Government records on corporations reveal only the tip of the iceberg, if that. Unfortunately, the identity of the real owners can be obscured. So-called shell companies are created to disguise the real, “beneficial,” owners. The good news? There are many ways to research companies, who really owns them, what they do and more.
For generations, the workers in the Brazilian Amazon who cut the palm straw used for brooms have been functionally enslaved by a system of loans provided by the bosses. Thais Lazzeri, an investigative reporter for Repórter Brasil, had to win their trust as she delved deeply into this topic for her October 2017 article, “100 Years of Bondage” which was beautifully illustrated with photographs by Fernando Martinho.
Freedom of information requests have fueled recent environmental stories around the world. GIJN’s Resource Center director, Toby McIntosh, put together a round-up of a few that might stimulate your investigative thinking.
The creative use of social media has given journalists new ways to solicit tips as well as tap readers’ expertise, opinions and personal experiences. GIJN’s Toby McIntosh has rounded up some of the best examples of community engagement in stories as well as a list of resources and ideas for crowdsourcing.
Tracking down local government expenses is a recurrent theme for many successful freedom of information requests. Some recent examples suggest that quite a variety of information is potentially available — about credit card charges, salaries, retirement parties, and even costs of leak investigations. Have a great story you developed using a FOI/RTI request? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re currently looking for examples regarding immigration.
Freedom of information requests can generate unique stories on a wide range of subjects. Here’s a sampling that covers fishing, Uber, football and a suspect land deal. They’re united in revealing the potential for developing stories based on requesting information — about government permits, local crime statistics and official correspondence.
Filing right to information requests can be a very frustrating process, but the reward can be a valuable exclusive article. Here are four examples from India, Northern Ireland and the U.S., in which journalists successfully developed stories using national freedom of information and right to information laws.
David E. Kaplan, Executive Director. David Kaplan has worked as an investigative journalist for more than 35 years, reported from two dozen countries and won or shared more than 25 awards. He has managed nonprofit newsrooms, investigative teams and numerous cross-border projects. During the 1980s and early 1990s, at the original Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, he and his colleagues developed the model of a nonprofit investigative news enterprise. At its peak, CIR derived 40 percent of its income from commercial revenue, drawing from television news retainers, documentary production, publishing contracts and syndication. In 2008, Kaplan became editorial director of the Center for Public Integrity.