Charles M. Rappleye Investigative Journalism Award

About the Grant

Charles Rappleye’s work as a journalist, editor and author was marked by a commitment to original, enterprising research, creative use of public records and archival sources and a belief in the power of writing and, in particular, the long-form narrative. Learn more about his life through this Los Angeles Times obituary.

The Charles M. Rappleye Investigative Journalism Award will be awarded twice yearly to a working journalist or team in need of resources, either financial or in-kind, to support this kind of journalism.

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded twice a year in December and June. Grants may also include in-kind assistance such as research support, mentoring and access to investigation tools. More than one grant may be awarded in a given period, and applicants with an urgent need may be awarded interim grants outside the regular award cycle.

Recipients will be announced at the annual Southern California Journalism Awards gala in June.

Submission Guidelines

Applicants should have already completed significant work on their project and must be able to identify specific investigation or research steps that they are requesting support to carry out.

Applicants should submit a 1-2 page statement that includes a description of:

  • The project they are working on, including work completed to date.
  • What support (cash or in-kind) is needed and how they propose to use it.

Applicants should also include any supporting materials they consider relevant.

Eligibility is open to all journalists, with preference given to journalists working in and/or writing about Southern California and the wider southwest. All formats and mediums will be considered, with preference given to long-form print journalism.

Any subject matter will be considered, and the fund encourages works about law enforcement, immigration and the border, local government and public corruption, the media, civil rights and labor rights, organized crime, U.S. policy and involvement in Latin America and the history of Alta California.

Ready to Apply?

The 2023 application period is open. EXTENDED DEADLINE: 11:59 P.M. THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2023. Got a question? Email

Help Fund the Grant!

Make a tax-deductible donation and help the LA Press Club support local investigative journalism.

2021 Charles M. Rappleye Investigative Journalism Award Grant Recipients


Caitlin Antonios

Caitlin Antonios is a staff member of Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation’s Documenting COVID-19 project. With the mission of collecting public records related to the pandemic, the project has generated vast amounts of material for journalists and academics to research the impact of COVID-19.

As the project’s point person in California, Antonios has explored issues of vaccine equity and distribution and published a series of articles on the subject in

How Misinformation, Fear Create ‘Vaccination Deserts’ in California’s Central Valley
Temples To Clinics: Why COVID Vaccine Events Are Popping Up At Valley’s Sikh Gurdwaras


Eric Pape

Eric Pape is an investigative reporter, editor, and adjunct faculty at the Annenberg School for Journalism at USC. His career has taken him to five continents, including as a Europe-based correspondent for Newsweek International.

His writing has also appeared in the L.A. Times’ Sunday magazine, the Daily Beast, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among others. CRIJA is helping to fund Pape’s multi-part investigation into vaccine hesitancy in local communities in California.

Sins of the Father

2022 Charles M. Rappleye Investigative Journalism Award Grant Recipients


Donnell Alexander

Donnell Alexander is a non-fiction storyteller based in Los Angeles. His reporting and analysis have appeared in Grantland, Leafly, Might, Rolling Stone, Time, Weedmaps, and Capital and Main, among other outlets. He is the author of the 2003 memoir "Ghetto Celebrity" and the originator of the animated
short film "Dock Ellis & the LSD No-No."

Alexander is doing a deep dive into the world of an ambitious politician tied to the weed industry and a federal corruption investigation full of twists and unique characters.

Cannabis, Corruption, and Adam Craig Hill’s Unfinished Poem in SLO


Molly O’Toole

Molly O’Toole is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter based in Washington, D.C. She is currently working on her book, "The Route," a narrative of the new migrant underground, a deadly gauntlet for refugees from around the world.

O’Toole has covered migration and security from Latin America, West Africa, the Middle East, the Gulf and South Asia. She was awarded the first-ever Pulitzer Prize in audio reporting in 2020 with “This American Life” and Emily Green of Vice.