Knight Chair in Investigative & Enterprise Reporting
Knight Foundation support of investigative reporting
Many foundations are helping to build the bridge to the future of investigative journalism, but none is putting as much work and money into the bridge as the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation.
Based in Miami, Florida, the journalism foundation has given millions of dollars in grants to all the varied elements of investigative reporting, whether it is training, investigations themselves, special projects, university programs or investigative centers.
Knight also funds freedom of information efforts (which often are the beginning step for investigations), community information initiatives that include investigative work, and digital innovations that provide tools for doing investigations.
Among the grantees (they are all nonprofit organizations) that have received $1 million or more since 2001:
- Investigative Reporters and Editors
- News21, a program for students from 12 universities to do innovative investigative and in-depth projects
- The Center for Public Integrity
- The Center for Investigative Reporting
- ProPublica, an investigative news organization
- Syracuse University for TRACFED, a Web-based source for authoritative information on the federal government
- Lowell Bergman's investigative reporting projects at the University of California at Berkeley, including work with PBS's Frontline
- The Center for Responsive Politics for training in analyzing campaign finance documents
Among those receiving substantial funding under $1 million are:
- DocumentCloud, developing software to make government documents more accessible and easier to use
- The Huffington Post Investigative Fund
- The Fund for Investigative Journalism
- The Sunlight Foundation for the creation of digital tools to gather and analyze government documents
- The New England Center for Investigative Reporting
- For the investigation into the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey and the related stories into corruption
- Spot.Us, an innovative investigative Web site
- Commonwealth Magazine in Boston
Knight also has funded many new online regional news organizations that produce investigative and public service stories. Those grants include:
- Texas Tribune
- Voice of San Diego
- St. Louis Beacon
- New America Media (a network of hundreds of ethnic media news organizations)
- NJ Spotlight in New Jersey
Earlier this year, it granted $2 million to the National Freedom of Information Coalition to create the Knight FOI Fund to support litigation to get access to public documents. Knight is in the midst of giving out $24 million in matching grants over a five year period to community foundation projects, some of which are producing investigative work and $25 million under the Knight News Challenge to innovative digital projects such as DocumentCloud that can aid investigative journalism. And it is supporting an online journalism legal aid center located at Harvard University.
In addition, Knight supports three endowed three university chairs held by investigative journalists with data analysis abilities (including the chair here at Illinois) who are pursuing new digital ways of doing investigation. The other two chairs are at Duke University and Arizona State University.
Questions or comments about the Knight Chair?
Please contact Professor Brant Houston at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.