The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday Sept. 25, 2017 - 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.

    Grantee leads Nepalese journalists in reporting of quake aftermath

    February 27th, 2017

    FIJ grant recipient Lucinda Fleeson has been in Nepal to help a team of journalists report on the aftermath of the massive 2015 earthquake that toppled centuries-old buildings. The temblor killed some 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The team has been analyzing data and tracking the progress of rebuilding.

    NiemanReports recently featured the project on its website.

    Inside the big-money world of seafood

    February 15th, 2017

    In her book, “The Fish Market,” Lee van der Voo tells the story of the people, such as small boat fishermen, and the communities left behind in this era of ocean privatization – a trend that now controls more than half of America’s seafood. Following seafood money from U.S. docks to Wall Street, she explains the methods investors, equity firms and the seafood industry have used to profit from the sustainable seafood movement. She also goes behind the scenes of the so-called “slow fish” movement that advocates both for quality food for consumers and a decent living for fisherman.

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

    Race plays role in court cases in Oregon

    February 15th, 2017

    For its Unequal Justice project, InvestigateWest collaborated with the Pamplin Media Group, Portland State University’s Mark G. Harmon and independent journalist Kate Willson in analyzing a decade’s worth of court records by race. The team sifted through 5.5 million court records and reported out the unique experiences of African Americans in the Portland urban area and that of Latinos in the state’s rural expanses. The reporting discovered that blacks and Latinos were charged more frequently for such violations as jaywalking, spitting in public, traffic infractions and drug-related offenses.

    [Photo: March for Justice and Equality on Jan 28, 2017. Photo by Jaime Valdez.]

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

    State, local governments erect barriers to access to public information

    February 7th, 2017

    State and local secrecy is on the rise but gets far less attention than similar issues at the federal level. The public’s ability to gain access to public information is often hampered by state and local governments themselves. In a five-part series for Reveal, the Center for Investigative Reporting, also published by Gannett newspapers and USA TODAY, Miranda Spivack showed the damaging effects of state and local secrecy. Many states, relying on an obscure federal law, withhold documents, data and reports on dangerous roads, bridges and intersections. In a related piece, she illustrated the harmful effect when private contractors gain control of public records such as court documents and crime data, limiting access and reselling information, sometimes at exorbitant prices.

    [In photo: Richard Boltuck, an economist who lives in Bethesda, Maryland, stands near his home at a makeshift memorial for three family members who were killed in 2016 at the accident-prone intersection. Boltuck has been lobbying the state for information about the intersection’s dangers for eight years. Photo by Stephen R. Herm for Reveal.]

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

    Diversity fellowships announced

    January 23rd, 2017

     

    Jan. 23, 2017

    FOR IMMEDIATE
    RELEASE

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    FUND FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AND SCHUSTER INSTITUTE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM ANNOUNCE SOCIAL JUSTICE INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING GRANT AND FELLOWSHIP AWARDS

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University are pleased to announce the winners of our nationally competitive journalism initiative funded by the Ford Foundation, with the express goal of increasing diverse and inclusive voices and topics in investigative journalism.

    Five journalists will be awarded grants and fellowships for social justice investigative reporting projects, and two early-career journalists selected as “Rising Stars” will receive editorial mentorships in addition to grants and fellowships to support their projects.

    Lisa Armstrong, Michele Chabin, Lottie Joiner, Jaeah Lee and Linda Matchan were selected as FIJ Schuster Institute Social Justice Investigative Reporting Fellows and will receive grants and fellowships to conduct their investigative reporting.

    The two selected as Investigative Journalism Rising Stars are Sonia Paul and Stacy Thacker.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tax credits for Pennsylvania film and TV productions being wasted?

    January 13th, 2017

    Pennsylvania has spent more than half a billion dollars over the past decade to lure film and TV productions to the state. But an investigation by PublicSource suggests that millions of dollars spent to provide film tax credits are not only being misallocated, but also wasted. Some of the findings: All but 1 percent of film tax credits are transferred to companies that have nothing to do with film or TV – essentially transforming the program into a backdoor tax break for some of the largest corporations and utilities operating in Pennsylvania.

    [Pittsburgh’s Strip District served as the backdrop for a raucous fight scene in “Jack Reacher,” starring Tom Cruise. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures via PublicSource.)]

