The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Deadline: Feb. 5, 2018 (11:59 pm Eastern)

  • 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.


    Supporting diversity in social justice investigative reporting

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism  and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University are accepting applications for a project designed to broaden opportunities for diverse journalists in independent investigative reporting. The initiative invites applications that will enhance opportunities for investigative reporting on social justice issues, with an emphasis on supporting 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.  One of those will be chosen as a “Rising Star” who will also receive funding for mentorship support. Applications are now being accepted through Nov. 1, 2017.

    Domestic abuse by police officers mostly hidden

    July 6th, 2017

    If domestic abuse is one of the most underreported crimes, domestic abuse by police officers is virtually an invisible one, according to compelling report by Melissa Jeltsen and Dana Liebelson for the Huffington Post. Because there are no government statistics, it is nearly impossible to calculate the frequency of domestic crimes committed by police—not least because victims are often reluctant to seek help from their abuser’s colleagues. A Cato Institute researcher they interviewed said that domestic violence is “the most common violent crime for which police officers are arrested.” And yet, most of the arrested officers appear to keep their jobs. Jeltsen and Liebelson spent months reporting out one particular case with two victims, shedding light on how officers can use their positions to facilitate abuse.

    (Graphic courtesy of the Huffington Post.)

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Park Foundation.]

    As rising tides roll in, developers help roll back regulations

    June 21st, 2017

    Pressure from real estate developers in the San Francisco Bay Area has undermined regulations meant to protect shoreline from rising sea levels, according to an investigation by the San Francisco Public Press. The landmark California Environmental Quality Act, a key tool for city planners, has faced successful legal challenges from industry. As a result, state regulations have loosened and local governments have been slow to react. In San Francisco and across the region, local officials continue to promote large coastal developments despite increasingly dire scenarios precipitated by greenhouse gases, the melting of the world’s glaciers and the increasing intensity of storms.

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by The Park Foundation.]

    Logan Symposium inspires FIJ/Schuster Institute fellows

    June 21st, 2017

    The Logan Symposium hosted in April by the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, provided some of our FIJ/Schuster Institute fellows an opportunity to meet and learn from some of investigative journalism’s best.

    For Linda Matchan, the symposium helped restore the “bounce” in her step and renewed her commitment to a discipline that, she said, can sometimes be discouraging because of “the many logistical and human obstacles that stand in the way” of stories.

    Like the other fellows, she learned immensely from the discussions led by some of the profession’s most celebrated talents.

    Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold, who recently won a Pulitzer for his reporting on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was especially helpful in getting our fellows to think beyond traditional reporting and storytelling.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Hiring of director of operations underway, as FIJ looks to grow

    June 10th, 2017

    Applications are in for a Director of Operations, a new FIJ position that will help Executive Director Sandy Bergo and the Board of Directors advance the organization’s mission of supporting independent investigative journalists.

    The new staffer will help ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency. The position will oversee FIJ.org, publish this monthly newsletter and assist in managing grants, among other duties.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Scientists race to understand role of ‘black carbon’ in melting Arctic

    June 5th, 2017

    As warming temperatures thaw the Arctic, pressure is mounting to develop new sources of oil and gas and expand shipping routes throughout the region. As Madeline Ostrander reports for “ensia,” the Arctic is especially vulnerable to a type of air pollution called black carbon, and scientists are scrambling to understand and mitigate its impacts before it’s too late.

    (Photo by Madeline Ostrander: Scientists study the impacts of air pollution on the Arctic in this remote lab outside of Utqiaġvik, Alaska.)

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Park Foundation.]

    50 years after partial nuclear meltdown, clean up still lags at Southern California laboratory

    May 23rd, 2017

    In a series of reports for The California Report, Chris Richard investigated the long-stalled cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory near Los Angeles. He describes how NASA and the Department of Energy failed to fulfill their legal commitments to remove the contamination they and other federal agencies caused, including the radiation from a partial nuclear meltdown a half century ago. Richard reports that the environmental damage has yet to be fully addressed. A final segment examined similar regulatory failures by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.
    (Photo by Chris Richard/KQED: Jeanne Fjelstad hands out a leaflet warning visitors to the Santa Susana Field Laboratory of remaining chemical and nuclear contamination.)

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Park Foundation.]

     

     

    Hundreds of convicted terror suspects have been released

    May 15th, 2017

    Over the past 15 years, the U.S. government has quietly released more than 400 people convicted on international terrorism-related charges. Some were deported to other countries following their prison terms, but a large number of convicted terrorists are living in the United States. Reporting for the Intercept, Trevor Aaronson tells this story through the case of the Liberty City Seven, a group of men caught up in an FBI counterterrorism sting in Miami in 2006. A decade later, all but one of the Liberty City Seven defendants are free, suggesting these so-called terrorists weren’t particularly dangerous in the first place. Aaronson’s latest piece is part of a larger body of work that examined 15 years of terrorism international prosecutions in the United States.

    (In photo by Trevor Aaronson: Patrick Abraham is one of the so-called “Liberty City Seven” who were convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization, among other charges. After he was released, he returned to Haiti, where he teaches English at a school in Port-au-Prince.)

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    Fraud allegations point to challenges in reforming L.A. sheriff’s office

    May 14th, 2017

    In the last four years twenty-one members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been convicted of federal crimes, including the department’s popular former sheriff Lee Baca, causing the head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, to describe the LASD as having a “toxic culture of corruption seen only in the movies.” A three-part investigation by WitnessLA by Celeste Fremon into possible incidents of fraud relating to a fleet of Sea King helicopters loaned under a controversial Defense Department program suggests challenges remain in rooting out a culture of fraud.

    [Reporting for this project was sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

    2017 FIJ diversity fellows get to work; head to IRE, Logan conferences

    May 14th, 2017

    Seven journalsts selected as diversity fellows by the Schuster Institute and the Fund for Investigative Journalism have begun working on their projects.As they continue their reporting, the fellows will take part in training and networking conferences — thanks to the generosity of Jon Logan and the Reva and David Logan Foundation.Three of the fellows are spending the final days of April at the University of California, Berkeley, for the invitation-only Logan Symposium. The remaining four head to Phoenix in June for the IRE conference.Funding from the Logan Foundation allows FIJ to pay the full cost of registration, airfare and accomodations for the fellows.

    Lisa Armstrong, Michele Chabin, Lottie Joiner, Jaeah Lee and Linda Matchan were announced earlier this year as FIJ Schuster Institute Social Justice Investigative Reporting Fellows. Sonia Paul and Stacy Thacker were selected as investigative “rising stars.”

    The fellowships, underwritten by the Ford Foundation, hopes to increase the ranks of women and journalists of color in a field where they have been underrepresented.

    In other news: FIJ recently announced $120,000 in grants for investigative journalism. Visit FIJ.org for a list of the latest grant recipients. Read the rest of this entry »

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism Is Hiring

    May 2nd, 2017

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism seeks Director of Operations

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) helps fund groundbreaking investigative stories that otherwise would not be told. Founded in 1969, FIJ makes grants to independent investigative journalists who have great tips, ideas, and sources, but need financial resources to do their work.

    FIJ is governed by a board of experienced investigative journalists. It is an organization of journalists helping journalists by raising the funds that make independent watchdog reporting possible.

    To help meet the growing needs of investigative journalists who work independently, without the resources or protection of media organizations and newsrooms, FIJ is hiring a Director of Operations.

    The Director of Operations oversees all office operations and procedures to ensure organizational effectiveness and efficiency and reports directly to the Executive Director. Read the rest of this entry »