IRE Commons - Fellowships & grants for freelancers (IRE Commons sponsored by Facebook)

  • Event: 2018 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Brant Houston of University of Illinois; Esther Kaplan of The Investigative Fund; Jane Sasseen of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism; Cheryl W. Thompson of NPR; Laird Townsend of Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE)
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Jun. 14 at 11:30am
  • Location: Veiltail
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Leaders from organizations that give grants to freelancers will explain what kinds of stories they are looking for and what you need to do to successfully apply for a grant. This will be a robust question and answer session.

Speaker Bios

  • Brant Houston is the Knight Chair in Investigative Reporting at the University of Illinois. Before Illinois he was executive director of IRE for more than a decade after 17 years as an award-winning investigative reporter in U.S. newsrooms. He is author of  "Data for Journalists: A Practical Guide to Computer-Assisted Reporting" and co-author of "The Investigative Reporter's Handbook." He works with nonprofit newsrooms and co-founded INN and GIJN. 

  • Esther Kaplan is editor in chief of Type Investigations, formerly The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, where she has overseen investigations that have garnered the IRE Medal, the Polk Award, the Emmy Award, the Peabody Award, the Hillman Prize, and other honors. @typeinvestigate

  • Jane Sasseen is executive director of the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Previously, she was a senior editor and Washington bureau chief for BusinessWeek, editor-in-chief of politics for Yahoo News, and the Paris bureau chief of International Management magazine. She is a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award, the top prize for financial journalism in America. @janesasseen

  • Cheryl W. Thompson is IRE board president and an investigative correspondent for NPR. Prior to joining NPR in January, she spent 22 years at The Washington Post. Her investigations include local political corruption, cops killed by guns, witnesses killed for cooperating with police, people who died after being Tasered by police, and the unsolved murders of six black girls nearly 50 years ago. Her awards include a shared Pulitzer, an Emmy, IRE and two NABJ awards. 

  • Laird Townsend, an award-winning reporter and editor, directs Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE), a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors. Founded as Project Word in 2007, FIRE has helped freelancers produce public-interest investigations for outlets across all platforms, from the Dallas Morning News and Mother Jones, to Reveal and the BBC. Townsend’s reporting won the 2018 Peter Lisagor Award for online investigative/public service reporting.

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