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CELEBRATING AND INCREASING OUR IMPACT


SpotlightDC has had a very significant year as it continues to support journalism that exposes fraud, malfeasance, environmental injustice and criminal justice probes in our community. We are excited to close out the year with two major announcements: an important prize and an opportunity to support local journalism that continues to have impact. We could not have accomplished this without your backing, and we are tremendously grateful.

SpotlightDC Wins Nonprofit News Best Investigative Journalism Award



Josh Kaplan’s investigation of fraud in DC’s eviction system not only resulted in immediate reform of the system, but it won the Institute for Nonprofit News inn.org first award competition.
 
WINNER: Spotlight DC – “Thousands of D.C. Renters Are Evicted Every Year. Do They All Know To Show Up To Court?

Spotlight DC’s investigation into fraud in the eviction system stood out for both its scope and significant impact. The nine-month investigation included looking through more than 13,000 pages of court records, conducting nearly 60 interviews, and reviewing hours of security camera footage to uncover more than 600 cases of questionable affidavits that informed tenants of eviction proceedings. The day after the report came out, the city council responded to the probe by closing the loophole. The judges applaud Joshua Kaplan and the Spotlight DC team for their tenacious work on behalf of their community.
 
Here's to Josh, whose investigation was also a finalist for Livingston and Gerald Loeb Awards. We were especially gratified by the judges’ applauding Josh and our team for the “tenacious work on behalf of their community.” Credit to editors Bill Hogan and Rachel Sadon, who guided the project to publication in DCist.
 
SPEAKING OF COMMUNITY, WE SHARE THIS PRIZE WITH THE COMMUNITY OF FUNDERS, REPORTERS, PUBLISHERS AND SUPPORTERS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR SHARED GOAL OF FOSTERING WATCHDOG JOURNALISM WHERE WE LIVE AND WORK.
 
Impact Costs

Backed by Newsmatch, SpotlightDC will launch its first public fall fundraising drive November 1. Our mission to raise funds and award them to journalists working on important projects will bring us to you soon with our hands out to support our work. Please allow us to make our case and join our worthy cause. Newsmatch, funded by foundations, will match a minimum of $10,000 in contributions. Stay tuned.
PLEASE DONATE
Upcoming Projects from SpotlightDC Recipients:
  • Exposing the weakest link in DC’s affordable housing system that enriches developers and forces families to live in horrible apartments.
  • Taking the lid off of recycling systems that benefit processors but send bottles, cans a glass to landfills.
  • Narrating the manhunt and dissecting the investigation for the most notorious rapist in the region’s recent history.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A GRANT
  1. Send a short query to info@spotlightdc.org or harry@spotlightdc.org.
     
  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.
APPLY FOR A GRANT
Local watchdog journalism is on life support — let’s revive it together.

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