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What is the Institute of Independent Journalism?

Institute of Independent Journalism is a nonprofit organization – registered institute. We provide information and deal with news and journalism. We offer our articles, analysis or data outputs to everyone to use under predetermined conditions – see Content takeover.

The Institute was created by people who demonstrated their qualities and moral integrity in last twenty years as journalists and media managers. We are not lobby. We wont ally with one side against the second. Neither in politics nor in business. We look under fingers of politicians, officials and businessmen who break the rules.

We want to cooperate with all fair businessmen, managers, professional unions and syndicates, universities, nonprofit organizations and journalists who see independence and high professionality as a key value.

Independence of this project is guaranteed by the fact that the Institute of Independent Journalism doesnt belong to one owner but it accounts to the Governing board and its finances are under public control. Key sources of income are donations from the widest possible range of people.

What is HlídacíPes.org? (might be translated as WatchDog)

HlídacíPes.org – Journalism in the public interest is the very first project of Institute of Independent Journalism. Its the publishing website of the Institute where the results of our work and of our associated journalists work are published.

HlídacíPes.org is not any conventional news server. It focuses on the original findings and the long-term monitoring of topics which are out of sight of the mainstream media.

We do not reproduce the daily news and we dont churn out our views on widely known facts. We are focused on the original findings and on the original deep going journalism. We want to detect the unfair practices and our goal is to achieve a change. We work with no bias or ideological prejudice and we follow the strictest standards of journalistic impartiality.

Which topics do you focus on?

We focus on topics which are key for the development of independent and democratic society. We produce journalism in the public interest and we focus on the significant stories. We are interested in abuse of political or economic power and in all forms of oppression of the weaker.

The main task of investigative journalism is to refer about the immoral behavior or crime. Unfortunately, this type of journalism is endangered in recent years. Large media houses are perceiving it as too expensive whereas it doesnt bring them many readers and it threatens the advertising incomes.

Reporters lack the time and money needed for the long-term and deep going investigation. Therefore, it is necessary to find new models which would allow journalists to work in the public interest on investigating misfeasance and thus contribute to the quality of our democracy and  the protection of civil, economic and political liberties.

Are there abroad any similar journalistic nonprofit organizations and websites?

Our inspiration is the American project ProPublica.org which is funded by donations from foundations of prominent businessmen and even ordinary citizens, who care about the values of American democracy. ProPublica works since mid 2008. Throughout its short existence  ProPublica can boast of two Pulitzer prizes.

You can read more about ProPublica’s activities in an interview with its founder, longtime managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, Paul Steiger for the German weekly Der Spiegel: http://www.mediar.cz/bossove-amazonu-a-ebay-chteji-novy-zpravodajsky-ekosystem-mini-sef-pro-publica/

“Non-profit journalism” is rapidly spreading phenomenon in the world. See for example this survey:

http://www.cjr.org/news_startups_guide/online-news-websites/business-model/nonprofit.php.

How are you funded?

Finances for the operation of the Institute are mainly obtained from donations or grants. At the outset we were supported by Endowment fund of Czech industrialists, with whom has the Institute established an agreement on support for one year. However, prolongation for the next 12 months is expected.

Our donors can be assured that their money is used primarily for journalistic activities. Its our policy to use from each crown 85 hallers to journalistic activities and only fifteen cents on the “administration” (editorial rent space, computers, editors equipment, phones, data connection, travel costs etc.). This ratio is the exact opposite of how traditional media houses handle finances.

Donors can be also assured by the fact that we follow the highest professional standards in our work. We thank to our donors for supporting the independence of our work knowing well that they can not affect our editorial processes. Overview of donors can be found here.

Obviously, we constantly explore and try all new possible sources of revenue – including Crowdfunding connected to specific covered subjects. Legal form – registered Institute  even allows us to sell under clearly defined conditions some articles, analyzes or services. Earned money are back used to run the Institute.

Yet the main source for support our business in the first years will be philanthropy –  large and small donations. Everyone can contribute, we are grateful for any amount. See Donate.

Your project has attracted me, how can I support you?

First of all, thank you very much for your interest.

  • Money can be sent to an Institute account (Fio bank) 2600667991/2010. Please always  indicate your identification data.
  • We prefer writing a donation agreement in the case of regular donations or donations exceeding  the total sum of 100,000 crowns. We arrange all administration. Contact for this type of donations: Ondřej Neumann, director of the Institute, robert.brestan@hlidacipes.org,  cell phone: +420 604 845 543.

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