FIJ and Schuster Institute Launch Initiative
for Diversity in Social Justice Investigative Reporting
Without greater diversity in journalism, some very important stories are never pitched, some assignments never made, facts never gathered, and serious abuses of power never uncovered.
Through a collaboration underwritten by a Ford Foundation grant, The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University have joined forces to broaden opportunities for independent investigative reporting by women and journalists of color. Four independent, U.S.-based reporters with strong proposals to investigate significant systemic or social justice issues will be selected.
The selected journalists will receive competitively awarded grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which will provide up to $9,000 to pay the expenses of reporting a specific investigative story, covering costs such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends.
Recipients will also be awarded Schuster Institute fellowships, which will give them access to paid research assistance, the extensive offerings of Brandeis University’s library and technology services, mentoring, editorial guidance, and opportunities for pro bono, media-related legal advice from a major New York firm. The Schuster Institute will help publicize the fellows’ work through press releases, social media and the Institute’s websites. As a fellow, they will join our “Newsroom Without Walls,” a community of Schuster Institute fellows and research scholars who regularly share ideas, advice and support. The fellowships do not require residency at Brandeis University and the fellows are not paid.
The work must be completed within one year.
It is widely recognized that journalists of diverse backgrounds are underrepresented in this country’s ranks of independent investigative reporters. This initiative is designed to help those selected journalists report and write important stories about unreported or under-reported social justice issues.
“Journalism in the U.S. has made some progress on diversity in newsrooms. But that progress has lagged well behind this nation’s demographic change,” said FIJ president Ricardo Sandoval Palos. “This imbalance is acute in the specialized field of investigative journalism. For decades, FIJ’s strength has been identifying and supporting stories that might not otherwise get done. So this generous grant from Ford is a great start: It allows us to work with journalists from underrepresented communities who’ve lacked access to investigative resources.”
“The Schuster Institute has collaborated with FIJ for years on our fellowship program. We know the value of providing an institutional home and valuable resources to independent investigative journalists, and Ford’s support of this initiative allows us to grow our community of fellows and support an even broader range of underrepresented voices and their important investigative stories,” said Florence Graves, founding director of the Schuster Institute.
Applications from women and journalists of color working in any type of media — print, audio, video, online — will be considered.
Applications may be submitted from June 1 through Oct. 1, 2016, and we will announce grantees and fellows in early November 2016.
How to apply
- Application instructions are available at investigate.submittable.com
The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). Since 1969, FIJ has supported the work of independent journalists who have tips, sources, and ideas, but lack the resources needed to do their investigations. The late Philip M. Stern founded FIJ to invest in the work of determined journalists in the fight against racism, poverty, corporate greed, and governmental corruption. FIJ-supported projects have won a wide array of journalistic honors, including Pulitzer Prizes, the George Polk Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award, and many others. Please see fij.org for more information.
The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University is a collaborative, investigative newsroom focusing on social justice and human rights issues as well as government accountability and transparency. We dive into systemic problems afflicting those who are poor, voiceless, or forgotten—with an eye toward informing policymakers and public debate. Launched in 2004 by Florence Graves to help fill the void in high-quality public interest and investigative journalism, the Institute was the nation’s first independent, investigative reporting center based at a university. Our staff and Schuster Institute Fellows cover such subjects as human trafficking and modern-day slavery; criminal justice; race and justice; food and health; government and corporate wrongdoing; environmental justice; gender and justice; political and social justice; and border issues and immigration. Please see brandeis.edu/investigate and WeInvestigate.org for more information.