Announcing FIRE – a pilot project to support Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors

See below for information about a new project in support of freelance investigative reporters and editors from my friend and first journo-boss Laird Townsend of Project Word. More info HERE.


Dear fellow journalists and supporters,

Project Word is pleased to announce the pilot of a new program, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE).
FIRE will draw on the results of a 2015 national survey to help freelance investigative reporters do their valuable job in the public interest. The survey found that declining pay and other resource constraints were causing a crisis in independent reporting.
Launched with a $200,000 grant from an anonymous donor, FIRE has heeded the recommendations of freelancers themselves to craft a solution to the crisis.
The program is a collaboration between Project Word and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and will operate with complete editorial independence from its funding sources.
FIRE will serve reporters with two basic services: 1) a Help Desk for referrals, and 2) a Virtual Newsroom.
The Help Desk will provide advice and consultation to a wide array of investigative reporters, including those new to freelancing. The Virtual Newsroom will serve reporters with stipends accompanied by a suite of reporting tools—from research assistance and professional trainings, to editing help and legal review.
For more, visit Services and FAQs. If you are a reporter, please review FIRE’s Guidelines to determine whether you are eligible to submit an online application. The deadline to apply is February 10, 2016.
Beyond helping valuable stories reach the public, FIRE aims to contribute to a national dialogue about the role of independent reporters in a rapidly changing society. We believe that freelancers deserve the best chance to succeed in their work, to the benefit of us all. We are excited to help that happen.
Thank you for making FIRE possible.

Laird Townsend,
Project Director


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