Emergency Grants for Coverage of Threats to Democracy in the U.S. 

Fund for Investigative Journalism Announces Emergency Grants for Coverage of Threats to Democracy in the U.S. 

WASHINGTON, DC, May 19, 2022 – The Fund for Investigative Journalism today launched an emergency grant program for stories on threats to democracy in the United States. 

 Emergency grants are available for investigative stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing in the public or private sectors related to threats to democracy. These can include, for example, investigative stories on barriers to voting, voter suppression, misinformation, political influence in election systems, efforts to undermine the rule of law and other issues. Like all stories supported by the Fund, these stories must be unbiased and nonpartisan, and they must adhere to the highest journalistic standards.

  • Journalists can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to cover the expenses of investigations. 
  • Applicants must have a commitment from a media outlet to publish or broadcast the story. 
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and grant decisions will be made within two to four weeks of applications being submitted. 
  • Proposals from journalists from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged. 
  • For more information, see the grant application.

“The state of democracy in the U.S. is a four-alarm fire – and investigative journalism is uniquely able to expose threats to democracy, shine a light on their potential consequences and help spark change,” said Eric Ferrero, Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism. “These emergency grants will help more reporters do the urgent, critical work of digging deep to produce investigative stories that can have an impact, particularly at the state and local levels.”

Journalists who receive grants through this program will be able to request editorial mentorship from seasoned reporters who specialize in covering threats to democracy, as well as free legal assistance through the Fund’s partnership with the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press. 

The Fund will hold a webinar on how to apply for these grants on June 1 at 11:30 a.m. eastern. Click here to register. 

 Over the last two years, the Fund provided emergency grants for investigative coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic and police practices in the U.S. Those two emergency grant programs supported stories that helped spark more than 12 changes to policies and practices at the local, state and federal levels. One story supported by an emergency grant received the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. 

The Fund for Investigative Journalism was founded in 1969. The Fund’s Board of Directors, a group of highly accomplished journalists, reviews every grant proposal and votes on which to approve.