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Our Mission

The Czech Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit organization dedicated to investigative journalism. We publish original investigative stories about cross-border organized crime with links to the Czech Republic. Our aim is to inform the public about international criminal schemes affecting the Czech Republic so that public can hold those in power accountable.

After London and Vienna, Prague is the third-largest hub for logistical operations and money laundering in international organized crime. A little-known fact, it is rarely discussed in the media and few realize its consequences. Organized crime has a negative impact on the business environment, the economy and democracy.

Organized crime does not respect borders; it is global in the broadest sense. We work to understand and describe how international crime syndicates work in the Czech Republic. We speak to both Czech and international police as well as people who are or have been directly involved in organized crime.

In order to comprise the complex international cases we cooperate with investigative journalists in many other countries. We are the sole Czech member organization in investigative networks such as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project or International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Thanks to this international cooperation we were able to introduce to the Czech audiences the Panama Papers and other global investigations.

 

Our Guiding Principles

investigace.cz was established primarily to advance the field of investigative journalism. We strive to shine a light on important but overlooked issues in the public square. Our higher-level goals are to strengthen investigative practice, push innovation in the field and encourage journalistic collaboration, all with the aim to enhance the public’s trust in high-quality, balanced reporting.

Freedom and independence

Our editorial decisions, choice of topics and other activities are the result of our strategic in-house decision-making and are not influenced by the public administration, political power or our financial supporters.

Responsibility, integrity, fairness

We answer to our readers, who demand the highest standards of journalistic integrity. We strictly publish verified information. We are objective—our stories are not framed by preconceived opinions or conclusions. We will issue public corrections for any errors in our reporting, should such an occasion arise.

Transparency

We are a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. We publish an annual report on our website. We are financed by Czech and international grants and donations, including donations from individuals and companies.

The courage to think outside the box

We break news. We investigate original stories from scratch; we do not compile them from existing stories. Our original investigations require long-term work. We dedicate the time necessary to thoroughly investigate them. We make all our content available free of charge, including no advertising on our website.

Taking risks

The stories we break can exceed our resources at times. Working on long-term stories is financially inconvenient. All the same, investigace.cz makes its stories available free of charge. Which topics we choose to bring to you is based on the urgency of the information we have available. It is not simply calculated on the basis of a story’s potential to go viral. We are willing to face the risk of legal action or attempts to discredit our organization and team members in order to bring you the news you need to know.

Sharing, collaboration, global connections

Crime does not respect national borders and researching it is labor intensive. International journalistic collaboration is indispensable to the effective mapping of organized and financial crime. We prioritize the impact of our stories over publicity. We welcome the constructive input of our media partners and of other journalists who hold to the same values and principles as we do. We are willing to share our sources and unfinished stories with colleagues who will undertake to complete them. We support journalism training through experience exchange, joint events and projects, lectures, public debates and other events.

Primary sources, verification, balance

All of the information contained in our stories can be traced back to verifiable primary information and sources. We primarily research our stories using raw data from open sources, or so-called open-source intelligence (OSINT). The added value of our content is that it is not limited to classified, biased sources that often require exclusive access, such as police files.