“To inform and promote the public’s right to know through investigative journalism, adapting traditional tools and standards of ethics and excellence to the new media landscape, and working with whistleblowers and citizen watchdogs to expose corruption and heighten public accountability.”
Nowadays, all but a handful of large commercial news organizations have abandoned serious investigative reporting, regarding it as an unnecessary expense, hurtful to the bottom line. 100Reporters has gathered some of the country’s—and the planet’s—best investigative reporters in a purpose-driven project to expose corruption and hold power accountable.
From 2001 to 2010, corrupt leaders and their cronies siphoned more than $5.86 trillion from the national economies of developing nations, according to the Global Financial Integrity Project. For every $1 that enters Africa in development aid, some $10 leaves the continent in illegal cash transfers. This is money that could–and must–be used to build roads, schools, water treatment plants, and hospitals.
100Reporters is dedicated to forging new frontiers in responsible journalism. The organization aims to raise the caliber, impact and visibility of citizen-driven investigative journalism, as a means of promoting transparency and good government. We cover corruption of all sorts, from the pervasive bribery that raises the cost of ordinary government services, to extortion, to the sweetheart contracts that perpetuate poverty and strangle competition.
Thanks to advances in technology and heightened transparency among international institutions, we are in an unprecedented position to know and report more than ever before on both the flow of illicit cash, and on the spending habits of government officials and their friends.
At a time when dictators regularly employ the latest technology to plunder their nations–wiring ill-gotten gains to offshore accounts, buying lavish properties far from their countrymen’s eyes, using family and friends to skim a percentage off government contracts–we believe that the only effective challenge to that corruption is through a similarly global effort, uniting the observations and experiences of citizens the world over with the most solid journalistic skills.
With initial backing from foundations and citizens, we have built a platform for domestic and international reporting around a towering global issue, where sources can submit–anonymously, if necessary–news tips and evidence of corruption. These become the raw material for stories reported and written by our professional journalists, and presented in hard-hitting news reports available to a worldwide audience.
Demonstrations from the Middle East to India to the Kremlin and beyond reveal the power of transparency to move nations. In entrenched dictatorships, evidence of massive corruption among autocrats, their families and allies has sparked astonishing popular rebellions that have challenged rulers once thought invincible. Often, evidence of graft was hiding in plain sight: known, presumed even, but never organized and packaged to have any impact. 100Reporters will do the digging, gathering and packaging, and present its results to the world.
Beyond foundation support, we have secured legal representation on a pro bono basis from the Washington, D.C.-based legal firm Arnold & Porter. We are seeking additional funding from donors and foundations interested in the future of journalism, and in promoting democracy and government accountability. Over the long term, we plan to raise revenue through syndication, reader donations, conferences, training and fundraising events.