Press Release  ·  August 9, 2019

For Immediate Release: The Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting 2019-2020 Fellows

August 9, 2019


Jessica Stites

For Immediate Release: Announcing the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting’s 2019-2020 Fellows

Christine MacDonald, Branko Marcetic and Chandra Whitfield have been selected as the 2019-2020 Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting Fellows, in the second year of the annual fellowship.

As newsroom budgets shrink and media ownership becomes increasingly consolidated, it is more and more difficult for journalists to support themselves through reporting—especially those journalists pursuing stories that serve the public interest, not corporate interests. The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting was established in recognition of this and of the tremendous amount of time and labor that goes into investigative reporting.

This year’s fellows were selected from more than 80 applicants for their ambitious proposals to look at some of the most pressing issues of the day.

  • Christine MacDonald is investigating the fossil fuel industry’s influence on politicians, environmental groups and public opinion as policy conversations around an energy transition grows ever more urgent in the face of escalating climate change. MacDonald is an investigative reporter who focuses on corporate environmental policies and greenwashing. A former daily newspaper reporter, MacDonald spent six years in Mexico City reporting for the Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times and other outlets. “It was in Mexico where I first started reporting on and getting interested in environmental issues,” says MacDonald. “That led to a short stint as a media trainer at Conservation International. But I was appalled by the organization’s cozy relationships with big oil companies and other polluters and couldn’t just check my reporting instincts at the door.” What she saw at C.I. led to her 2008 book, Green, Inc., An Environmental Insider Reveals How a Good Cause Has Gone Bad. MacDonald has held writing and reporting fellowships including a Schell Reporting Fellow with Type Investigations (formerly known The Investigative Fund at The Nation). Today she frequently writes about health, science and environmental issues and directs the DC Latino Culture blog, Hola Cultura.
  • Chandra Whitfield is investigating the effects over a lifetime of the pay gap experienced by Black women. Research shows African American women are paid just 61 cents for every dollar paid to white men, adding up to a lifetime wage gap of close to $950,000. Whitfield will be giving this topic in-depth treatment and examining the many strands that contribute to the pay gap. Whitfield is an award-winning Denver-based multimedia journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including, The Huffington Post, Essence, Ebony, People, Newsweek, The Root, The Grio, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and She has been honored by the Association for Women in Communications, the Colorado Association of Black Journalists and Mental Health America, the Atlanta Press Club and the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists. A feature story she penned for Atlanta Magazine made the Atlanta Press Club’s “Atlanta’s Top 10 Favorite Stories of the Past 50 Years” list and contributed to a change in Georgia law and a young man’s early release from a 10-year prison sentence.
  • Branko Marcetic is applying an investigative lens to the 2020 elections by following the money and conducting deep background research on key political players. Marcetic is a journalist whose work has appeared in outlets ranging from those based in his native New Zealand to U.S. publications like Jacobin. In 2016, he conducted an investigation for In These Times into the origins of superdelegates. He is currently working on a book about Joe Biden.

The fellows’ work will appear on and in the pages of In These Times, a monthly print magazine, founded in 1976 by author and historian James Weinstein with the mission to "identify and clarify the struggles against corporate power now multiplying in American society."

The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting, housed at In These Times magazine, is dedicated to pursuing in-depth investigative projects that advance democracy and economic justice, amplify the work of social justice movements, and hold government and corporations accountable. Through the Institute for Investigating Reporting, In These Times makes good on its founding belief that a crusading press and an informed public can create change.

For more information or to schedule an interview with one of the fellows, please contact Jessica Stites at