The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday Sept. 26, 2016 - 5pm Eastern Time
  • Grantees’ Work

    Life Without Parole

    May 27th, 2016

    Dinah Robinson with Photo of Her son, Aaron JohnsonFrom David Krajicek for The Crime Report, an investigation of long sentences that test the question: how much punishment is enough? Focusing on Aaron Johnson of Alabama, convicted after a fourth trial for a 1994 murder, Krajicek writes: “His story is an example of the enduring after-effects of the politicization of American justice through legislated sentencing mandates. A generation ago, experts say, Johnson likely would have served fewer than 20 years for a comparable crime. Even today, he would be parole-eligible in many states.

    “Instead, he is caught in the country’s lifer bubble, roughly 175,000 strong and growing—a neglected remainder of the lock-‘em-up frenzy of the 1980s and 1990s. The number of lifers today is comparable to the entire U.S. prison population in 1968. The racial imbalance is striking: Half of all lifers are black, four times the percentage of African-Americans in the U.S. population.

    “Yet so far lifers have been excluded from reform discussions, even though the country’s long-term prisoners are the core constituency of the methodical mass incarceration that is widely viewed as racist and ineffectual.”

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

    Photo of Dinah Robinson, Johnson’s mother, by David J. Krajicek

    Armenian Journalist Weighs Differences Between Press Freedoms and Threats

    May 27th, 2016


    The Fund for Investigative Journalism is sending six training fellows to conferences and symposiums across the globe. Marianna Grigoryan, the editor-in-chief and an investigative reporter for in Yereven, Armenia, recently attended the Logan Symposium in Berlin, which was organized by the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ).


    Thoughts About Today and Tomorrow From the Logan CIJ Symposium

    By Marianna Grigoryan

    I had the honor of attending the Logan Symposium in Berlin, thanks to the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The symposium covered secrecy, surveillance censorship — and the defense of freedom, democracy and a free press.

    Attendees heard from numerous speakers, including Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

    “You have to actually risk something if you want things to get better,” Snowden told us during a live video feed.

    I traveled from sunny Yerevan to cold Berlin. Accompanied by gloomy March clouds, I hurried to the Berlin Congress Сenter every day. I compared lives in the two cities, taking notice of people’s moods. I thought about my city, where the rich and the poor are polarized. And I asked myself if reporters truly have the power to change things and influence lives.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Can Colombia’s Displaced Go Home Again?

    May 24th, 2016

    ColombiaFrom Camila Osorio for The New Republic. Is it a new day in Colombia for the millions of peasants who were forcibly displaced from their land by paramilitaries or guerrilla groups during the past several decades? A land restitution law and peace process are in place, but for many, who have been threatened, and know of activists who were murdered, the choice is not clear. “The expectations are high, but so is the fear,” writes Osorio.

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

    Photo credit: Camila Osorio

    Blood Rubies: A Troubling Pattern of Violence

    May 11th, 2016

    Rubi scenes DSC_0114 (4)From Estacio Valoi, for Foreign Policy and 100Reporters, the story of violence, including shootings and deaths of small scale miners who dig for rubies on a foreign concession in Montepuez, Mozambique.

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

    Photo credit: Estacio Valoi

    Cholera in Haiti and the International Coverup

    May 3rd, 2016

    haitipic1From Pearly Tan, the e-book Cholera in Haiti and the International Coverup exposes how the United Nations initially avoided responsibility for the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti by circulating false information, which also delayed response to the crisis. The source is now known to be the UN peacekeepers who carried the disease from Nepal. When they set up camp in Haiti, the disease spread to the main river that flows through the country, the source of water for drinking, cooking, and bathing. From Haiti, cholera has since spread to other countries, and killed at least 9,000 people.

    The e-book is available through ITunes.

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

    Photo credit: Pearly Tan

    The Desegregation Plan That Never Had a Chance

    May 2nd, 2016

    Erika at the Jackson Red Line with street performers in the background.From Maya Dukmasova and Meribah Knight for the Chicago Reader, the story of how political interference halted a promising housing integration program before it had a chance. Dukmasova and Knight are fellows in the Social Justice News Nexus, a program at Northwestern University’s Medill journalism school that brings together graduate students and professional reporters to work on in-depth stories.

    [Reporting sponsored by The Gannett Foundation.]

    Credit: Sunshine Tucker / Chicago Reader

    Prestigious Journalism Awards Honor “No-Jail Jailers” Series

    April 22nd, 2016

    County-Jailer-Boone-Mahon-800x533The “No-Jail Jailers” investigation from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has been honored with two top news industry awards: a national Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) award for radio investigative journalism, and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

    The investigation exposed a system in Kentucky that wasted $2 million a year, paying 41 elected jailers and deputies in counties that have no jails. The investigation was supported by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, with funding from The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

    IRE judges commented: “The project stood out for the thorough data-driven reporting and the way its engaging interviews made for good radio.”

    Photo credit: Jacob Ryan

    Secret Meetings? Who’s to Know?

    April 13th, 2016

    Save Our FarmsMiranda Spivack for the Columbia Journalism Review documents the decline of local news coverage, and the rise of community activists to fill the vacuum.  She examines the impact on small town governance: less accountability to open meetings laws, diminished  coverage of meetings, and more single source reporting.

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

    Photo credit: Miranda Spivack

    It’s Not Just Elephants Being Slaughtered; Smaller Animals are Caught by Poachers, Too

    April 11th, 2016

    Patrol_01From Laura Krantz for, the story of bushmeat poaching, its effect on Africa’s ecosystems and what’s being done to stop it.

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

    Photo credit: Laura Krantz

    The Sex Abuse Scandal that Devastated a Megachurch

    March 22nd, 2016

    megachurch_featuredFrom Tiffany Stanley for Washingtonian Magazine, an investigation into child sexual abuse within a 40-year-old, global evangelical ministry. A scandal ensued after former church members accused pastors of mishandling abuse reports involving congregation members, for decades.

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

    Photo of former Covenant Life Church member Pam Palmer and daughter Renee, by Kate Warren