The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

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

  • Giving Thanks

    With gratitude for their advice, hard work, and financial backing, the board and staff of the Fund for Investigative Journalism would like to acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that have supported the work of investigative reporters throughout the year.

    Major Supporters:

    The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

    The Reva & David Logan Foundation

    The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation

    The Park Foundation

    The Green Park Foundation

    The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation

    The Gannett Foundation

    The Nara Fund

    The Herb Block Foundation

    Connie Rydberg and Nirav Kapadia

    Shari and Charles Pfleeger

    Sally Collier and Bob Caiola


    David Biello

    Michael Beckel

    Rose Ciotta

    Marla Cone

    Dianna Hunt

    Chuck Lewis

    Ingrid Lobet

    Fiona Macleod

    Josh Meyer

    Deborah Nelson

    Ron Nixon

    Judy Pasternak

    Ricardo Sandoval Palos

    Michael Sorkin

    Steven Rich


    Catalogue for Philanthropy – Greater Washington

    Investigative Reporters and Editors

    Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University

    Society of Environmental Journalists


    Eric Fingerhut, Pro Bono Attorney, Dykema

    Leigh Riddick, Pro Bono Financial Advisor, Kogod School of Business, American University

    Bobby Caina Calvan

    Bridget Gallagher

    Bev Orr

    Thanks to all!

    Investigative Reporting Grants Awarded

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $67,750 in grants to journalists working on 17 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. A typical grant is $5,000.

    The grantees include: (more…)

    Breast Cancer, Money, and a Myth

    Nancy Stein illustrationPeter Byrne, writing for Point Reyes Light, has dug into the math and science that created the myth of a disturbing breast cancer cluster plaguing well-to-do women in Northern California. He reports on the myth, and the money that sustained it, in a continuing series.

    Part two: Demystifying the risk of breast cancer.

    Part three: The role of the media.

    Part four: Saturated with screenings.

    Part five: The role of hormone replacement.

    Part six: The perils of screening.

    Part seven: The Marin women’s study.

    Part eight: How to pay the bills.

    Part nine: Data riddled with errors.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Gannett Foundation.]

    Illustration by: Nancy Stein

    Report Questions Mexican Government’s Role in Student Abductions

    Steve Fisher photoFrom Steven Fisher and Anabel Hernández for Mexico’s Spanish-language Proceso magazine, an investigation into the Mexican government’s role in the disappearance of 43 students after a clash on Sept. 26, 2014 in the streets of Iguala. According to the Huffington Post, the duo’s work for Proceso “contradicts claims by the administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, which has repeatedly said the military was not in the streets of Iguala the night the students were abducted” and found “evidence that soldiers from the 27th battalion of the Mexican army may have fired at the students.”

    [Reporting sponsored by individual donors referred by The Catalogue for Philanthropy – Greater Washington.]

    Photo credit: Steve Fisher

    Delays in Blood Testing Put Children at Risk

    BabyJeremy Chapman for the Montana Center for Investigative Reporting:  Some healthcare facilities in Montana aren’t getting blood samples for newborns to the labs on time, putting children at risk because of delays in administering life-saving treatment. The center pushed reluctant officials at the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to release newborn screening records.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt Eric Sheler

    Troubled Kids, Powerful Drugs

    juvieRx-P1-illustration[6]Halle Stockton for PublicSource: Pennsylvania’s state-run youth correctional facilities prescribe psychotropic drugs at an alarming rate to juvenile offenders, but with little medical oversight by the state’s Department of Human Services. The state tried to keep secret a list of doctors who handle youth cases.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    Illustration credit: Anita Dufalla for PublicSource.

    EPA Phase Out Can’t Come Quickly Enough for ‘DDT’s Cousin’

    endo_women_nursery[2]Viji Sundaram for New America Media: The use of the pesticide endosulfan, dubbed “DDT’s cousin,” has diminished around the world. In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a six-year phase out of the chemical.  But in the United States, it is still legal to use the chemical at farms growing strawberries, pineapples, broccoli and other crops. Meanwhile, some agricultural workers are getting sick.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Farmworker Association of Florida.

    Black Market Rises for Moldovan Forest Leases

    Padure-Nimoreni-4-ha-mesteceniOlga Ceaglei for Rise Moldova: Huge swaths of forestland are being leased to companies by the Moldsilva, the agency that manages Moldova’s forests. However, those leases are, in turn, being subleased for much more on the black market.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.]

    Photo Credit: Iurie Sanduta

    For-Profit Accused of Masquerading as Charitable Thrift Store

    project_thrift_12[4]Francesca Lyman for InvestigateWest: Savers, Inc., does more than $1.2 billion in business annually, turning it into the biggest player in the growing for-profit thrift store industry. But Savers’ claims about doing good for charities appear to be vastly overblown.  Sometimes Savers’ charity partners have received less than 5 percent of sales revenue on goods donated on their behalf; overall, only between 8 percent and 17 percent of the company’s revenues end up with charities.

    [Reporting sponsored by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation and The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    Update: state authorities are reacting to InvestigateWest’s findings.

    Photo credit: Paul Joseph Brown for InvestigateWest

    Examining the Plight of the “Zama Zamas” in South Africa

    gold-mine-landscape-3From Mark Olalde for The Star, a four-part series that introduce us to illegal miners, or zama zamas as they are called in South Africa, who live and work mostly in the shadows and outskirts of a lucrative industry. When one gold mine was abandoned, so were hundreds of miners and toxic dumps. Improperly closed mines pose problems. In his closing piece, Olalde answers key questions about how South Africa’s “El Dorado” became an “underground Wild West.”

    [Reporting sponsored by The Nara Fund.]

    Photo credit: Mark Olalde