“In these frustrating times of shrinking commercial newsrooms, unprecedented numbers of talented investigative journalists have nowhere to work. For the sake of our lonely profession-and indeed for democracy itself- we need to preserve and enlarge the public space for high quality journalism. The only way to do that is to create new economic models to enable this hugely important work”
(C. Lewis, The IRE Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2009)
Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI) was born due to the fortunate meeting of its founders at the seventh Global Investigative Journalism Conference (GIJC), taking place in October 2011 in Kyiv. From then on, eight Italian journalists, namely Guia, Leo, Cecilia A., Giulio, Lorenzo, Cecilia F., Guido and Alessia, began networking in order to establish an organisation dedicated to investigative journalism, the first of its kind in Italy.
Creating in Italy an organisation solely engaged with the practice of investigative journalism on the model of other centres already active in the US and other countries, including Eastern Europe, was the aim of us all. Establishing IRPI also comes as a meditation on journalism in this country. When the Italian journalism scene gets compared with others, it becomes clear an initiative such as IRPI is utterly needed – in order to promote, foster and even reclaim better standards and quality in journalism.
We do not have the insolence of thinking we are the ones making that high quality journalism better than anybody else in Italy, rather, we intend to provide a platform for all those who feel the same way and are passionate about journalism beyond its job-side. Moreover, what deeply connects IRPI’s founders is the belief in the cross-borderness of investigative journalism.
Transnationalism in investigations will be assured by the choice of international topics and research, but also throughout a wide network of contacts and collaboration with journalist and associations from around the world.
Moreover, the internationalisation of our work will be assured also thanks to multiple publications on different media around the world. IRPI will have an Italian soul, but will express itself globally. In fact, foreign collaborations in inquiries are not only most welcome, but also seen as crucial. By also offering a fixing service to foreign media and reporters, IRPI wishes to create the occasion for a market that is virtually inactive in Italy.
Our fixing service can provide efficient and highly professional support both in terms of research and fieldwork for any type of media, it being a written paper or it being a TV production [to know more about it click here.]
It must be added that Italy hasn’t been chosen just because we are Italian. It has been picked as our base because it is a highly corrupted country where abuse and misuse of power occur on a daily basis. According to the Court of Auditors of Italy corruption crunches 60 billion euros per year. Contemporaneously, Transparency International puts Italy at stall 72 out of 174 countries.
Italy is a great observatory for crime and corruption, it being the very homeland of Cosa Nostra, Camorra, ‘Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita – the four strongest mafias, now active in the whole world. It must be noticed that recently Germany identified ‘Ndrangheta as the most relevant criminal group in the country since the ’80s.
Investigating the organised crime and acting as the “Fourth Estate” is for IRPI the uttermost goal. And Italy sounds like the perfect place where to start accomplishing it from.
MISSION & VISION
Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI), is an association of investigative journalists based in Italy whom are experimenting new approaches, production and distribution models of investigative journalism.
IRPI digs into the interests that hide behind certain political or corporate policies and investigates illegal trafficking of any kind.
IRPI favours topics such as the public spending, organised crime, environmental impoverishment, corporate policies that lead to illegal profits or social injustice.
IRPI addresses a globalised citizenship through international media.
In order to investigate stories through a transnational angle, IRPI collaborates with foreign journalists and other organisations of investigative journalism.
Investigative Reporting Project Italy believes journalism should be a watchdog of democracy, a vision little rooted in the panorama of Italian media.
That is why IRPI has established itself as an independent organisation. For it, investigations will be carried out thanks to funds raised through a mix of donations from foundation and grants for journalists. The selling of editorial products and services to Italian and international media and crowdfunding initiatives will also sustain IRPI’s costs.