    [Reporting sponsored by the Park Foundation.]

     

    Investigation looks into fraud at Vermont ski resort

    January 11th, 2017

    Allegations of fraud have long clouded a ski resort in northern Vermont, including allegations that developers misused $200 million in immigrant investor funds raised through wealthy immigrants seeking special U.S. visas. VTDigger began reporting on these allegations two years before the Securities and Exchange Commission brought charges against the developers last April in what VTDigger reports is now the largest EB-5 immigrant investor fraud case in the nation’s history. In its investigation, VTDigger found that the division of state government charged with monitoring the EB-5 program in Vermont did not properly oversee the Jay Peak projects and that top elected officials promoted the developments to overseas investors despite allegations of fraud dating back to 2012.

    [Photo caption: Jay Peak Resort CEO and president Bill Stenger, right, Gov. Peter Shumlin, center, and Miami business man Ariel Quiros, far left, at a ribbon cutting at the ski area. VTDigger photo.]

    [Reporting sponsored by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.]

    Hawaii is epicenter of ‘America’s real migrant crisis’

    January 5th, 2017

    Hawaii has the nation’s highest rate of homelessness, with thousands of impoverished people setting up tent cities on sidewalks and along beaches. Many of the homeless are from the Pacific region of Micronesia, whose residents are allowed to live and work freely in the United States under a 30-year-old treaty. Hawaii has been the overwhelming destination of choice, and the state is struggling to accommodate these new arrivals. Aaron Wiener of Mother Jones provides an overview of the dire situation and how it came to be. 

    [Photo cutline: A homeless encampment in Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu. Photo by Aaron Wiener.]

    [Reporting sponsored by the Park Foundation.]

    With Gratitude

    December 28th, 2016

    (Washington) The board and staff of the Fund for Investigative Journalism would like to close out the year with an expression of gratitude for the many individuals and partners who made our work supporting independent investigative journalism possible.

    Major Supporters:

    The Reva & David Logan Foundation

    The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

    The Ford Foundation

    The craigslist Charitable Fund

    The Park Foundation

    The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation

    The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation

    The Green Park Foundation

    The Gannett Foundation

    The Nara Fund

    The Herb Block Foundation

    Shari and Charles Pfleeger

    Connie Rydberg and Nirav Kapadia

    Sally Collier and Bob Caiola

    Thomson Reuters’ “Dollars for Doers” program

    The many donors referred by the Catalogue for Philanthropy – Greater Washington

    Mentors:

    Michael Berens

    David Boardman

    Tom Brune

    Sarah Cohen

    Mark Greenblatt

    James Grimaldi

    Chuck Lewis

    Josh Meyer

    Deborah Nelson

    Ron Nixon

    Ricardo Sandoval Palos

    Michael Sorkin

    Tisha Thompson

    Partners:

    Catalogue for Philanthropy – Greater Washington

    Investigative Reporters and Editors

    Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University

    Society of Environmental Journalists

    Advisors:

    Gary L. Bostwick, Pro Bono Attorney, Bostwick Law

    Stefanie Gerard Cohn, Pro Bono CPA, Raffa

    Kyle W. Drefke, Pro Bono Attorney, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

    Eric Fingerhut, Pro Bono Attorney, Dykema

    Leigh Riddick, Pro Bono Financial Advisor, Kogod School of Business, American University

    Bobby Caina Calvan

    Bridget Gallagher

    Bev Orr

    And a special thanks to the many new supporters who contributed during the past few weeks, leaving messages of encouragement and appreciation for hard-hitting, unbiased journalism.

    Crisis in Iowa’s wells: Contaminants widespread in private wells

    December 23rd, 2016

    A yearlong investigation by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism reveals the prevalence of nitrates, arsenic, lead and bacteria in private wells across the state. But the 288,000 Iowans who rely on private wells for drinking water may not truly know what’s in their water because their wells aren’t required to be tested, according to a three-day series, “Crisis in Our Wells,” reported by Lauren Shotwell. Because the water quality in those wells goes unregulated, the health risks are unknown.

    [Photo by Lauren Mills Shotwell for IowaWatch: Hannah Lyons, an environmental lab analyst with the Iowa State Hygienic Lab, filtered samples on May 3, 2016, prior to an arsenic speciation test.]

    [Reporting sponsored by the Gannett Foundation.]