In These Times to fund, publish investigative journalism – accepting Indigenous issues pitches

**The next deadline for story proposals is Monday, August 10. Application guidelines are below.

The deadline for 2020-2021 fellowship applications has passed. We will be hiring 2021-2022 fellows in early 2021.**

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.

Through the Institute, supported by a generous grant from Chicago attorney Leonard C. Goodman, In These Times will fund and subsequently publish investigative journalism that challenges—and changes—the status quo. 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.

Selected stories

Call For Proposals

The Institute encourages journalists to submit story proposals for consideration. The next deadline for proposals is August 10, 2020. While they will consider proposals on any investigative topic, at this time they are especially interested in stories that examine the following issues:

  • The failures of our system exposed by coronavirus
  • Systemic racism
  • Corporate capture of government
  • Labor practices
  • Native issues
  • Militarism

They prioritize investigations with the potential to expose wrongdoing and evidence of the harm it has caused.

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
    • 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-six weeks.


Can multiple journalists collaborate on an investigative project?
Yes. Please specify how you would like the fee to be split.

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, they 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 They 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, they will work with you to create a timeline for reporting and publication. However, they 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, stories should have a U.S. connection.

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 Indigo Olivier at indigo at inthesetimes dot com. They will contact you during the selection process if they have any questions about your proposal.

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), translators, data analysis, 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 your estimated expense budget. If your project is selected for funding, they’ll discuss the budget with you before you begin reporting.

What are In These Times‘ guidelines around Covid-19? 
Reporting plans should do everything to minimize Covid-19 risk. They discourage travel and in-person interviews unless they are integral to the findings; sources should be reached remotely whenever possible. Travel plans must include an explanation of how Covid-19 risk will be mitigated–opting for rental cars over shared transport, avoiding indoor spaces, maintaining social distance, wearing masks, etc. If travel is deemed necessary, reporting grants will cover precautionary measures and PPE.

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