Community Journalism

Our work to support new community and membership funded outlets in producing high-quality investigative journalism

The business of journalism is changing fast.

With the collapse of traditional advertising revenue models, the argument that thoroughly researched investigative journalism is a public good that needs to be properly funded cannot be made too strongly or too often.

At the CIJ we’re interested in supporting innovative alternative methods for keeping investigative journalism financially sustainable. Whether through diversifying forms, philanthropic grants, or working directly with NGOs and interest groups we want to incubate alternative business models to ensure good journalism pays.

One area in which we see potential is in those outlets pioneering different ways of engaging with people to build not just readerships, but communities for their work. There are many methods of doing this but some of the best involve giving their audience ways to meaningfully engage in both the production of the journalism and the management of the organisation. In return, audiences are becoming supporters or members who give regular donations to sustain the investigative work.

During 2016/17 we visited 12 different cities across the UK and Ireland, providing community and not-for-profit journalists with free training in the skills required to undertake their own investigations in the public interest.

In 2018 we ran a project-specific training programme in data-driven community journalism. We have also been supporting the following outlets to run longer training programmes for members of their communities with the aim of building a base of skilled contributors who can work in partnership with them:


This work is supported by generous funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

While our current funding is allocated to these activities, we’re interested in supporting other community journalism projects. We can provide advice, guidance and even help you pitch for funding to cover training for your outlet. If you are working with or setting up an investigative community journalism outlet, contact us at tom [at] to discuss how we might be able to help.

A new training and mentorship programme for community journalists The ‘Open Data’ movement – pushing both national and local government to publish data – aims at improving transparency and accountability, helping communities hold to account those that represent them. Unfortunately, a lack of expertise in analysing that data, has often meant that translation of greater […]