In These Times seeks investigative reporting proposals

The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting is dedicated to providing editorial and financial support to journalists pursuing in-depth investigative projects that align with In These Times’ mission of advancing democracy and economic justice, informing movements for a more humane world, and providing an accessible forum for debate about the policies that shape our future. Inspired by Progressive Era muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair, Ida B. Wells and Lincoln Steffens—who helped usher in reforms like women’s suffrage, an eight-hour workday and an end to child labor—In These Times has remained committed to its founding belief that, working together in a democracy, a crusading press and an informed public can create change.

As newsroom budgets shrink and media becomes increasingly conglomerated, it’s becoming more and more difficult for journalists to support themselves through reporting—especially those journalists interested in pursuing stories that serve the public interest, not corporate interests. The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting was established in recognition of this and of the tremendous amount of time and labor that goes into investigative reporting. The Institute is committed to compensating writers fairly for their work. Journalists whose investigative proposals are accepted by the Institute will thus receive both a competitive per-word rate for their work and compensation for travel and other expenses incurred during reporting.

Call For Proposals

The Institute encourages journalists to submit story proposals for consideration. The next deadline for proposals is April 29, 2019. While we will consider proposals on any investigative topic, at this time we are especially interested in stories that examine the following issues:

  • Corporate influence on policy, especially policy that has discriminatory or harmful effects
  • The dismantling of the social safety net, such as pensions, Medicaid and federal housing assistance
  • Labor practices
  • Environmental justice
  • The causes of economic inequality
  • Militarism

We also take into consideration the geographic diversity of proposed stories and whether an investigation has the potential to show both wrongdoing and evidence of the harm it causes. To submit a proposal, send an email to Executive Editor Jessica Stites at jessica at inthesetimes dot com with the subject line “Goodman Institute Submission.” Please include all of the following in a single Word document:

    • A brief (200-300 word) summary of your project
    • A detailed story pitch, including:
      • links to the most relevant previous coverage
      • what new information you hope to uncover
      • the story’s relevance to In These Times’ mission
      • a plan for research and interviews
    • A proposed timeline for your reporting
    • An outline of any anticipated reporting expenses. Be as detailed as possible (i.e., break down travel expenses into lodging, car rental, etc.) Do not include transcription (which ITT can handle in-house), Nexis subscription, or compensation for your time (which will be covered in the story fee). Do include fixer and translator fees, photos and photographer travel.
    • A resume and 3-5 clips or links to your previous work

Formatting requirements: Proposals should be in one Word document, with section headings in bold and minimal special formatting. Please use 12-point Times New Roman font and single line spacing.

The Institute will reply to your pitch within a week to let you know if it is in consideration. Applicants who are selected for consideration should expect a round of follow-up questions. Once an application is finalized, it will be reviewed by the Institute’s selection committee. The process–from submission to decision–typically takes about four to six weeks.



Can multiple journalists collaborate on an investigative project?


Can investigative projects include audio/visual elements? 

Yes. While the primary component of projects funded by the Goodman Institute will be a written feature story, we are happy to consider stories with additional multimedia components, and will determine available funding for such components on a case-by-case basis.

How long are Goodman Institute stories?

Most stories funded by the Goodman Institute will be between 3,000 and 4,500 words.

Where will the stories appear?

All stories funded by the Goodman Institute will appear in the print issue of In These Times, as well as on We also typically offer the stories for reprint to select outlets.

Does an investigative project need to have a set deadline, or can the story be ongoing?

If your story is selected for funding, we will work with you to create a timeline for reporting and publication. However, we recognize that certain projects depend on factors outside of the reporter’s control and require more flexible timelines.

Does the Goodman Institute accept applications from non-U.S. citizens and U.S. citizens based abroad? 


Does the Institute accept proposals for international investigations? 

Yes. However, preference will be given to stories with a U.S. angle.

Are staff at the Institute able to review my application before I submit it? 

Goodman Institute staff are unable to review applications before the submission deadline. However, if you have a question about the application process or whether an investigative project would fall under the scope of the Institute, please email Executive Editor Jessica Stites at jessica at inthesetimes dot com. We will contact you during the selection process if we have any questions about your proposed investigation.

What counts as a “reporting expense”?

Reporting expenses include (but are not limited) to expenses associated with travel for a story, document request fees, phone and internet charges (in some cases), fees for original photography, and any other miscellaneous expenses incurred during the reporting of the story that would not have been incurred otherwise.

Reporting expenses do not include compensation for time worked, which is covered under the story fee.

If you’re unsure whether a particular expense would count, include it in the estimated expense budget you submit with your proposal. If your project is selected for funding, we’ll discuss the budget with you before you begin reporting.

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