Fund for Investigative Journalism Announces New Grants to 16 Projects

Grants and other support will help reporters produce groundbreaking coverage on government/corporate wrongdoing, criminal justice, civil rights, and the environment.

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2021 – The Fund for Investigative Journalism today announced that its board of directors has awarded grants to reporters for 16 new investigative projects. The investigative projects include print, broadcast and online news stories, books, documentaries, and podcasts. 

In addition to receiving grants, the reporters will have the opportunity to be paired with seasoned journalists who serve as editorial mentors, and they can request pro bono legal assistance through the Fund’s partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

“The journalists we’re supporting are working in every part of this country – rural communities, cities, across multiple states and at the national level – to uncover stories that will have a significant impact. We’re excited to continue expanding our work and our impact, when and where it’s needed most,” said Eric Ferrero, executive director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism. 

The Fund does not disclose the nature of grantees’ investigations before they are published or broadcast. The reporters receiving new grants include:

  • Ben Austen, freelance writer and author based in Chicago.
  • Giacomo Bologna, independent investigative reporter based in Mississippi. 
  • Pamela Dempsey, executive director of The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in Illinois.
  • Chris Faraone, independent reporter and editor based in Boston.
  • Jennifer Gollan, reporter for Reveal in San Francisco, California.
  • Violet Ikonomova, investigative reporter for Deadline Detroit in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Kelan Lyons, justice reporter for the Connecticut Mirror in Hartford, Connecticut  
  • Christine MacDonald, independent journalist based in Washington, D.C.
  • Jerry Mitchell, investigative reporter for the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • David Montero, independent journalist and author based in Pittsburgh.
  • David Nickerson and Brian Edwards, independent journalists based in New York City.
  • Robert Lewis, reporter at CalMatters in California.
  • Nina Sparling, reporter and audio producer based in San Francisco.
  • Katie Thornton, independent journalist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Lee van der Voo, freelance environmental and investigative journalist based in Oregon.
  • Brenda Wintrode, Howard Investigative reporting fellow working for Wisconsin Watch in Madison, Wisconsin. 

For an index of stories published in the last 12 months with grants and other support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, go to:

For highlights of the impact that stories published with grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism have had, go to:

The next deadline for grant applications on any topic is Sept. 13. Expedited grants are also available for urgent stories. To learn more about how to apply for grants, go to: