FIJ Awards Grants to Investigative Journalists

WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $67,000 in grants for eighteen investigative projects.

The grants provide the resources necessary to travel in the US and abroad to interview sources and research documentary evidence, and for other out-of-pocket expenses. FIJ’s grant-making program is made possible by support from the Herb Block Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, the Gannett 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.

Investigative journalists receiving grants are:

Cecelia Balli, Austin-based magazine writer

Ashley Bates, California-based journalist

Chad Bouchard, 100Reporters

Kiera Butler, Oakland-based editor, Mother Jones

Peter Byrne, reporter specializing in science writing

Yvette Cabrera, reporter specializing in poverty, immigration and social issues

Rhiannon Fionn-Bowman, reporter specializing in environmental issues

Emma Jacobs, reporter, WHYY-Philidelphia

Graham Kates, The Crime Report

Todd Melby, reporter/producer, Prairie Public Broadcasting

Shawn Musgrave, MuckRock News

Ngoc Nguyen, San Francisco-based reporter and editor, New America Media

Peggy Orchowski, Hispanic Outlook on Higher Education

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, reporter specializing in health care and neuroscience

Ian Shearn, reporter specializing in human rights abuses and corporate accountability

Mary Ann Swissler, reporter specializing in women’s issues, mental health and politics

Maria Ines Zamudio, reporter, The Chicago Reporter

Grantees investigate corruption, malfeasance, and misuse of power in the public and private sectors. Past awardees have exposed abuses of power by the FBI, by religious leaders, and in the criminal justice system – to name a few examples. FIJ keeps specifics of ongoing projects in confidence until they are completed.

In addition to funding, interested grantees are eligible to receive mentors through partnerships with Investigative Reporters and Editors and with 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 Edward R. Murrow Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award, and the Sigma Delta Chi award.

FIJ is 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 legal services are provided by Dykema.

Read more about FIJ-supported projects and instructions for grant applications at The next deadline for applications is Monday, March 11. Inquiries about the application process are welcomed. Contact executive director Sandy Bergo, 202-662-7564, or [email protected].