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The Fund for Investigative Journalism Grants for investigative projects and books


Grant Information

For the current grant cycle, with a deadline of November 1, 2011, only domestic reporting proposals are being considered.

The Fund’s Board of Directors meets periodically throughout the year to consider grant applications for investigative projects and books.

It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion or if the projects are published in a different form or in a different outlet than originally proposed.

All entries must be written in English.

The average grant is $5,000. The Fund will pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs or public records document fees. The Fund grants will not cover grantees’ writing fees or salaries, the costs of purchasing equipment, or other capital expenses.

In exceptional cases, the Fund will consider awarding a small stipend as part of the grant.

Once approved, grantees will be invited to participate in a mentoring program jointly sponsored by the Fund and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism was founded in 1969 by the late Philip M. Stern, a public-spirited philanthropist who devoted his life “to balancing the scales of justice,” in the words of a friend. Stern was convinced small amounts of money invested in the work of determined journalists would yield enormous results in the fight against racism, poverty, corporate greed and governmental corruption. Stern’s theory proved true in the Fund’s first year, when a tiny grant of $250 enabled reporter Seymour Hersh to begin investigating a tip concerning a U.S. Army massacre at the Vietnamese village of My Lai. A subsequent Fund grant of $2,000 allowed Hersh to finish reporting the story.

“Think of it,” Stern later wrote, “a mere $2,250 in Fund grants enabled Seymour Hersh to leverage a whiff into a colossal stink and contribute mightily to the change in how Americans viewed the war in Vietnam.”

Over three decades, the Fund has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants to freelance reporters, authors and small publications, enabling the publication of more than 700 stories and broadcasts and some 50 books. “Without support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, The Progressive would simply not have been able to publish many of the stories that we are most proud of,” wrote Matthew Rothschild, the magazine’s editor. “Democracy depends on the circulation of this information; the Fund makes that circulation possible.”

Fund-supported projects have won a wide array of journalistic honors. They include two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine Awards, the Raymond Clapper Award, the George Polk Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award, the Worth Bingham Prize, the New York Newspaper Guild’s Front Page Award and many others. Authors working with the help of a Fund grant have won the Frank Luther Mott Award for the best media book, as well as the MacArthur Foundation’s coveted “genius” award. Recent books written with assistance from the Fund include Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s Black Mass: The Irish Mob, The FBI and A Devil’s Deal; Robert Friedman’s Red Mafiya – How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America; Ted Anton’s Eros, Magic and the Murder of Professor Culianu; Dan Baum’s Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure; and Joseph Rodriguez’ photodocumentary book East Side Stories – Gang Life in East LA.

Reporter Morton Mintz, past chairman of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, summed up its mission this way: “For more than 30 years, the Fund for Investigative Journalism has helped to finance exposes of harmful and wrongful conduct, such as corruption at all levels of government; corporate, governmental and press nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance; abuses of civil and human rights and of the environment; unsafe medical technologies; and improper donor influence on research in academe.”

by teru kuwayama at 2011-10-24 03:23:33 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

01 Nov 2011 00:11
Hi Teru,
thanks for posting about FIJ! When do you think we should expect this grant cycle for international reporting proposals?

Best regards,


by Elisabetta Zavoli | 31 Oct 2011 19:10 | Rimini, Italy | | Report spam→
I am interested in knowing, to what level of corruption" is the fund is given …. as An i am hailing from a place where border met… here an army road construction company has been involved in millions of ruppes corruption…

by Tashi Namgyal | 16 Nov 2011 12:11 | | Report spam→
Hey Teru, is this mob associated with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists? Gerard Ryle is heading that up now…

by lisa hogben | 17 Nov 2011 04:11 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
hi Lisa, I don’t know if it’s the same organization or not – but I think FIJ is not to be confused with IJF, IFJ, or CIJ, or CPJ. Definitely not IDF or PLF.

by teru kuwayama | 17 Nov 2011 21:11 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
hehehehehee…..my favorite Python scene of all time, next to of course…’He’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy’

by lisa hogben | 19 Nov 2011 02:11 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Elisabetta Zavoli, freelance photographer Elisabetta Zavoli
freelance photographer
Jakarta , Indonesia
Tashi Namgyal, Media and Travel Fixer Tashi Namgyal
Media and Travel Fixer
Ladakh/Zanskar , India
lisa hogben, Visualjournalist! lisa hogben
Sydney , Australia


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