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AP to cover oceans, fisheries with Walton grant


The Associated Press today announced it will create a new investigative reporting team to cover oceans and fisheries with support from the Walton Family Foundation.

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A fishing vessel from China prepares to fish for squid on the high seas near the Galapagos Islands on July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Joshua Goodman)

The grant will expand the news agency’s efforts to cover corruption, labor abuses and environmental issues within the fishing industry and its complex supply chains. AP retains editorial control of all content.

“Global investigations have become increasingly urgent, and The Associated Press is uniquely positioned to do this important work,” said AP Global Investigations Editor Ron Nixon. “This reporting has tremendous potential to advance the public understanding of the critical role that oceans play in our everyday lives, from the food that we eat to the impact that it has on local and national economies.”  

The grant from the Walton Family Foundation will create two AP reporting positions. The reporters will work closely with AP’s global investigative team.

“We believe that quality journalism is essential for an informed public – which has a growing appetite for seafood that is caught in a way that is sustainable for healthy oceans and the people who rely on them. Around the globe right now, we are still seeing fishing practices that are sometimes harmful to people and the planet,’” said Teresa Ish, senior program officer leading the Walton Family Foundation’s Oceans Program. “The AP’s coverage of these important topics provides sunlight and accountability to change the seafood industry for the better.”  

This is the second such collaboration between the organizations. In April AP and the Walton Family Foundation announced the creation of a grant-funded reporting team to cover water issues in the U.S.

It is the latest example of how AP is working with foundations and nonprofits to tackle traditionally under-covered topics in journalism.

“Philanthropic funding from organizations like the Walton Family Foundation not only helps AP inform the public about society’s most critical issues, but enables us to expand the tools and services we provide to the wider news industry,” said Lisa Gibbs, AP director of news partnerships.

AP has worked with a variety of organizations, including Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Lilly Endowment, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Report for America and others.

More information about how AP works with outside groups is available online.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.  To learn more, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


Lauren Easton
Global Director of Media Relations and Corporate Communications
The Associated Press

Patrick Maks
Media Relations Manager
The Associated Press

Mark Shields
Walton Family Foundation

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