PRESS ROOM

The Seattle Times launches Investigative Journalism Fund to support local journalism that holds power accountable and drives change

For Immediat Release — Apr. 11, 2019
Lindsay Taylor, Consumer Marketing Manager

SEATTLE — The Seattle Times will launch The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative with Seattle Foundation, on April 11, 2019, to support investigative journalism that holds power accountable and drives change. The fund seeks community funders and personal champions of the free press to ensure the future of local investigative journalism and protect and expand the ambitious, rigorously reported work that is critical to a healthy democracy.

The Seattle Times has become a pioneer among news media organizations, partnering with community funders to develop impact journalism initiatives that improve our community and create change. The Investigative Journalism Fund builds upon the success of community-supported public service journalism addressing public education, homelessness and traffic in our region (Education Lab, Project Homeless and Traffic Lab).

“We are excited to invite you, the individual supporter, to build a stronger democracy by expanding journalism in Seattle even as newsrooms across America are shrinking,” says Sharon Pian Chan, The Seattle Times’ vice president of innovation, product and development. “We want you as partners in building a community-powered journalism model for the rest of the nation.”

“Protecting democratic institutions and values is a critical way Seattle Foundation carries out our mission to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all,” says Mary Grace Roske, chief brand officer of Seattle Foundation. “Investigative reporting is journalism at its finest, given its power to uncover injustice and drive reform, often to the benefit of marginalized people and communities whose voices are not heard. We are pleased to partner with another trusted community institution, The Seattle Times, to further this important work.”

In-depth investigations have helped earn The Seattle Times 10 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other news organization in the Northwest. Seattle Times investigations have changed public policy and resulted in action at the highest levels of government. Seattle Times journalism has saved local lives from dangerous painkillers, protected vulnerable seniors from abuse, exposed double-booked surgeries at a local hospital and expedited FDA changes to help prevent birth defects, to name a few. Most recently, The Seattle Times’ powerful story on Boeing 737 MAX crashes and safety issues scooped all other sources and was referenced nationally, underscoring the importance of investigative research and public service journalism. The Seattle Times is one of the few remaining independent, locally owned news media organizations in the U.S.

“Investigative and watchdog journalism is in our DNA at The Seattle Times,” says Executive Editor Don Shelton. “We are committed to it, and the Investigative Journalism Fund will allow us to do much more of it and spread accountability journalism to every part of our newsroom. It will be a huge win for readers and our region.”

The Investigative Journalism Fund’s goal is to build the largest local investigative team in the nation to engage the public, hold power accountable and explore solutions to make a difference for the people of our region. This will be an investigative journalism team built for the future of America. These forward-facing values will guide the formation and the work of this reporting team:

Community Engagement: We will engage our community in conversation that informs and deepens our coverage.

Diversity: Our team and our reporting will reflect our region’s diversity.

Collaboration: We will collaborate with media organizations and community partners to maximize impact.

Innovation: We will use groundbreaking tools and digital storytelling techniques to report and engage readers.

Solutions: We will do more than expose problems; we will use our reporting to highlight solutions.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the fund, go to seattletimes.com/investigativefund.

The Seattle Times Investigative Journalism Fund is a component fund of Seattle Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization. The Seattle Foundation has exclusive legal control over all funds received. Accordingly, contributions to the Fund are treated for tax purposes as gifts to a Section 501(c)(3) public charity and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

The Seattle Times maintains editorial control over content produced with fund resources. Funders do not have any input into the reporting of stories or into any of the specific content that will be produced with fund resources. Funders are not aware of specific stories The Seattle Times newsroom is working on and do not review them before publication. Funders do not have special access to reporters, and readers know who our funders are. To learn more, visit seattletimes.com/investigativefund or contact Kristi Waite, director of development, at kwaite@seattletimes.com.

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About The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times serves the Northwest with independent, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, as the region’s most trusted news media company, dedicated to public service. The Seattle Times is the second-largest newspaper on the West Coast and the most-visited digital information source in the state. Founded in 1896 by Alden J. Blethen, The Seattle Times is now led by the Blethen family’s fourth and fifth generations. It also owns the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

About Seattle Foundation
Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Focused on creating equity and opportunity, our goal as a community foundation is to simplify giving and strengthen the impact of philanthropy for the more than 1,300 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits we serve. With nearly $1 billion in assets, Seattle Foundation provides deep community insights, powerful civic leadership, effective philanthropic advising and judicious stewardship of assets in support of our mission. Learn more at www.seattlefoundation.org.