As a fiscally sponsored project of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Project Word facilitates public-interest journalism by helping selected freelancer reporters serve their editors. We provide direct editorial services—from story placement, logistical help, research services, open-records consultation, and pro bono legal review, to fundraising consultation, story editing, and limited stipends.
Since its founding in 2007, Project Word has worked with freelance reporters—and to a lesser extent producers and photojournalists. With some exceptions, our freelancers have worked for at least three newspaper or magazine editors and have demonstrated basic reporting, storytelling skills, including the ability to identify the most important elements of a story.
As part of its core mission, Project Word also seeks to strengthen and stabilize the field of independent reporting. In 2015, it released the results of its national survey on freelance investigative reporting. In 2016, it launched a new program crafted from the survey results, Freelance Investigative Reporters and Editors (FIRE).