The Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism is dedicated to educating students in investigative reporting techniques and creating provocative, original journalism for the public in Indiana and beyond. As a working newsroom, it strives to protect the vulnerable, expose wrongdoing, and act as a watchdog in Indiana and nationally.


The Michael I. Arnolt Center for Investigative Journalism (the “Center”) is an independent, not for profit, non-partisan entity. It was created with an initial donation of $6 million from Indiana University alumnus Michael I. Arnolt.

While the Center is a legal entity of Indiana University and The Media School, it operates independently of any editorial influence. Specifically, neither the University nor The Media School shall have prior review nor decision-making authority over work undertaken and/or produced by employees or students working at the Center. Content produced by the Center is the responsibility of the Director.


The Center is tasked with producing high-quality investigative journalism with three main goals:

  1. Become an educational endeavor to train the next generation of investigative reporters.
  2. Function as a working newsroom that also serves as a laboratory in the latest techniques of investigative journalism.
  3. Preserve the enterprise of investigative journalism in Indiana and increase the frequency of high quality reporting in the state.

In addition to distributing work through its own platforms, the Center provides finished stories to media outlets free of charge for publication or broadcast.

As a teaching arm of The Media School, the Center offers fellowships to students who wish to pursue a career in investigative reporting. Graduate students accepted as Center fellows will follow a curriculum focused on the discipline of investigative journalism that also allows them to gain expertise in areas such as public policy, environmental issues, and business and finance. The Center will also award scholarships to upper-level undergraduate students interested in investigative reporting.


A Director will be appointed and hold a faculty rank deemed appropriate by the Dean of The Media School–in consultation with Media School faculty. The Director will, at the discretion of the Dean and faculty, be assigned to teach Media School courses relevant to the investigative journalism curriculum. Other employees of the Center, and students working at the Center, will work under the ultimate editorial direction of the Director.


The role of the Dean is to provide material and financial support for the Center. Beyond the initial endowments associated with the Center, the School agrees to use its development resources to seek and increase funding available to the Center. Additionally, the School agrees to provide space suitable to the Center’s needs. As the space needs of the Center evolve, the Center will work together with the School to find mutually agreeable solutions to space issues that arise.

The faculty of the School may provide advice to the Center as desired. The faculty support the articulation of the Center’s mission with the Journalism curriculum. The Director will work closely with Media School academic administrators to assure that educational objectives are being met. From time to time the Director will provide updates and reports to the faculty.

The Center will be reviewed under policies common to all Indiana University centers and institutes.


The Center is a non-partisan entity and operates under ethical principles that are conventional in the field of journalism. These include openness, transparency, and fairness. The Center follows the Code of Ethics defined by the Society of Professional Journalists. It espouses four key principles:

  • seek truth and report it,
  • minimize harm,
  • act independently,
  • be accountable and transparent.

The Center strives for transparency in its operations and newsgathering. All Center grants and gifts will be acknowledged publicly. Stories that receive funding from specific sources will be identified as such.

This charter was finalized and approved by the Dean of the Media School on November 5, 2018.