The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: May 13, 2019 (11:59 pm Eastern)

  • Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation Grant Supports Investigative Reporting

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism is pleased to announce that The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation has awarded $25,000 to support the Fund’s grant-making program for independent investigative reporters.

    Started by a family that owned newspapers in the Northeast and on the West Coast, The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation supports education, journalism, community arts, public health, and environmental projects.

    The Foundation’s journalism program seeks toimprove the quality of journalism in all of its forms and to defend freedom of the press anywhere in the world.”

    To that end, the Foundation has also awarded grants to Investigative Reporters and Editors, to state and local investigative reporting websites such as the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and the Voice of San Diego, and to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    The support from the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation will underwrite Fund for Investigative Journalism grants for reporters working for U. S. media, including those undertaking investigations abroad.

    “We are deeply grateful for this support and recognition from the Foundation,” said Brant Houston, president of the Fund’s board of directors. “The grant will allow us to help fill the increasing need to aid investigative reporters, especially those pursuing stories overseas.”

    For more than forty years the Fund has paid reporting expenses of reporters who have the ideas, sources, and know-how to produce groundbreaking investigative journalism but lack the resources to complete their projects.

    In addition to support from The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, the Fund receives foundation support from The Reva & David Logan Foundation, The Gannett Foundation, The Ethics And Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Green Park Foundation, The Park Foundation, The Nara Fund, from private family foundations, and from individuals.

    One of the Fund for Investigative Journalism’s board members, David Ottaway, also serves on the board of the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.

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

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

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is currently accepting proposals for investigations in the United States and abroad. The deadline for applications is Monday, October 21 at 5pm Eastern time. Check for instructions and apply online:

    The Hormone Hoax

    FDA imageFrom Cathryn Jakobson Ramin for MORE Magazine, a report on “bioidentical” hormones that are NOT what the doctor ordered. Lab testing of compounded hormones was financed in part by the Fund for Investigative Journalism: “[T]he ingredients of each capsule were analyzed using a process called high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection mass spectrometry, meant to evaluate the specific pharmaceutical content of the product.”

    The Untold Impact of Agent Orange on Vietnamese Americans

    Trai_3_resizedFor the San Jose Mercury NewsNew America Media, and Viet Bao Daily News, Ngoc Nguyen reports on Vietnamese Americans who have suffered in silence, victims of Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War.

    “As a soldier in the South Vietnamese army, Trai [Nguyen] gathered intelligence that helped American soldiers. He fought alongside the Americans and was exposed to the defoliants that are known to have injured them. But he’s excluded from the compensation and health care afforded to U.S. veterans for the same service-connected disabilities.

    Vietnam War veterans in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea receive Agent Orange disability benefits through their governments. Canada has compensated citizens who were exposed to herbicides during prewar testing of the chemicals. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has paid billions in disability benefits related to herbicide exposure to eligible American veterans.

    In contrast, Vietnamese Americans who were exposed and are now sick — a group that includes both veterans and civilians — haven’t received a dime.” One reason: “For the most part, Vietnamese Americans, especially former South Vietnamese veterans, have not demanded redress for harm caused by herbicides. A strong anti-Communist streak in the community causes some of its most outspoken members to view the dangers of Agent Orange as a Communist hoax.”

    Photo Credit: Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group

    North Dakota’s Oil Boom: Dangerous for Workers

    oil boomFrom Todd Melby for Prairie Public, a series of stories on the rising number of workplace deaths and injuries in North Dakota, where there has been an oil boom. North Dakota is now the most dangerous state in the US for workers, according to a labor union study, worse than Alaska – also an oil producing state.

    Melby investigates in detail how and why a young oil worker, Dustin Bergsing, died, and the legal battle that produced evidence of “internal warnings about unsafe working conditions.”

    For more information on the “Black Gold Boom,” visit Melby’s project website. The public is listening, and commenting.

    Photo of a natural gas flare, courtesy of Ben Garvin.

    Abuse of Transgender Detainees: Widespread

    Santa Ana City JailFrom Amy Lieberman for Women’s eNews, the story of transgender immigrants who are detained in US facilities as they seek asylum or resolution of other cases. In the latest part of her series, Lieberman describes a jail in California where conditions have improved by creating a unit where gay, bi-sexual, and transgender individuals are housed together. But it is the only official federal immigration facility with a special unit for transgender detainees. In other facilities, complaints of abuse by guards or other detainees have been filed by 169 detainees in the past five years. Few of the complaints are investigated, Women’s eNews found. Lieberman’s investigation also reveals that some transgender detainees are held in solitary confinement – either because they reported abuse, or simply because they are transgender.

    Links to the series: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

    Photo credit: Amy Lieberman