PHOENIX — The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, the state’s only nonprofit newsroom dedicated to statewide investigative journalism, has received a $25,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation.

The grant will help fund AZCIR’s original and collaborative reporting, by expanding the Center’s capacity to produce investigative projects with partner newsrooms across Arizona.

“ACF is honored to support the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. Investigative journalism, public accountability reporting and enterprise work are integral to a free society, and yet are in jeopardy in what is now a complex and increasingly fragmented media industry,” said ACF President and CEO Steve Seleznow. “Quality investigative journalism is essential to democracy and brings light and attention to the work of public institutions and their leaders. It informs the public about inequities, corruption, abuse, as well as best practices, which then allows citizens to hold government and institutions accountable, and identify ways that can improve our communities.”

To date, AZCIR has focused on important public policy issues ranging from demographic disparities in the state’s K-12 education system to “dark money” influence within Arizona’s legislature to environmental hazards such as mining spills and the dangers posed by hazardous materials storage facilities.

“This generous grant from the Arizona Community Foundation will help AZCIR produce more investigative journalism with and for newsrooms throughout Arizona, strengthening our media community and bringing greater accountability to our state,” said Brandon Quester, AZCIR’s executive director and editor. “We’re thrilled to have a substantial commitment from a local foundation, and we look forward to expanding our role as hub for collaborative investigative reporting.”

The Arizona Community Foundation has been a leader in mobilizing Arizona philanthropy since the 1970s. One of its core values is to foster partnerships and collaborations to transform Arizona communities for public benefit. It also focuses on innovation and creativity, through philanthropic support, to encourage new ideas and methods for achieving community good.

The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting’s journalism is model is built upon a collaborative method to its reporting, with an innovative approach to produce interactive and in-depth investigative reporting that incorporates data analysis and visualizations, multimedia gathering for publication in all news mediums, and interactive digital content such as geographic mapping and spatial analysis.

In addition to the $25,000 Arizona Community Foundation Grant, AZCIR is supported by funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and has received project grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in coordination with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Google Ideas, the Harnisch Foundation, and individual donors.

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