Today, The Center for Investigative Reporting received a generous $3 million general operating grant from the Democracy Fund and First Look Media to support our work for the next two years.

This contribution could not be more timely. It will help fuel our expansion of critically important, in-depth coverage of cuts to federal programs that safeguard the environment, our health and our workplaces. It will likewise give a boost to our investigations of fundamental changes in the U.S. – including construction of a border wall, changes to immigration policies, our probes of the origin and financial underpinnings of hate and extremist movements, and much more. It also will allow us to build on our grass-roots work of engaging with journalists and communities across the nation and around the world through partnerships and mentoring.

“The Center for Investigative Reporting is pioneering new models of investigative reporting rooted in collaboration, community engagement and creativity,” said Tom Glaisyer, director of the Democracy Fund’s Public Square program. “Their deep commitment to ensuring that their reporting serves the people most impacted by the stories they produce is a recipe for rebuilding trust and helps strengthen their role as a check and balance on the powerful. That is precisely the kind of journalism our democracy needs today and every day.”

Last year alone, CIR produced dozens of stories that have led to important changes, sparking new laws to protect the public, criminal investigations, corporate and government policy reforms, and community organizing. We worked with more than 60 partner organizations to bring their investigations to the airwaves and the web. With PRX, we launched “Reveal,” the first weekly public radio show and podcast to reach millions with important stories that showcase the value and impact of investigative reporting. We introduced Glassbreaker Films, a women’s documentary film studio, and the Reveal Investigative Fellowship for journalists of color. And we have piloted a model for nurturing collaborative investigative reporting through Reveal Labs in six states.

“At CIR, we have grounded our work in the belief that all communities can address the critical issues they confront through the power of investigative reporting,” said CIR CEO Joaquin Alvarado. “Our role is to be there as a source for powerful journalism, a partner in engaging the community to respond to its implications and an ally in the long game of finding solutions that improve lives.”

The grant is part of $12 million announced today to underscore the Democracy Fund and First Look Media’s commitment to the critical role of the First Amendment. Both organizations were created by philanthropist Pierre Omidyar.