With staff across six continents and hubs in Washington, D.C., Amsterdam, and Sarajevo, OCCRP is one of the largest investigative journalism organizations in the world. It is a nonprofit, mission-driven newsroom that partners with other media outlets to publish stories that spur action. OCCRP is also a media development platform that advances investigative reporting worldwide.
Founded by veteran investigative reporters Drew Sullivan and Paul Radu in 2007, OCCRP is a pioneer of cross-border, collaborative investigative journalism. From a modest beginning in Eastern Europe with a handful of partners, OCCRP has grown into a worldwide powerhouse, shaping the industry while setting the highest standards for public interest reporting.
Our mission is to spread and strengthen investigative journalism around the world and expose crime and corruption so the public can hold power to account. Our work has three main pillars: We collaborate with investigative journalists to publish hard-hitting stories that spark change; we provide training, tools, and infrastructure so nonprofit media outlets can thrive; and we develop technology and innovations that advance the entire industry.
A more informed world where lives, livelihoods, and democracies are not threatened by crime and corruption.
PILLAR #1: INVESTIGATIONS + IMPACT
We work for the public. Our deeply reported investigations show how crime and corruption are fueling the crises of our time: war, climate change, inequality, and threats to democracy.
We report on topics that few other news organizations are covering in-depth, exposing how the shadow world of money and power operates and intersects with everyday life. Readers come to OCCRP for content they can’t get anywhere else, from calling out corruption’s enablers — bankers, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals — to showing how transnational crime and corruption cause financial, environmental, and societal harm.
Our silo-busting partnership with Transparency International, the Global Anti-Corruption Consortium accelerates the global fight against corruption by combining investigative reporting with civil society advocacy to achieve more impact.
Since 2009, our investigations have helped return over $10 billion in illicitly acquired funds to the public sphere. We’ve also made revelations leading to more than 600 arrests, sentences, and indictments, and over 400 official investigations.
PILLAR #2: INFRASTRUCTURE
By partnering with 100+ media outlets of all sizes, OCCRP spreads and strengthens the quality of investigative journalism around the world.
We build and help sustain media outlets by providing journalists in our global network with critical services such as:
- access to reporting partners
- cutting-edge technology and data
- robust editing and fact-checking
- digital and physical security support
- protection against legal harassment
- resources and fundraising assistance
Our reporting partners share data, expertise, and local knowledge — which in turn bolsters the power of the entire network to uncover more crime and corruption.
This win-win way of working allows OCCRP to cover tough topics in some of the world’s most dangerous countries. We’re not just after the big international stories. Instead, we look at what matters in every corner of the world, help local reporters make cross-border connections and tell those stories, and bring them to a larger audience by explaining their global significance.
And we’re after more than stories. By nurturing journalists and the industry, we are creating a global space where investigative reporting grows and flourishes. Our model generates a ripple effect, with journalists in our network training others, who ultimately train others — and perhaps even start their own media outlets to serve the public in their own countries and regions.
PILLAR #3: INNOVATION
We consider OCCRP a research and development lab for creating solutions that serve investigative journalists everywhere. For example:
When we needed the best tool to manage terabytes of data and help reporters follow the money, we built it. Aleph is a data platform containing more than four billion documents that lets journalists and activists uncover key details about people, companies, and financial transactions, and much more. Some of the data on OCCRP Aleph is open to the public; journalists and activists can apply for extended access here.
Aleph is also an open-source software hosted on Github and is available for organizations to adapt and use in-house. More than 45 leading investigative organizations of all sizes have adopted Aleph as their standard.
Media across the globe increasingly face the risk of expensive and sometimes existential lawsuits for reporting the truth. In the past few years, the number of SLAPPs — strategic lawsuits against public participation — has grown significantly. To counter frivolous lawsuits meant to silence reporting and harass journalists, Reporters Shield is a first-of-its-kind program that defends investigative reporting around the world from legal threats.
Our collaboration with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Gabo Foundation bridges investigative journalism and the entertainment industry. Floodlight turns investigative reporting into vivid fiction films and television series, counteracting the narratives in which criminals are heroes and raising awareness of how organized crime and corruption operate on a global scale.
“Our goal is to change the world, to create a global space where reporters can work effortlessly across borders and team up to do hard-hitting stories that result in a better world.” Publisher Drew Sullivan