As an investigative news organization, 100Reporters measures success by its ability to break important stories that are picked up by other media outlets, by the recognition of our peers and the public, by the power of our stories to deepen understanding and accountability, and by the change our reporting helps bring about.

Since its launch in 2011, 100Reporters’ work has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune/CNN Money, Huffington Post, PRI, and other world-renowned media organizations. Our award-winning reports have reached more than 29 million readers and viewers through partnerships with commercial news organizations, and have led to additional media investigations, government actions, and corporate concessions.

A few examples:

Packing the House: How Nouri al-Maliki’s Election Tricks May Doom Iraq

Writing under a pseudonym for reasons of security, Iraqi reporter Rasha Kelani documented the use of bogus land titles to win parliamentary seats for allies and relatives of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Some of the deeds had only the voters’ names and cities, but no designated plot of land. That, they were led to believe, would come only if Maliki’s candidates were elected.

  • This report was a pilot project of 100Reporters, to test how we could work with non-English speaking indigenous reporters to produce solid, well-written investigative reports for a global audience.
  • Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism awarded this story a prize for Best Investigation of 2014 (2nd place).

Syrian Refugees: Uprooted and Out of School

In September 2014, 100Reporters’ Xanthe Ackerman reported on Turkey’s failure to grant Syrians fleeing their civil war official refugee status–a seemingly bureaucratic designation with significant consequences for stateless people on the ground. Ackerman reported on the harsh realities behind the exemplary camps and state-of-the-art facilities Turkey offered for some 220,000 refugees amassed along the border with Syria. Ackerman, an education scholar formerly at the Brookings Institution, reported from the border and from makeshift schools in Turkey’s cities. Some 325,000 children were out of school, their parents unable to work because they were not recognized as refugees.

  • Ackerman’s story was picked up by regional websites and the website of Hurriyet, a leading Turkish daily paper, and made its way into the hands of global advocacy organizations and government officials.
  • Two months later, Amnesty International issued a scathing report on the status of Syrian refugees in Turkey, based in part on Ackerman’s reporting, which led to further coverage of the issue by the British press.
  • In late December 2014, Turkey granted Syrians refugee status, giving them the right to attend school and seek employment in Turkey.

Ackerman’s work illustrates the power of quality journalism to help bring about meaningful change.


Pest Control: Syngenta’s Secret Campaign to Discredit Atrazine’s Critics

Drawing on a Freedom of Information Act request and the dogged efforts of 100Reporters’ Clare Howard, 100Reporters exposed a corporate “dirty tricks” campaign by the makers of a popular weed killer, atrazine, used on 80 percent of the corn grown in the United States.

  • 100Reporters co-published the story with the Environmental Health News, earning revenue and reaching 203,376 page views in just the first three days. Mother Earth Network picked up the story (9 million unique visits a month), as did Grist, BioNews and other sites.
  • Extensive feature in the Feb. 10, 2014 New Yorker (10.9 million readers per month, 55,700 Facebook shares for story so far) credited 100Reporters with originally reporting the story.
  • The story was further picked up by National Public Radio’s All Things Considered (11 million listeners a week), Democracy Now (514,000 listeners a month, 43,000 Facebook likes), Scientific American (530,000 readers) and many other outlets.

When Protectors Turn Predators

Beginning with a tip from a whistleblower, this multi-media series took a tough look at sexual exploitation and assault by United Nations forces in Haiti, and the fatherless children UN forces left behind. While only 7 percent of UN forces worldwide are stationed in Haiti, they represent 26 percent of sexual assault accusations.

  • PRI’s The World  featured an initial story on the fatherless children UN forces leave behind in Haiti, done in partnership with 100Reporters. A second story, on the rape of a mentally handicapped boy by successive waves of Pakistani peacekeepers, was also featured on The World’s website and broadcast.
  • The full investigative report on sexual exploitation and assault by peacekeepers in Haiti launched on Jan. 12, the five-year anniversary of the earthquake, and examined how the diplomatic immunity the UN enjoys has led to impunity and serial victimization of the very people UN forces were sent to help.

