The grant will help fund AZCIR’s daily operations and further develop its data analysis service for partner newsrooms and produce data-driven accountability journalism projects on important public policy issues.
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is based in Oklahoma City and has provided startup funding for investigative journalism nonprofits across the U.S., including Investigative Newsource in San Diego, California, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS in Colorado, among others.
The Foundation’s mission is to “invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information.” It was established in 1982 by the late Edith Kinney Gaylord, a pioneering female journalist who was the first woman to work as a general news reporter for the Associated Press.
AZCIR is the state’s only nonprofit newsroom dedicated to statewide accountability journalism. It is working to become a statewide hub for collaborative investigative reporting, data collection and analysis.
“This generous contribution from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation marks a major milestone in the advancement of nonprofit and investigative journalism in our state,” said Brandon Quester, AZCIR’s executive director and founding board member. “We’re excited to have new funding to produce more watchdog journalism and serve as a resource for other newsrooms in Arizona.”
Additional AZCIR board members include Paula Casey, executive director of the Arizona Newspapers Association, Stephen K. Doig, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and Knight Chair in Journalism professor at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Josh Hoffner, the Southwest News Editor for the Associated Press.
A Journalism Advisory Committee also supports AZCIR’s efforts and is chaired by Leonard Downie Jr., vice president at large of The Washington Post, where he served as executive editor from 1991 to 2008, and Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School. Other committee members include newsroom professionals and educators from throughout Arizona.
In addition to the $100,000 Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation grant, AZCIR has received project grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Google Ideas, the Harnisch Foundation, and individual donations.