Paging unemployed investigative journalists!

Romenesko Misc.

Several weeks ago I posted an item about grants being offered to investigative journalists who've been laid off. I asked George Polk Awards curator John Darnton about interest in the money. "Friends predicted I'd be swamped by applicants," he says, "but swamped I'm not." Seventeen people have applied so far. Applications for grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 are still being accepted. || Darnton's email is after the jump.

Lately I’ve taken to emailing leaflets to a lot of people I know: “WANTED: INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS”.

A month ago I announced a program to give short-term grants to reporters to pursue specific projects. The idea was to help out investigative reporters who’ve been laid off and encourage them to tackle that big story they’ve always wanted to do. Friends predicted I’d be swamped by applicants. I’ve received a respectable number – 17, including some good ones – but swamped I’m not. My feet aren’t even wet.

The idea was two-birds-with-one-stone: Help out, modestly, a reporter in need. And get some good stuff up on the Web.

So I want to spread the word. Here’s the leaflet:


The George Polk Program at Long Island University is now offering funding and editorial assistance to investigative reporters who want to pursue a specific project. We will offer short-term grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, and we will provide an editor and help to place the finished story or production on the Web and in print or on the air.

This program is aimed at reporters with a proven track record of investigative work for an American news outlet, especially people who’ve been laid off, furloughed or taken retirement. We are looking for applicants who have long dreamt of following up a specific story and need a little assistance to run it down.

We require a specific proposal, along with two recommendations and a resume. An interview may be necessary. Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, so there is no absolute deadline. Since funding for the program is not unlimited, though, early applicants may have an advantage.

For information, please go to the Polk Website:

John Darnton, curator

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


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