PHOENIX – The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, the state’s only nonprofit newsroom dedicated to statewide investigative and accountability reporting, was awarded a third round of operational funding from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.
The $100,000 grant will support AZCIR’s ongoing efforts to expand original and collaborative reporting in Arizona, with an emphasis on data, and to increase its focus on using technology and computer programming to free more public records.
The grant includes an initial installment of $75,000 of operational funding, and provides an additional opportunity for $25,000 in matching funds. AZCIR will have one year to raise $25,000, which EEJF will then match.
“We’re thrilled to have continued support from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, which for the past three years has enabled AZCIR to establish itself as an independent voice for accountability journalism in Arizona,” said Brandon Quester, AZCIR’s executive director and editor. “The matching portion of this grant gives us an opportunity to grow our financial backing from individuals and other foundations in Arizona and elsewhere in the coming year, with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $25,000.”
The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation is based in Oklahoma City and has awarded initial funding for nonprofit newsrooms throughout the U.S. The foundation was established in 1982 by the late-Edith Kinney Gaylord, a pioneering female journalist who worked as the first female general news reporter at the Associated Press. With a mission to “invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information,” EEJF is a prominent supporter of startup newsrooms that are filling information gaps within communities because of contractions in traditional media.
The Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting was founded in 2012 as the state’s only nonprofit newsroom that focuses on statewide, data-driven accountability reporting. Through its original and collaborative journalism, AZCIR has shed light on topics from “dark money” spending in Arizona elections to demographic disparities in the state’s K-12 education system to environmental hazards that impact the entire region.
In addition to Quester, AZCIR’s 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., former executive editor of The Washington Post, and Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School. Other committee members include newsroom professionals and educators from throughout Arizona.
AZCIR has received grants from the Arizona Community Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in coordination with Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, and from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Google Ideas, the Harnisch Foundation, and individual donations.