Our Funders and Partners
Click 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.
September 25th, 2013
(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 to “improve 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, www.fij.org, 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: www.fij.org.
September 24th, 2013
From 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.”
September 17th, 2013
For the San Jose Mercury News, New 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
September 16th, 2013
From 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.”
Photo of a natural gas flare, courtesy of Ben Garvin.
September 9th, 2013
From 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.
Photo credit: Amy Lieberman
August 27th, 2013
WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $63,000 in grants to 12 investigative journalists.
The grants help independent investigative reporters pay for the cost of reporting, such as travel, document fees, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The grant-making program is supported by The Reva and David Logan Foundation, The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, The Herb Block Foundation, The Gannett Foundation, The Park Foundation, The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, The Green Park Foundation, The Nara Fund, The Otto-Whalley Family Foundation, and generous donations from individuals.
FIJ is also supported by 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.
Pro bono business advisory services are provided by Leigh Riddick, Associate Professor of Finance at The American University’s Kogod School of Business. Pro bono legal services are provided by the Dykema law firm.
In FIJ’s latest round, grants were awarded to:
Patrick Arden, New York-based investigative reporter
Nick Baumann, senior editor, Washington D.C. bureau, Mother Jones
Barbara Bernstein, Portland, Oregon-based radio and video producer specializing in environmental reporting
Sam Eifling, freelance reporter and editor
Li Miao Lovett, San Francisco-based environmental reporter
Jarrett Murphy, editor, City Limits
Shawn Musgrave, Boston-based investigative reporter
Wallace Roberts, independent journalist covering public policy issues
Halle Stockton, Pittsburgh-based reporter focusing on social justice issues
Viji Sundaram, San Francisco-based investigative reporter
Rone Tempest, Co-founder of WyoFile.com
FIJ grantees investigate abuse of power in the public and private sectors. Working with FIJ grants, reporters have exposed unjust deportation practices, federal contracting irregularities, and mismanaged anti-poverty projects – to name a few examples.
In addition to funding, interested grantees are eligible to receive mentors through partnerships with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism is an independent, non-profit organization that has supported hundreds of public service reporting projects since 1969, when it provided funding for Seymour Hersh to investigate the massacre of civilians in My Lai during the Vietnam War. His stories won the Pulitzer Prize. Recent FIJ grantees have also won prestigious journalism awards, including the Sidney Hillman Foundation Journalism Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors awards, and the Sigma Delta Chi award.
August 22nd, 2013
For The Chicago Reporter, Maria Ines Zamudio reports on deportations that are rushed through without hearings. An excerpt:
In recent years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been deporting more and more immigrants by bypassing formal court proceedings, the Reporter found. Reinstatement is one of several legal strategies devised for this effort. Others are known as “administrative orders,” “expedited removals,” “stipulated order of removals,” “visa waiver removals” and “voluntary returns.” All of these procedures enable speedy deportations without a judicial hearing.
The Chicago area of responsibility is an immigration enforcement zone that encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. More than 25,000 immigrants in that area received these fast-track deportations between fiscal years 2008 and 2011, the latest years for which the data are available. This number accounts for about 57 percent of all deportations carried out during that period, the Reporter’s analysis shows.
Photo by: Maria Ines Zamudio
August 13th, 2013
From Claudine LoMonaco, for the Sante Fe Reporter, an investigation of a national forest restoration project that “has gone haplessly awry.” An excerpt: “[The initiative's] aim is to thin and restore 2.4 million acres along the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona, an enormous swath of land on four national forests stretching from Flagstaff to the New Mexico border, and reintroduce the natural fire regime. The idea was to have a business do the work—because the government can’t afford to—and make a profit by selling wood products…”
“In May 2012, the Forest Service regional office in Albuquerque awarded the contract to an under-the-radar company from Montana called Pioneer Forest Products. But more than a year later, Pioneer hasn’t thinned a single overgrown tree, because it’s failed to attract any investors, and the project has stalled.”
Photo Credit: Ryan Heffernan
August 12th, 2013
From Simon & Schuster, The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, by Vanessa M. Gezari investigates the “Human Terrain System,” a complex military mission that aims to understand the enemy in Afghanistan.
From the book jacket: “What happens when the Pentagon sends three Americans to help carry out the most audacious experiment since Vietnam? On the day Barack Obama was elected president in November 2008, a small group of American civilians took their optimism and experience to Afghanistan, then considered America’s ‘good war.’ They were part of the Pentagon’s controversial attempt to bring social science to the battlefield, a program, called the Human Terrain System, that is driven by the notion that you can’t win a war if you don’t understand the enemy and his culture. The field team in Afghanistan that day included an intrepid Texas blonde, a former bodyguard for Afghan president Hamid Karzai, and an ex-military intelligence sergeant who had come to Afghanistan to make peace with his troubled past. But not all goes as planned.”
“Journalist Vanessa Gezari follows these three idealists from the hope that brought them to Afghanistan through the events of the fateful day when one is gravely wounded, an Afghan is dead, and a proponent of cross-cultural engagement is charged with his murder.”
The New York Times gives the book a favorable review and concludes: “.. over all, Ms. Gezari’s book powerfully humanizes the ways the counterinsurgency effort played out in Afghanistan. And it arrives at an important moment in the debate over the doctrine: as Iraq recedes in the nation’s rearview mirror, and a final withdrawal from Afghanistan looms, the military again seems prepared to shrug off counterinsurgency as a distraction.”
July 22nd, 2013
From author Jennifer Margulis, “The Business of Baby,” published by Scribner. An excerpt: “As this book will show you, time and time again corporate profits and private interests trump what is best for moms and babies. The science is consistently ignored, and practices proven to be harmful are continued. Doctors – even though most have the best possible intentions – often unwittingly go along with a broken and sometimes dangerous system.”
From Scribner: “Margulis’ revelations will shock you. Prenatal vitamins contain carcinogenic ingredients; foreskins from circumcised newborns are sold to the beauty and artificial skin industry; and the leading proponent of delayed potty training is a paid spokesperson for Pampers.”