The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Feb. 4, 2019 (11:59 pm Eastern)

  • Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation Awards Grant

    Washington – The Fund for Investigative Journalism is pleased to announce the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant for the Fund’s grant-making and mentoring program for independent investigative reporters.

    The Foundation’s two-year grant underwrites the Fund’s program of project grants for reporters who have the ideas, sources, and know-how to produce groundbreaking investigative journalism, but need help paying the expenses of reporting.

    “We are deeply grateful for this generous grant,” said Brant Houston, president of the Fund’s board of directors. “This donation allows us to support the journalists and journalism that it is so critical for free and democratic societies.”

    The support also helps the Fund operate a mentoring program in partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), which matches grant recipients with veteran journalists who serve as mentors. Interested grantees are also eligible for fellowships with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.

    This year, ten Fund-supported grantees were recognized with awards for their exemplary journalism, including the Edward R. Murrow Award, the IRE Book Award, and the 2011 Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Four journalists were named as finalists for the prestigious 2011 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.

    In two rounds of grant-making so far this year, the Fund’s Board of Directors awarded $104,000 to 26 reporters, and plans another round of awards this fall. Applications are due Friday, September 28.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is an independent, nonprofit organization that has supported hundreds of public service reporting projects since 1969, when it provided funding for Seymour Hersh to investigate the massacre of civilians by American soldiers in My Lai, Vietnam. His stories won the Pulitzer Prize.

    The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, based in Baltimore, supports nonprofits that foster equal opportunities in education, access to quality health care, and the freedom to participate in a democratic society.

    In addition to support from the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, the Fund for Investigative Journalism receives foundation support from the Ethics and Excellence Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, the Green Park Foundation, The Nara Fund, from private family foundations, and from individuals. The John S. and James L. Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the Journalism Department in the College of Media at the University of Illinois also supports the Fund.

    Donations can be made online, www.fij.org, or by mail to the Fund for Investigative Journalism, 529 14th Street NW – 13th floor, Washington DC 20045.

    Red Zone: Colorado’s Growing Wildfire Danger

    From I-News in Denver, Colorado: “The number of wildfires in Colorado has exploded during the past decade. So has the number of people living in high-risk fire zones. And public policies for dealing with both actually risk making the state’s fire danger even worse.

    We analyzed data from the U.S. Census and the state, and found that one in four Colorado homes is located in a fire zone. A quarter million people have moved into the red zone in the past two decades – 100,000 of them since the state’s largest wildfire, the Hayman Fire, 10 years ago. …

    “Some of the explosion in fires is explainable by climate change. In some areas of the Rocky Mountains, the fire season is almost two months longer than it used to be. Colorado’s fire season has consistently extended into the spring as the drying and warming climate thins snowpacks and desiccates fuels earlier in the spring. …

    “But climate change is not the only problem. Public policies regarding both population growth and forest management are adding to the wildfire problem:

    • It costs millions to protect homes in the red zone from wildfires, but homeowners don’t foot that bill. Taxpayers do. That creates a perverse incentive to build there despite risks.

    • A continued population boom in the red zones is pushing homebuilders to higher elevations, where forest conditions increase the chances of more intense fires.

    • The Rocky Mountain forests have become overgrown and in many cases unhealthy. State and federal forest management policies call for cutting down excess trees and doing prescribed burns. But the population boom puts pressure on both these strategies – people often don’t want to see trees cut or landscapes burned near their homes. That leaves the forests full of highly flammable fuel, waiting for the next fire.”

    Investigating a Bain Capital Success Story

    From reporter Art Levine, an investigation of the story behind a Bain Capital success: “Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mitt Romney in 1984, prides itself on turning around failing businesses. But lawsuits and critics allege that controversial profit-maximizing methods and the residential treatment industry don’t mix.”

    The story was published by Salon.com in partnership with The Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, which, along with the Fund for Investigative Journalism, provided financial support for the investigation.

    Click here to read the full story.