FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director
rrosenthal@cironline.org
(510) 809-3160

Berkeley, CA—The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is proud to announce the creation of the Henry Demarest Lloyd Investigative Fund to help fill the increasing void in probing, enterprising investigative reporting. The Lloyd Investigative Fund will sponsor pioneering journalism that has “moral force” and the potential for major impact.

Henry Demarest Lloyd (1847-1903) was a pioneer muckraker of late 19th century Chicago, whose articles and books, including Wealth Against Commonwealth, published in 1894, focused on two topics now almost completely ignored by corporate-owned media: the working class and the very powerful—the “one percent of America who controls 60% of its wealth.”

The mission of the Lloyd Investigative Fund is to support the work of investigative journalists who probe behind the walls of secrecy erected by government and powerful corporations, to inform the public of unreported news and events—which directly affect their lives—at home and around the globe. The Lloyd Fund will commission the work of freelance journalists who share in this vision.

Two of Lloyd’s descendants—Robin Lloyd (publisher of www.towardfreedom.com) and Arthur Berndt (together with his wife Anne and their Maverick Lloyd Foundation)—are providing seed money for this fund.

“We desperately need journalists who have the courage and passion to break through the barriers of government secrecy, corporate dominance and media consolidation,” says Berndt.

The Lloyd Investigative Fund’s first grant will be made to Petra Bartosiewicz, in support of her investigation (for Harper’s Magazine) of the disappearance of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuro-scientist who in 2003 was reportedly abducted near her home in Karachi, along with her three American-born children. Siddiqui, a long-time resident of the Boston area, received her doctorate from Brandeis University before returning to Pakistan with her children shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Around the time she went missing, she was sought for questioning by the FBI for her alleged links to two high-level al Qaeda suspects. In Pakistan her case became emblematic of the hundreds of “disappeared” persons who, since 9/11, have been swept up by Pakistani intelligence. Siddiqui’s whereabouts remained unknown until last summer, when after five years she and her eldest son resurfaced in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Her two younger children remain missing.

Bartosiewicz is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared on NPR’s This American Life, and numerous print publications including The Nation, Mother Jones, Salon.com, Fortune, the New York Times, and Newsday. She is currently writing a book on terrorism trials in the United States, The Best Terrorists We Could Find, to be published by Nation Books in 2009.

* * *

The role that journalism plays in a functioning democracy is at serious risk. With fewer and fewer companies controlling more and more media—and with corporate media and big city newspapers rapidly laying off investigative reporters, the need for independent investigative journalism has never been greater. Major issues affecting the very fabric of this nation and the world are going unexamined. CIR, founded more than 30 years ago, is poised to lead as we enter an age of transformation in news, information and its distribution. The Lloyd Investigative Fund will help CIR ensure that high-quality, credible, unique journalism does not die, but flourishes.

Each year the Lloyd Investigative Fund will provide direct support (typically ranging from $1,000-$5,000) for 2-4 projects that offer strong potential for impact. Applications are due March 31st. For guidelines or to learn more, go to: http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/projects/hdlloydfund.

To make a contribution to the Fund, please contact CIR at 510-809-3160.