The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday May 16, 2016 - 5pm Eastern Time
  • How FIJ Helped to Uncover the My Lai Massacre

    Seymour HershClick here to hear veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh tell how – with financial support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism – he learned about the massacre of civilians in Vietnam, how he tracked down Lt. William Calley and, in so doing, changed the world’s perception of American intervention in Southeast Asia. It demonstrates how small grants from our fund have enabled talented journalists to produce big, important stories, changing the course of history.

    Pharma Profits; Taxpayers Pay

    March 17th, 2016

    ancir_logoFrom Khadija Sharife, an investigation by the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR) published by the World Policy Journal and Financial Mail, of pharmaceutical companies’ secretive research and development costs. The conclusion: the extremely high costs of drugs developed in the United States and sold in Africa cannot be justified by the R&D costs. Instead drug companies use opaque intangible assets and tax havens to shift profits and spend vastly more on marketing and administration than on research and development. On top of that, the industry heavily relies on public funding and tax breaks to underwrite its development costs.

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



    Migrants Rack Up Debts to Chase Dreams

    March 17th, 2016

    IMG_3479.JPG GuatemalaFrom Zoe Sullivan, for Al Jazeera America, there is no justice when illegal lenders prey on desperate Guatemalans to pay coyotes for passage to the United States.

    Every day, hundreds of Guatemalan migrants attempt to reach the United States with the help of a human smuggler or coyote. Research suggests that nearly 80% of those making this journey have taken on debt to do so, and half of this number borrowed from an informal money lender. Yet in a country where interest rates are legally unregulated, borrowers are at the mercy of the financial system — whether informal or formal.

    Part Two: Why Guatemalans flee: poverty, kidnapping and extortion.


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

    Photo credit: Zoe Sullivan



    Half of Pittsburgh Murders Go Unsolved

    March 17th, 2016

    vigil1 (1)From Jeffrey Benzing of PublicSource, a two-part series on the failure to find killers plaguing Pittsburgh families and communities, and the stark division between the experience of black and white residents of the city.

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

    Photo credit: Ryan Loew/PublicSource




    $50,000 Grant to FIJ from craigslist Charitable Fund

    February 23rd, 2016

    (Washington) The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant from the craigslist Charitable Fund.

    The charitable fund is financed by donations from Craigslist Inc., the online classified listings site founded by Craig Newmark in 1995.

    Based in San Francisco, the private foundation makes millions of dollars in grants each year to nonprofits active in areas such as environment, justice, non-violence, and journalism.

    The craigslist Charitable Fund has also contributed support to such venerable journalism organizations as ProPublica, the Sunlight Foundation, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Poynter Institute.

    The support received by FIJ was unsolicited and is unrestricted.

    “This gift is welcome support that helps us underwrite investigative journalism. Resources for such work are shrinking, while the need for sharp investigative reporting is only increasing. We are grateful for this recognition of our work in supporting talented, independent journalists,” said FIJ president Ricardo Sandoval-Palos.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism, founded in 1969, makes grants to independent investigative journalists to cover the costs of reporting, such as document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and rental fees for multi-media production equipment.

    In 2015, FIJ grantees produced more than fifty investigative stories in the United States and around the world.

    Showdown at Sugar Pine Mine

    February 4th, 2016

    imageFrom Tay Wiles for High Country News, the story of another anti-federal management group in Oregon, this one called the Oath Keepers, in the south part of the state. They are stepping into a vacuum left by law enforcement budget cuts. Wiles also reports that the Oath Keepers helped galvanize the network of militia that are protesting near the wildlife preserve south of Burns, Oregon.

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

    Photo credit: Brooke Warren/High Country News

    Climate Funds Misused in Bangladesh

    February 3rd, 2016

    BaduFrom Badruddoza Babu for Maasranga Television, an investigation of the use of climate funds in Bangladesh. Most of the money went to the least climate-affected areas, neglecting the most vulnerable coastal south. View the report here:

    [Reporting sponsored by The Green Park Foundation.]

    Photo credit: Mehedi Hasan

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Lake Turkana Under Seige

    January 20th, 2016

    RosaFrom Rosalia Omungo for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, an investigation of the impact of a dam built by Ethiopia on the ability of Kenyans to make a living in the Lake Turkana area. View the series here:  Part One. Part Two. Part Three. Part Four.

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

    Photo credit: Chris Lomusia


    Reaction to “No Jailer Jails” Investigation

    January 19th, 2016

    County-Jailer-Boone-Mahon-800x533From the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting: a proposal has been filed in the Kentucky General Assembly to shed more light on state jailers who have no jails to run. The bill would require regular reports of “all official duties performed” by jailers. The proposal was filed in the wake of the Center’s story revealing that a third of the elected jailers in the state’s 120 counties had no jail to run, yet earned annual salaries ranging from $20,000 to nearly $70,000.

    A whole lot of shaking going on in Oklahoma

    January 19th, 2016

    The Society of Environmental Journalists, which partners with the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) by recruiting mentors for FIJ grantees, is planning its 2016 conference in Sacramento California for September 21-25. Last fall, FIJ grantee Elizabeth Shogren attended the 2015 SEJ conference in Oklahoma, and filed this report:

    Society of Environmental Journalist conference fieldtrip explores surge in induced earthquakes.

    By Elizabeth Shogren, DC correspondent, High Country News

    OGSFaultmap-2 (1)Soon after I arrive in Oklahoma City for the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference, a former editor of mine, who lives here, tells me, almost with a shrug that his house shook twice just the week before. My colleague and many of his fellow Oklahomans have managed to maintain a high degree of nonchalance as they live through one the most mysterious environmental stories in recent years—the proliferation of earthquakes induced by oil companies injecting their wastewater deep into the earth. The hotbed is in Oklahoma, where two earthquakes a year measuring magnitude 3 or above would be normal. Starting in 2012, the state started measuring a few dozen a year of that magnitude.  Last year, a whopping 585 measured magnitude 3 or above, and in the first nine months of this year, 647 did, according to state and US Geological Survey data.

    I’m one of dozens of reporters to pile into a bus for a daylong SEJ fieldtrip to learn about hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique behind the US energy boom, and the earthquakes. On board are several experts, including US Geological Survey seismologist George Choy who recently joined an agency team focused on the induced earthquakes. So far, the earthquakes have caused limited damage, but once faults are activated, more quakes can follow. This region of the country is vulnerable because structures from homes to bridges weren’t built with earthquakes in mind. “We don’t know what the maximum size earthquake will be,” says Choy.

    “People should certainly be concerned that the earthquake hazard has increased.”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    “Fairy Tales” and Drugs in Court

    January 19th, 2016

    Wisnieski1From Adam Wisnieski, for The Crime Report, and, the story of law enforcement stings that one judge called “manifest injustice” and “outrageous government conduct”  – though defendants charged committing “fake crimes” rarely succeed when they make that claim. In part two, Wisnieski reports a growing chorus of judges are objecting when they see “fairy tale” cases brought before them.

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