Tainted Waters

Tainted Waters, which debuted as an iBook, unfolds in Sinjar, Iraq, where American reconstruction aid that should have insured clean drinking water for people was instead lost to corruption, leading to kidney disease 15 times more frequently than elsewhere in the province. The report paints an intimate portrait of the frustration over corruption and government neglect that left Sinjar on the edge of an abyss, ahead of the Islamic State’s brutal takeover last summer.


SD Indians Sue for Early Voting and Native Americans Sue Over Montana Voting

These articles exposed unequal access to early voting and polling stations for Native Americans in South Dakota and Montana that was effectively suppressing voter turnout.

  • Following our stories in early 2012, voters on four South Dakota Sioux reservations—Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River, Crow Creek and Rosebud—voted on their homelands and/or for the same amount of time as other South Dakotans for the first time ever.
  • In 2012, turnout in Buffalo County, SD, home of the Crow Creek Indian Reservation, rose 18.6 points, to 74.3 percent from 55.7 percent in 2008. In Dewey County, home of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, turnout was up 7.6 points, to 62.1 percent from 54.5 percent in 2008. Turnout statewide that year was down more than 3.3 points from the 2008 election, making these increases even more significant.
  • In Montana, a federal judge ruled that a suit over early voting by three Native Americans can go forward, rejecting the state’s bid for dismissal.

Rough Justice in Indian Child Welfare

This article exposed South Dakota’s retaliation against two whistleblowers, Brandon Talliaferro, a former state prosecutor, and Shirley Schwab, a social worker, who had acted to end the rape of a Native American girl by her white adoptive father. The father is serving 15 years in prison for the rapes, but with millions in federal subsidies at stake, state officials brought criminal charges accusing the whistleblowers of inciting the children to lie.

  • The Lakota People’s Law Project used 100Reporters’ story to build community awareness of the case, drawing Indians to attend the whistleblowers’ trial in large numbers.
  • Three days into the trial, the judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence—only the third time in his 30 years on the bench that he had ever done so.
  • The Native American Journalists’ Association awarded this article first prize for best coverage by a non-Native journalist in 2013.

Downwind: Big Ag at Your Door

This story exposed the threat to public health from aerial spraying of pesticides by big lumber companies.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency ordered urinalysis testing of residents of the site named in the article;
  • A state senator in Illinois circulated the series to every member of the state legislature and passed a resolution to establish a voluntary drift watch network.
  • After dismissing the research cited in the article as “unproven science and scare tactics,” the pesticide maker agreed to an out-of-court settlement in an eight-year class action lawsuit over atrazine in public drinking water. The corporation agreed to pay $105 million to clean up systems in over 1,000 water districts covering six states.
  • The Society of Environmental Journalists’ gave this project its prestigious Kevin J. Carmody Award (2nd place).

Mining Copper, Burying Truth and Fast Track Past Red Flags

In 2012, ENRC, a multi-national mining company, had successfully intimidated the British press into not reporting on suspected corruption in a mining deal with Democratic Republic of Congo, using the threat of legal action. 100Reporters published two stories on the case, facing down similar legal threats from the company.

  • 100Reporters’ coverage freed the UK press to resume its watchdog function and report on this important issue. Two weeks after 100Reporters published its story, The (U.K.) Independent reported on the case, citing the 100Reporters story. The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, BBC and other commercial news outlets followed.
  • In April 2013 the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into the mining deal and the U.S. Justice Department joined the investigation in July 2013.
  • ENRC publicly admitted that it had been “less than transparent” in its dealings with shareholders;
  • ENRC’s chairman resigned.
  • The company delisted from the London stock exchange.

In 2014, 100Reporters began producing immersive and multi-media reports aimed primarily at appearing on the 100Reporters website. Now, 100Reporters is reaching out to its audience directly, delivering fearless news that holds the powerful to account directly to citizens around the world.

Top photo: Syrian children play outside a disused house in the Fikirtepe area of Istanbul. From “Uprooted and Out of School,” published September 2014.

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