Seattle Foundation Blog

Seattle Times and Seattle Foundation Launch Investigative Journalism Fund

New partnership focuses on community journalism


April 11, 2019

Today marks the launch of The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative with Seattle Foundation, to support investigative journalism that holds power accountable and drives change. This effort seeks community funders and personal champions of the free press to ensure the future of local investigative journalism and protect and expand the ambitious, rigorously reported work that is critical to a healthy democracy.

Seattle Foundation will serve as fiscal sponsor for this effort, receiving contributions from the public and administering the funds to ensure they are used for the intended purpose and in the public interest. This is one of numerous projects in the region for which Seattle Foundation serves in this role. The Seattle Times is a pioneer among news media organizations, partnering with community funders to develop impact journalism initiatives that improve our community and create change. The Investigative Journalism Fund builds upon the paper’s success of community-supported public service journalism addressing public education, homelessness and traffic in our region (Education Lab, Project Homeless and Traffic Lab). The Investigative Journalism Fund’s goal is to build the largest local investigative team in the nation to engage the public, hold power accountable and explore solutions to make a difference for the people of our region.

“Protecting democratic institutions and values is a critical way Seattle Foundation carries out our mission to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all,” says Mary Grace Roske, the chief brand officer of Seattle Foundation. “Investigative reporting is journalism at its finest, given its power to uncover injustice and drive reform, often to the benefit of marginalized people and communities whose voices are not heard. We are pleased to partner with another trusted community institution, The Seattle Times, to further this important work.”

“We are excited to invite you, the individual supporter, to build a stronger democracy by expanding journalism in Seattle even as newsrooms across America are shrinking,” says Sharon Pian Chan, The Seattle Times’ vice president of innovation, product and development. “We want you as partners in building a community-powered journalism model for the rest of the nation.”

This project is the latest step in the partnership between The Seattle Times and Seattle Foundation. The Seattle Times was an integral partner in GiveBIG, a one-day online giving campaign Seattle Foundation created to raise money for the region’s nonprofit organizations. Seattle Foundation also serves as fiscal sponsor for Project Homeless, a Seattle Times initiative that explores and explains homelessness in the region.

In-depth investigations have helped earn The Seattle Times 10 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization in the Northwest. Seattle Times investigations have changed public policy and resulted in action at the highest levels of government. Seattle Times journalism has saved local lives from dangerous painkillers, protected vulnerable seniors from abuse, exposed double-booked surgeries at a local hospital and expedited FDA changes to help prevent birth defects, to name a few.

The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over content produced with fund resources. Funders do not have any input into the reporting of stories or into any of the specific content that will be produced with fund resources. Funders are not aware of specific stories The Seattle Times newsroom is working on and do not review them before publication. Funders do not have special access to reporters, and readers know who funders are.

To learn more, visit seattletimes.com/investigativefund. To support this work, Seattle Foundation philanthropists can contact their Philanthropic Advisor, email philanthropicservices@seattlefoundation.org or make an online donation.

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Vibrant CommunitiesCorporate partnersHomelessnessphilanthropistssocial equalitySystems and policy change

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