The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Sept. 24, 2018 (11:59 pm Eastern)

  • Selected as One of Best DC-based Nonprofits

    Press Release

    Contact information: Sandy Bergo, 202-391-0206

    Washington DC-based Fund for Investigative Journalism Chosen for 2011-12 Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington

    The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington is proud to announce that The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has been selected to be featured in the 2011-12 Catalogue. A panel of 110 expert reviewers from area foundations, corporate giving programs, and peer non-profit organizations evaluated 270 applications; FIJ is one of 70 outstanding nonprofits to be featured this year.

    Now in its ninth year, the Catalogue’s mission is to generate visibility and resources for the best community-based nonprofits. According to Barbara Harman, President and Editor of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, “We know that nonprofits have had another very difficult year, and the economy continues to create challenges: dollars are down and need is up. Individual donors can continue to make a real difference – as they did last year — keeping great organizations afloat during these tough times.”

    The Catalogue raised $2.6 million in 2009-10, $1.5 million to date in 2010-11 (and counting), and nearly $14.6 million since its inception in 2003.

    The Catalogue enables smaller non-profits to tell their stories to individuals who would otherwise never hear them, and to encourage those individuals to get engaged and to give. It also provides charities with a stamp of approval that tells donors they can invest with confidence because the Catalogue vets its family of nonprofits with great care.

    Twenty-five thousand individuals and hundreds of family foundations will receive copies of the print Catalogue in November, and others will visit the Catalogue website (cfp-dc.org) – the only regional philanthropy site of its kind in the country. It includes a gift registry, gift cards, a section especially for kids, and other great giving options. The website also connects donors with volunteer opportunities, events, news, videos, and more.

    “Charities were selected for excellence, cost-effectiveness, and impact” Harman said. “These are certainly among the best community-based nonprofits in the Washington region.”

    Poisoned in the Gulf

     2011  Sue Sturgis – In a five part series published by Facing South, Sturgis reports that one year after the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, a growing number of cleanup workers and coastal residents are reporting debilitating health problems associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in crude oil and dispersants. Faced with inaction from the federal government, victims are organizing a grassroots movement to demand action. The investigation also examined the broader problem of the energy industry’s impact on community health in the Gulf and the political power wielded by oil companies and other industry interests to thwart regulatory reform.

    Clean-up Workers Poisoned in the Gulf

    A year after the BP oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, a growing number of cleanup workers and coastal residents are reporting debilitating health problems associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in crude oil and dispersants. Faced with inaction from the federal government, victims are organizing a grassroots movement to demand action. The investigation also examined the broader problem of the energy industry’s impact on community health in the Gulf and the political power wielded by oil companies and other industry interests to thwart regulatory reform. Read the five-part series published by Facing South.

    Insurance Rates Double in Connecticut

    Connecticut’s private employers have seen the price of health insurance premiums for workers and their families rise 102 percent since 1999, an analysis by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team shows. The amount that families pay for this coverage rose an even steeper 107 percent.

    The increases came during a decade when median household income in Connecticut grew by less than one third.

    C-HIT’s review also found wide geographic variations in the insurance premiums charged for Connecticut families.

    Click here to read more of C-HIT’s findings.

    All the Justice Money Can Buy

    “All the Justice Money Can Buy” is the true-life story of a courtroom showdown between the man many consider the best trial lawyer of his generation and one of the nation’s richest and most-respected corporations.

    Recipient of the 2009 Gene Roberts Book Award, investigative journalist and former National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Snigdha Prakash was embedded with the plaintiffs’ team for the seven-week trial, and takes us into the trenches of the tough—and dirty—battle between corporate interests and the individual that plays out in the courts. From early mornings when Lanier works in his hotel suite, to the daily post-mortems after court, and late nights in the plaintiffs’ “war room,” Prakash shadows Lanier and his team.

    With its bird’s-eye view of the strategic thinking and meticulous planning that undergird Lanier’s seemingly unrehearsed performances in court, and of the well-oiled machine of lawyers and assistants that backs his every move, “All the Justice Money Can Buy” is a fast-paced, often funny journey behind the front-lines of a high-stakes, 21st century legal trial. Along the way, Prakash renders a piercing portrait of the challenges that await those who would take on corporate interests.

    Part corporate expose´ and part legal thriller, “All the Justice Money Can Buy” is a gripping—and topical—read for our scandal-plagued times. Prakash will read from her book and sign copies at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC, this Saturday, June 18, starting at 6pm.

    FIJ Awards Grants to Investigative Journalists

    WASHINGTON – (June 8, 2011) The Board of Directors of the Fund for Investigative Journalism has awarded eleven grants to independent watchdog journalists in the United States, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

    The board awarded $35,200 in grants to cover travel and other reporting expenses for investigative stories that otherwise would not be told. Significant support from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Green Park Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, and generous donations from individuals made these grants possible.

    The Fund has supported investigative journalism by independent journalists since 1969.

    Recently, projects completed with FIJ support include the book “All the Justice Money Can Buy: Corporate Greed on Trial,” by Snigdha Prakash. Her book chronicles the seven-week trial of the lawsuit filed by patients allegedly injured by the painkiller Vioxx. With unusual all-hours access to the plaintiff’s litigation team, she is able to tell the inside story of their preparation and strategy, with anecdotes from early morning and late night strategy sessions.  Prakash won the $25,000 Gene Roberts book award in 2009.

    City Limits Magazine’s May/June issue contains a report funded by FIJ, “Behind Bars: Female Inmates, Male Guards and Sex Crimes in New York’s Prisons.” The Magazine’s Kelly Virella investigated why New York has some of the highest rates of prison inmate sexual abuse in the country, how the prison system handles abuse complaints, and how little authorities do to prevent it. In some cases, City Limits found, guards initiate “romances” with women inmates.

    In North Carolina, Rebekah Cowell is writing a series of articles for The Independent Weekly, documenting how low-income neighborhoods become sites for other peoples’ waste. She finds a lax official attitude toward cleaning up the mess in poor neighborhoods, and government units that buy land cheaply without concern for the health of nearby residents.

    Joel Brinkley’s book, “Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern History of a Troubled Land,” was also published this Spring. He discovered “willful management” of the country, malnourishment, rampant government corruption, and a high incidence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among those who survived the Khmer Rouge era. He wrote: “These afflictions have darkened the entire nation’s personality.”

    Read more about FIJ-supported projects at www.fij.org where the next deadline for applications will be posted.

    Among the journalists receiving recent awards:

    Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, a public radio reporter

    Burt Hubbard, reporting for I-News: The Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network

    Wanjohi Kabukuru, reporting for New African Magazine

    Susan Mernit, editor/publisher of Oakland Local

    Jarrett Murphy, editor-in-chief, City Limits Magazine

    Mike Sherry, founder, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

    Guy Taylor, world news blogger and multi-media journalist & editor

    Brad Tyer, Montana-based author and blogger

    Stefano Valentino, based in Rome and Brussels, reporting on human rights and natural resources issues

    and Colin Woodard, Maine-based author, magazine writer, and blogger

    The topics of grantees’ investigations are confidential until completed. In addition to critical funding, grantees receive editorial guidance from mentors through a partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is an independent, non-profit organization that has supported hundreds of public service reporting projects since 1969, when it provided funding for Seymour Hersh to investigate a tip about the massacre of Vietnamese civilians in My Lai. His stories won the Pulitzer Prize.

    Journalists with questions about the grant application process are encouraged to contact executive director Sandy Bergo by phone, 202-391-0206, or email, fundfij@gmail.com.