a story for NBC. And in a report for NPR, Martin talked with the director of a migrant refuge in Guatemala who calls the current situation, “a game of pingpong.” He said that 95 percent of deported migrants interviewed by his group will try to return again to the U.S.

    Martin also completed a two-part documentary radio project for Making Contact that examined the plight of women migrants and the reasons so many Guatemalans are leaving their country. She also looked at the cost of deportations for the receiving countries, and specifically whether Guatemala is prepared to cope with the tens of thousands of people deported annually by the U.S.

    Her reporting also ran as a series of audio and written stories on the Spanish-language radio network Radio Bilingüe, covering the cost of lost remittances to Guatemala; the particular dangers faced by women who want to migrate; and deported Guatemalans who try their luck again at returning to the U.S.

    A woman and boy walk past towels for sale in San Juan Ostuncalco, one of hundreds of Guatemalan indigenous communities that send migrants north. Photo by Maria E. Martin

    [Project funding provided by the Reva and David Logan Foundation]

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism Is Hiring

    September 4th, 2018

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism seeks Director of Operations

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is seeking a Director of Operations to help the organization fulfill its mission of supporting freelance and independent investigative journalists.

    The Director of Operations oversees all office operations and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency and reports directly to the Executive Director.

    Founded in 1969, FIJ makes grants to journalists who have great tips, ideas, and sources, but need financial resources to accomplish groundbreaking investigations and tell stories that otherwise would not be told. FIJ reviews proposals from investigative journalists three to four times a year, making about 45 to 50 grants annually.

    FIJ is governed by a board of accomplished investigative journalists who uphold the highest standards of unbiased, nonpartisan investigative journalism. In its field, FIJ is unique as a longstanding organization of journalists that helps fellow journalists, by raising funds to sustain independent watchdog reporting.

    Job responsibilities:

    Promote FIJ and its grantees

    •        Promote grantees’ work on FIJ website, through social media, and in newsletters.
    •        Write and design brochures that promote FIJ to potential grantees and fellows.
    •        Write and design brochures that promote FIJ to potential supporters.
    •        Track grantees’ work and outcomes, communicate results to donors and the public.
    •        Conduct outreach at journalism conferences and through social media.

    Manage grant application and selection process

    •        Communicate with applicants and grantees from their first inquiry through project completion.
    •        Facilitate board review of grant applications.
    •        Operate programs that provide mentors and pro-bono legal guidance to grantees.

    Donor appreciation, fundraising support

    •        Manage donor appreciation correspondence.
    •        Update website frequently to recognize donors.
    •        Help develop impact reports and other information to report back to foundations and other donors.

    Operations/Administration

    •        Update website content; suggest improvements.
    •        Troubleshoot and maintain website, or supervise vendor.
    •        Assist executive director with board meeting communications and logistics.
    •        Assist executive director with administrative functions.
    •        Maintain electronic and paper filing systems; guide ongoing transition from paper to electronic.
    •        Maintain office calendar of deadlines for fundraising, partnerships and donor reporting, and grant application and review process.
    •        Help write foundation progress reports.
    •        Supervise temporary office personnel to keep donor and grantee lists current.
    •        Evaluate donor and grantee management systems; recommend improvements.

    Special Projects

    •        Help organize 50th Anniversary Event.

    Other duties as required.

    Professional skills required: Strong organizational, writing, and technology skills. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate organization’s mission and fundraising goals to potential supporters, in person and in writing. The ideal candidate would initiate ideas to improve FIJ’s programs and outreach to independent and diverse journalists. Proficiency in Word and Excel. Familiarity with or willingness to learn basic Quickbooks functions.

    Specific technology requirements: Must have advanced knowledge of WordPress to update Website and troubleshoot occasional issues, ability to generate email newsletters, and use Photoshop or equivalent to edit images. Familiarity with Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets and willingness to learn how to work with Google’s suite of cloud-based applications. Salesforce knowledge would be a plus.

    General technology requirements: Successful applicant would be the chief technology expert for FIJ, able to juggle technological issues with projects and administrative duties that advance FIJ’s mission. Must be familiar with file-sharing systems.

    The ideal candidate is experienced in handling a broad range of tasks, is flexible, able to work independently, and desires a part-time position. The candidate may work remotely on occasion.

    The position is located in Washington DC.

    Experience: 5 years experience in communications, nonprofit management, and/or fundraising, preferred.

    Terms: Part-time position (20 hours/week); compensation includes contribution to health insurance plan.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is an equal opportunity employer.

    Deadline to apply: Friday, October 5, 2018

    Send cover letter, resume and two short writing samples to Sandy Bergo, executive director, at FUNDFIJresumes@gmail.com, with subject heading: Director of Operations position.

    Legal Guidance Now Available for FIJ Grantees

    August 21st, 2018

     

     

     

     

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Media Contacts:
    Amelia Nitz, Reporters Committee, anitz@rcfp.org
    Sandy Bergo, Fund for Investigative Journalism, sbergo@fij.org

    Reporters Committee and Fund for Investigative Journalism announce partnership to support independent journalists

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is partnering with the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) to offer legal support to FIJ grantees completing investigative reporting projects across the country.

    For nearly half a century, FIJ has financially supported the work of independent journalists who lack the resources needed to pursue investigations into issues such as racism, poverty, corporate greed and government corruption. FIJ-supported projects have won an array of journalistic honors, including the Pulitzer Prize, Peabody Award, George Polk Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award, among others.

    Reporters Committee attorneys have already begun working with six grantees as part of a pilot program with FIJ to review drafts of stories for libel and other legal concerns before they are published, and to provide other pro bono legal assistance related to newsgathering and First Amendment issues.

    “Independent investigative journalists are increasingly in need of legal support but are among those who have the least amount of ready access to it,” said Marcia Bullard, FIJ’s Board President. “Our partnership with the Reporters Committee will offer FIJ grantees essential legal expertise to support their reporting.”

    “We’re thrilled to be partnering with FIJ to help investigative journalists shed light on some of the most pressing issues affecting communities across the country,” said Katie Townsend, Legal Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “Our attorneys are looking forward to providing FIJ grantees with much-needed legal support for their important work.”

    This announcement is also available on the RCFP website here. Legal support is available upon request, as part of the FIJ grant application process. For more information contact sbergo@fij.org.