At a time when newsrooms are shrinking and enrollment at journalism institutions is declining, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $15 million initiative to spur investigative reporting.
The grants, some ongoing, and others new or yet-to-be announced, will promote new economic models for in-depth reporting on digital platforms, Knight Foundation spokesman Marc Fest wrote in a press release.
Fest said the initiative will fund high-impact reporting on local and national levels.
Eric Newton, the Miami-based Knight Foundation's vice president for journalism, announced the initiative Saturday in front of hundreds of journalists and educators during the Investigative Reporters and Editors' awards luncheon.
The awards luncheon took place in Baltimore.
''Investigative reporting is the most important kind of news in the public interest,'' Newton said in an interview.
Fest said the Knight Foundation has granted more than $400 million in journalism grants since 1950.
The newest grants include:
• Center for Investigative Reporting ($1.32 million): to launch a multimedia investigative reporting project in California that encourages collaboration among print, digital and student journalists.
• Sunlight Foundation ($565,000): to develop web tools so readers can easily access information on Congressional lawmakers, from their campaign contributions and votes;
• ProPublica ($1.01 million): to help the nation's largest new nonprofit investigative reporting organization create a sustainable business model.