English summary

Contact address:  Holečkova 837/16, Praha 5, 150 00, Czech Republic

Contact person: [email protected]

Who we are?

The Institute of Independent Journalism was founded in September 2014 in a response to the dramatic changes in the domestic media, which were mainly related to the process of the so-called oligarchization of the media in the Czech Republic. The Institute was created by people who have proven their quality and moral integrity over the previous 20 years as successful journalists and media managers.

The Institute is a co-founder of the Association of Online Publishers (AOV), which brings together most of the independent media projects in the Czech Republic. AOV is an active member of the European professional platform News Media Europe, which represents more than 2,400 European news media in online, print and audiovisual broadcasting.

HlídacíPes.org is not a traditional news server focused on daily news. The content is quality journalism that adheres to the highest professional standards. It focuses primarily on original findings and long-term monitoring of topics that remain out of the mainstream media’s focus, on debunking misinformation, and bringing impartial and investigative journalism. The independence of the project is guaranteed by the fact that it does not belong to a single owner, but is accountable to a board of directors, and its funding is transparent. Donations from as wide a range of people as possible are a key source of funding.

The founders of HlídacíPes.org were inspired by America’s award-winning ProPublica.org project, which is funded by donations from foundations, prominent business people, and ordinary citizens who consider the values of American democracy important.

HlídacíPes.org’s editorial staff won the 2016 Journalism Award in the category of „best analytical and investigative piece“ for a series of pieces on the Chinese company CEFC and its operations in the Czech Republic. Editor-in-Chief Robert Břešt’an won the 2015 Journalism Award for his article describing Russian influence operations in the Czech Republic. Reporter Tereza Engelová is the winner of the 2017 Journalism Prize for a series of texts on events in Ukraine and the winner of the 2021 Ferdinand Peroutka Prize. Robert Malecký received the 2017 Journalism Prize for regional journalism. Another winner of the Ferdinand Peroutka Journalism Prize is commentator Jan Urban, who received the Václav Benda Prize in 2021.

HlídacíPes.org has so far published five books: ZE-MAN – The Real Story of the Czech President, BABIŠ – A Leader for the 21st Century, Map of Czech Justice, Merchants of Fear and Shock! Horror! Media! – Czech journalists after 1989.

HlídacíPes.org cooperates with the projects Sinopsis, Post Bellum, Kverulant, Přítomnost. HlídacíPes.org journalists regularly lecture at schools as part of media literacy programmes, including the One World at Schools project of the NGO People in Need.

In 2023, the HlídacíPes.org website was visited by 4.8 million real users who viewed over 16 million pages (page views).

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 doesn´t 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.

How are we 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, [email protected],  cell phone: +420 604 845 543.