View this email in your browser

SpotlightDC is College Bound

SpotlightDC’s essential mission is to raise charitable funds and award them to journalists working on worthy investigative or explanatory projects in the Washington, D.C., region. “Essential” because, as the New York Times wrote in a lead Sunday Business piece on wealthy investors buying dailies: “Generally, the neighborhood billionaires are considered worth a careful look by the paper’s investigative unit. But a lot of papers don’t even have an investigative unit anymore, and the priority is survival.”

SpotlightDC’s mission also encompasses the aspirational goal of helping to nurture a cadre of young journalists capable of doing watchdog journalism. Gavrielle Jacobovitz’s investigations of DC’s criminal-justice system under the stress of the pandemic is a manifestation of that goal. Now we are actively developing ties with students in journalism programs at local universities in hopes of awarding funds for their reporting projects.

We are working directly with the staff of The Eagle at American University. Thanks to Lynne Perri — Journalist-in-Residence and Managing Editor for AU’s — we will be introducing SpotlightDC by zoom panel next month.

We’ve begun working with Trinity University President Patricia McGuire and Professor Jamal Watson to fund worthy projects by Trinity students, most of whom come from DC neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. And thanks to Advisory Board members Mark Feldstein and Keith Harriston, we are developing ties with the Merrill College of Journalism and George Washington University’s journalism department. We also hope to work with Howard University, as well as Morgan State University to extend our reach into Maryland.
Did someone forward this email to you? If so, thank you for reading! Please consider taking a moment to subscribe for our monthly updates at the button below.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
DC Eviction Investigation a Finalist in IRE Awards

We are proud to report that Josh Kaplan’s investigation of fraud in DC’s eviction system is being recognized in national award competitions. Investigative Reporters and Editors ranked it a finalist for Print/Online Division Four:
Thousands Of D.C. Renters Are Evicted Every Year. Do They All Know To Show Up To Court?,” DCist, WAMU, and SpotlightDC

Judges’ comments: This investigation broke fresh ground on the critical issue of evictions by turning shoe-leather reporting into an exhaustive examination of a broken system and the players responsible for unnecessarily forcing renters from their homes. The painstaking work of building the database at the heart of this story and collecting records that contradicted official narratives offers a playbook to other reporters looking at housing.
  1. Send a short query to or
  2. Following a positive response, apply for funds with a proposal of 750–1,000 words describing the project, reporting path, impact, budget and deadlines.
  3. Members of SpotlightDC’s Advisory Board evaluate the proposal and make recommendations to the Board of Directors for funding, after opportunities to revise.
BREAKING NEWS: Capital Community News Probes Deeper Into Illegal Detainment of Arrestees

In the third of a four-part series funded by SpotlightDC, Gavrielle Jacobivitz investigates a DC resident who was detained without being indicted and freed without being prosecuted after seven months behind bars.

New Slate of SpotlightDC Board Members

SpotlightDC has added three members to its Board of Directors:

Denise Rolark-Barnes took over as publisher of The Washington Informer in 1994 and has built the publication into a thriving, multi-media community news organization. She has also served as the director of the Washington Informer Charities and is the executive producer of “The Washington Informer News,” a bi-weekly television program.
Terence Samuel is the managing editor for news at NPR. He reported for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and US News & World Report, where he was chief congressional correspondent. He was a director of editorial programming for AOL Black Voices before joining the Washington Post Company to help launch in 2007.
Brian Kelly is the Editorial Director and Executive Vice President of U.S. News & World Report, a publisher of news and consumer information products. Kelly is a member of the executive committee with oversight for all the company’s content, which includes the website, print and e-book guides on education and health care, and a conference and events business.
He was formerly a senior editor at the Washington Post and the editor of Regardie’s Magazine. He began his career as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is a Vice President of the Economic Club of Washington and a Board member of The Children’s Inn of The National Institutes of Health.

Kenneth DeCell, a longtime Washingtonian editor and former Roll Call editor, has joined SpotlightDC’s Advisory Board.

Local watchdog journalism is on life support — let’s revive it together.
Follow Us
Copyright © 2021 SpotlightDC, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp