SEATTLE — Sept. 24, 2019 — The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund today announced the launch of a new initiative to build one of the largest local investigative reporting teams in the nation. Beginning in 2020, the Fund’s new initiative will expand on the newspaper’s ambitious, rigorous reporting work and publish new watchdog stories that serve the public interest, increase civic engagement and explore solutions to complex problems facing the Seattle region.
The announcement comes as The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund reaches its initial phase one fundraising goal of $500,000, which supports the hiring of an investigative editor and two investigative reporters. The Fund’s $500,000 goal was met through the support of individual community donations and a $250,000 investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, part of its $300 million initiative focused on strengthening local news and democracy.
The Investigative Journalism Fund is an initiative with Seattle Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as its fiscal sponsor. The Fund collaborates with community funders and personal champions of the free press to ensure the future of investigative journalism that has a direct impact on the local community. More than 200 individual donors contributed to this fundraising milestone. Contributions to the Fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
“The Seattle Times is a pioneer among news organizations, developing groundbreaking funding models for public service journalism initiatives that improve our community,” said Frank Blethen, Seattle Times publisher. “We continue to push the envelope on journalism innovation and creating a sustainable business model to ensure the future of a free press in Seattle and Washington state.”
“This program is at the heart of Knight Foundation’s commitment to foster informed and engaged communities,” said LaSharah S. Bunting, Knight Foundation director for journalism. “By establishing an investigative program that also relies on community support, The Seattle Times is not only strengthening local engagement, but building a program that is sure to inspire newsrooms around the country to adopt a similar approach.”
“Investigative journalism is essential to revealing injustices and pushing for change, particularly when those injustices affect marginalized people without the power to be heard,” said Tony Mestres, president and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “In-depth reporting protects our democratic values and institutions, which are at the core of our mission to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all.”
For additional information on the Investigative Journalism Fund, visit seattletimes.com/investigativefund
About the Seattle Times
The Seattle Times serves the Northwest with independent, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, as the region’s most trusted news media company, dedicated to public service. The Seattle Times is the second-largest newspaper on the West Coast and the most-visited digital information source in the state. Founded in 1896 by Alden J. Blethen, The Seattle Times is now led by the Blethen family’s fourth and fifth generations. It also owns the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.