Fund for Investigative Journalism Awards a Record 30 New Grants in 18 States

Journalists receive grants, legal help and editorial mentorship to produce groundbreaking investigative stories

WASHINGTON, DC; APRIL 6, 2023 – The Fund for Investigative Journalism today announced that it is making 30 new grants to journalists in its most recent round of funding.

This marks the Fund’s largest round of grants in its 54-year history.

The Fund provides grants of up to $10,000 directly to freelance journalists or news organizations to cover the expenses of specific investigations. These expenses include open-records fees, travel costs, reporters’ time and more. Journalists who receive grants from the Fund are also able to request free legal help, through the Fund’s partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and editorial mentorship.

“We’re getting nearly triple the number of requests for help that we would get just a couple of years ago,” said Eric Ferrero, Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism. “Strong investigative journalism can expose injustice and spark reform, but reporters increasingly need support to do this work. We’re expanding our work to meet the sharply increasing need, and we’re proud to support these 30 journalists with funding and other critical help.”

The Fund does not disclose the nature of its grantees’ stories before they are published. Following is a list of individuals and organizations awarded grants in the first funding cycle of 2023: 

  • Agência Pública, an investigative news agency in Brazil
  • Arizona Luminaria
  • Juan Barrientos, freelance journalist and writer from Colombia, South America
  • Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism, for a project led by Carolyn Thompson
  • Center for Public Integrity for a story led by Maria Ines Zamudio
  • Centro de Periodismo Investigativo in Puerto Rico
  • Ben Greenberg, freelance journalist based in Boston
  • A group of journalists who are finishing the book Dom Phillips was writing when he was murdered last year
  • Jane C. Hu, independent journalist in Seattle
  • The Kansas City Defender, a Black nonprofit digital news organization 
  • Paul Koberstein, Founder and Editor, and Jessica Applegate, Managing Editor, of Cascadia Times
  • Oscar Lopez, freelance journalist based in Mexico City
  • Alex Lubben, freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York
  • Spenser Mestel, independent journalist based in Brooklyn, New York
  • Aaron Nelsen, Editor for Lead Stories Español and freelance journalist
  • NJ Spotlight News, a PBS-affiliated independent news organization  
  • NPR, for a story on the Throughline podcast led by Anya Steinberg and Sequoia Carrillo 
  • Molly O’Toole, journalist and author from San Diego, California
  • Open Vallejo, an award-winning, independent, nonpartisan newsroom serving the public interest
  • Outlaw Ocean Project, a nonprofit news organization focused on environmental and human rights crimes at sea
  • Julia Rock, freelance journalist and staff reporter at The Lever 
  • Keith Schneider, independent national environmental journalist writing for several newsrooms including the Guardian, the New Lead and Circle of Blue 
  • The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, for a story led by Michael Finch
  • UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Project, for a story led by Garrett Therolf
  • UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Project, for a story led by Katey Rusch 
  • Univision News Digital
  • Jonah Walters and Terence Keel, journalist and academic researcher studying in-custody deaths
  • WLRN News in South Florida, for a story led by Daniel Rivero
  • The Utah Investigative Journalism Project
  • WyoFile, an independent, member-supported, public-interest news service reporting on the people, places and policy of Wyoming.

The Fund’s grantees published more than 125 stories in the last 12 months. Click here to read some of these stories and click here for highlights of the impact of stories produced with support from the Fund.

The next deadline for grants for investigative stories on any topic in any medium is May 1. Click here for more on the criteria and application process.