The words "according to documents" in a news story signal investigative journalism of the highest caliber.

We want to celebrate reporting based on government or corporate reports, emails, private chat messages or something equally tangible—as opposed to that based on unnamed sources or rumors.

The idea is imperfect, of course, and some excellent reporting will be based on no documents and some terrible reporting will be based on many documents. But ultimately, it's a great rule of thumb.


According to Documents was created by investigative reporters Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer.

This week's selection

McDonald’s Secretive Intel Team Spies on ‘Fight for $15’ Workers, Internal Documents Show

Vice citing internal McDonald's strategy documents.

Sheryl Sandberg and Top Facebook Execs Silenced an Enemy of Turkey to Prevent a Hit to the Company’s Business

ProPublica citing internal company emails.

High-End US Medical Provider Let Ineligible People Skip COVID-19 Vaccine Line

NPR citing internal emails.

Filipino stars, influencers get paid to boost Duterte propaganda, fake news

Rappler citing documents including bank transfers.

See archive...


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Help us highlight worthwhile reporting by submitting it below or emailing us. We welcome work by freelancers, smaller publications and journalists covering underreported issues or countries.

© 2020 Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer