GIJN Toolbox: Backgrounding People and Companies

When it comes to doing investigations using online tools, there is no one tool that will answer all of your questions. Instead you’ll most likely need to build slowly towards the answer using a jumble of jigsaw pieces — a name here, a connection there. The good news is that there are dozens of tools that can be used to find the pieces to your puzzle. GIJN’s Alastair Otter has pulled together tools that can be used to help build a profile of someone — or their business.

Investigating the Supply Chain

Exposing the connections between the products we buy and the circumstances of their creation has proved to be fertile ground for investigative journalism. In seeking to understand the origins of our food, raw materials and manufactured goods, reporters have uncovered slavery, environmental crimes, corruption and human rights abuses. In this new GIJN resource page, we identify the investigative tools used for tracking the “supply chains” that link fields, oceans, mines and factories with the end products we buy.

Online Research Tools

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Online Research Tools and Investigative Techniques by the BBC’s ace online sleuth Paul Myers has long been a starting point for online research by GIJN readers. His website, Research Clinic, is rich in research links and “study materials.” Here’s a tipsheet about finding people online that Myers presented at a 2019 GIJN webinar. And a GIJN article about his presentation at GIJC19, 4 Questions for Online Super-Sleuth Paul Myers. https://gijn.org/2019/06/05/finding-people-online-a-tipsheet-from-paul-myers/

See also Myers’ other guides on gijn.org:

For our companion video, “Online Searches And Key Databases,” check GIJN’s YouTube channel. Using Twitter to Find People at the Scene of a Breaking Story
Customise your Browser: Using Add-ons for your Web Research
Browser Add-ons (Part 2): Traveling Back in Time
GIJN’s Investigative Toolbox, a column by GIJN’s Alastair Otter, explores selected topics:
Tracking Names and Websites, Verifying Video, a Clustering Search Engine
Digging for People, Trawling the Web and Keeping Yourself Safe
Backgrounding People and Companies
Mine Twitter and Monitor Website Updates
Beyond Spreadsheets and Deep Searching the Web
Jake Creps keeps up a steady stream of useful tips on his blog.

Investigative Reporting in 2015: GIJN’s Top 12 Stories

As 2015 nears an end, we’d like to share our top 12 stories of the year — the stories that you, our dear readers, found most compelling. The list ranges from free data tools and crowdfunding to the secrets of the Wayback Machine. Please join us in taking a look at The Best of GIJN.org this year.