The Hatch Institute provides a forum for the next generation of public-service journalists and mentors those new to investigative work. Its goal is clear: empower independent reporters by giving them the financial resources and guidance required to tell great stories, hold the powerful to account and uncover uncomfortable truths.
Success came early. Its first published piece, which detailed how young women play an unwitting role in the deadly blackmarket trafficking of handguns, got the 2015 Donald Robinson Memorial Award for investigative reporting, given by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.
It went on to expose secrets of the erotic massage industry; a fight to stop fracking waste from polluting a small town in rural Pennsylvania; hidden conflicts of interest in the judiciary; and unequal pay for women in public service.
These stories were co-published with an array of news organizations, including The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Post, Fusion, Medium and more.
At a time when the traditional news business continues to struggle financially — and investigative units in particular face severely depleted funding — The Hatch Institute believes that investment in truly independent journalism is one of the most powerful ways it can serve the common good.
But there’s been a power shift in the industry. As venerable publications find themselves in the hands tech billionaires and retail giants, it feels strongly that the American media must strive to remain completely free of corporate influence.
The Hatch Institute seeks funding from a variety of donors, many of them acclaimed foundations with a history of backing independent journalism, an approach we believe positions the Institute to develop in a way most news organizations can not.
It strives to be a model for the teaching and training that young reporters need to succeed in the demanding enterprise of investigative reporting.