Investico helps to strengthen the democratic rule of law by feeding public debate. Not by presenting exaggerated scandals, but by publishing well-researched news stories and investigative articles that provide insight into decision-making on important societal issues in the Netherlands. Investico examines those situations where the execution of policy may fall short and investigates whether supervisory bodies function as they are supposed to. Investico offers a counterbalance to the focus on short-term issues and incidents that often dominates the public debate.
Well-founded investigative journalism can only be achieved with sufficient time and resources. Investico is a non-profit organization and is co-funded by independent financiers committed to societal missions. Our articles are not for-profit products. This gives us the time and space to get to the bottom of things.
Investico is not yet another independent player in the overpopulated and fragmented Dutch media landscape. On the contrary: cooperation is our starting point. We always aim to collaborate with other media, which has a ‘leverage effect’: our investigations are published by several media partners and thus reach a large audience. Moreover, Investico always conducts research in teams, and collaborates with the editors of our media partners. This way, we have found an efficient way to deal with scarce research funds and expert knowledge. We aim to maximize the societal impact of each of our investigations. As a non-profit platform for cooperation within the Netherlands, Investico is unique.
For our media partners, Investico is a valuable partner and driver of cooperation. Our editors have specific investigative skills such as data journalism and filing freedom of information requests. Investico reporters have the experience, time and focus to carry out complex, long-term investigative projects in which several media partners are involved. De Groene Amsterdammer, Trouw, Argos and Nieuwsuur are our regular media partners. We also work with other parties on an ad hoc basis, including AD, regional media, trade journals and online publications such as Follow The Money and Vers Beton. Some of Investico’s productions were translated to other languages and were published by, among others, The New Internationalist, Internazionale and Courrier International.
Investigations in teams
Flows of money and networks of power extend all over the world, financial and economic relations are becoming increasingly complex, and in the Netherlands the boundary between corporate interests and governmental responsibilities is becoming increasingly blurred. This requires a new journalistic approach. In our opinion, the best way to properly investigate our complex society is through the collaboration of journalists that each have their own specialist knowledge of topics, disciplines and methods. We have a multi-method approach consisting of network analyses, WOB (FOI) requests, data-scraping, surveys, classic interviews with key players and traditional journalistic reporting. Our team-members have a critical perspective, also towards each other, are well-organized and work on ongoing files.
An integral part of Investico is the Investico Masterclass that we offer young investigative journalists. Our own specific collaborative journalistic method requires a thorough introduction, and the Masterclass offers us the opportunity to attract young talent to work for our organization. We organize a five-month training course in which four or five participants learn to think as investigative journalists, are trained in journalistic methods and learn to work as a team. We offer hands-on training as the participants immediately start working on a joint, large investigative journalistic production.
Investico-productions were nominated for De Loep Award by the Association for Investigative Journalism (VVOJ) and the Citi Journalistic Excellence Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The jury of De Loep wrote: “The jury was impressed by the quality of the productions, especially since the research provided insight in a wide area of complex subjects. We sincerely hope that funding will remain available for this type of research and journalistic collaboration because the results are more than promising.”
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