SEATTLE — InvestigateWest received a $100,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and a $50,000 grant over two years from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Seattle nonprofit journalism studio announced on Monday. InvestigateWest also announced a new $50,000 grant from the Bullitt Foundation.
“More and more, the need for independent, public-interest journalism is being met by those with an interest and capacity to support this essential civic institution,” said InvestigateWest Executive Director Robert McClure.
“Since InvestigateWest’s founding almost five years ago we have repeatedly demonstrated how our reporting makes the Pacific Northwest a better place to live,” McClure added.
Nonprofit media is one of the fastest-growing sectors of American journalism, and it has made headlines in recent weeks. Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, launched First Look Media to cover the NSA, political corruption and other topics. In New York, former hedge fund manager Neil Barsky announced plans for former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller to lead a 30-person newsroom on the American criminal justice system. Both projects are influenced by ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit founded in 2008 with money from billionaires Herbert and Marion Sandler.
“Disruptive technologies have thrown investigative reporting into a maelstrom, and we are holding our collective breath while a new business model is being born.” said Denis Hayes, president of the Bullitt Foundation. “Meanwhile, InvestigateWest has demonstrated courage, integrity, and meticulous attention to detail as it has pursued stories that would otherwise remain unreported. We are honored to be able to support its work.”
The Knight Foundation grant is part of its Local Media Initiative that aims to help nonprofit news organizations establish long-term sustainability.
“This investment is intended to help organizations that have shown promise develop new innovations, while adding to the momentum they have already built toward further growth and sustainability,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation.
The initiative also comprises various other investments in the space, including $3.5 million in grants to more than 25 local online news organizations that have demonstrated potential for growth and the INNovation Fund, which promotes newsroom innovation.
“With this new support from Knight, we can take bigger steps to diversify and increase our revenue base, grow our audience, and ultimately move further along the road to sustainability. And that’s incredibly exciting,” McClure said.
The Bullitt Foundation grant will support InvestigateWest’s independent reporting on urban sustainability and allow the organization to hire a part-time program coordinator to work on development, news partnerships, and the InvestigateWest membership program.
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation grant includes a $50,000 matching challenge as an incentive for new funders to support InvestigateWest’s independent, fact-based journalism. Individuals or foundations interested in helping InvestigateWest meet the matching challenge should contact Robert McClure at email@example.com or (206) 718-0340.
InvestigateWest is a new model for investigative journalism in the Pacific Northwest. The nonprofit journalism studio, founded in 2009, produces powerful, independent journalism that helps to strengthen communities, engage citizens in civic life, and set the policy agenda. In 2013, InvestigateWest won 11 awards and its work reached an audience of 3.5 million online, via broadcast and in print. For more, visit www.invw.org.
About the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation’s mission is to invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities to advance principled, probing news and information. EEJF does so through contributions to media institutions and journalism schools nationwide, primarily in the areas of investigative reporting, youth education, professional development and special opportunities. For more, visit journalismfoundation.org.
About the Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
About the Bullitt Foundation
The Bullitt Foundation is a charitable foundation that works to safeguard the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest. The Foundation is the owner of the Bullitt Center, the greenest commercial building in the world. More information about the Foundation at www.bullitt.org and the Bullitt Center at www.bullittcenter.org
Robert McClure, Executive Director, InvestigateWest, 206-718-0340, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, email@example.com
Amy Solomon, Program Officer, Bullitt Foundation, 206-343-0807, ext. 3, firstname.lastname@example.org