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 in April 2020 by investigative reporters Girish Gupta, now CTO at Deepnews.ai, and Alexandra Ulmer, a Special Correspondent at Reuters.

This week's selection

NBC News citing master guest lists and internal State Department calendars.

Pompeo's elite taxpayer-funded dinners raise new concerns

Axios citing a Chinese government request.

Documents show China's secret extradition request for Uighur in Turkey

Reuters citing a draft of a new national security law.

China eyes tougher national security regime for Hong Kong

The Hill citing an internal watchdog report.

Employees at the US' Environmental Protection Agency allege leadership interference with science

Reuters citing a government document signed by the Syrian finance minister.

Syrian government orders seizure of assets of Assad's cousin Makhlouf

See archive...


You'll get one email every Sunday with our selection of the week's top document-based investigative reporting. (We won't share your email address or spam you.)

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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