The Center for Investigative Reporting announced today that it has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $3.5 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This unrestricted grant will directly support CIR’s investigative team while enabling the organization to build new partnerships, audiences and sources of revenue.
In addition, the grant will contribute to the success of the award-winning Reveal radio show and podcast produced by CIR and PRX. Reveal is the nation’s first and only weekly public radio show and podcast dedicated to informing and engaging the public through compelling, fact-based investigations that amplify diverse voices, help lead to change and protect our democracy.
Reveal airs on more than 260 public radio stations nationwide and is available on many podcast platforms including Stitcher, iTunes and NPR One. CIR’s stories also are distributed on its website, RevealNews.org, and through partnerships with other media organizations.
“We are honored to be part of this unprecedented gift to public service journalism,” said CIR’s executive director, Robert J. Rosenthal. “The gift is visionary for the field, and the MacArthur Foundation’s commitment to general operating support could not be more important. Navigating the turmoil of this moment in media requires flexibility and an entrepreneurial spirit. This grant will enable us to pivot quickly to take advantage of new opportunities while continuing to create journalism that makes a difference. We cannot thank the foundation enough.”
As part of the MacArthur Foundation’s commitment to accountability and explanatory reporting, it is making nearly $25 million in completely unrestricted, five-year general operating grants to a core group of journalism grantees.
CIR is part of this core group, along with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University; The Center for Public Integrity; the Foundation for National Progress, the nonprofit publisher of Mother Jones; Global Press Institute; The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute; National Public Radio; Public Radio International; Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting; Round Earth Media; the Investigative Reporting Program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism; and WGBH Educational Foundation for the PBS investigative journalism series FRONTLINE.
Over the years, CIR has collaborated with many of these organizations to produce stories, radio segments, documentary videos and data tools.
“The Center for Investigative Reporting has been a champion of the best work and highest standards of journalism for almost 40 years,” said Kathy Im, the foundation’s director of journalism and media. “Today, adding to its rich history, CIR tells stories in multiple and groundbreaking ways, reaching brand-new audiences, and is one of the most innovative newsrooms in the country. The MacArthur Foundation is incredibly proud to be able to invest in their future.”
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions and influential networks building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including overincarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy; the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago; and generating new knowledge about critical issues.
Founded in 1977, The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s first independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization dedicated to public service journalism. CIR empowers the public through groundbreaking investigative storytelling that sparks action, improves lives and protects our democracy. The stories CIR tells hold the powerful accountable and uncover information that would otherwise remain hidden from the public – revealing injustices, exposing threats to public safety, protecting vulnerable communities, championing human rights, speaking out against environmental degradation, and shining a light on government fraud and waste of taxpayer funds. CIR’s reporting also exposes the intersection of power, money and politics, and the impact of failures of accountability for vulnerable populations and underserved communities. CIR is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, winner of 2013 and 2015 Emmy Awards and a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 (for local reporting) and 2013 (for public service).