Journalism is particularly fragile these days, with commercial journalism struggling to survive in this age of increasing complexity.
We understand that for a democracy to thrive, government must be held accountable by an educated public through an independent press. Investigative reporting, in particular, is crucial, because it uncovers necessary information that can help readers understand and act to improve society. We support serious journalistic inquiry, mostly to Chicago journalists, on many levels—from long-form writing to photography. We make grants to individuals and to organizations that go beneath the surface and provide investigation and analysis on the pressing issues of our time. We define “investigative reporting” loosely to include writers, photographers, filmmakers, and reporters and ensure that many different types of media are represented.