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

FBI report warned of ‘war’ at Capitol, contradicting claims there was no indication of looming violence

The Washington Post citing an internal FBI situational information report.

Facebook Turned on Trump After Warnings That ‘Business as Usual Isn’t Working’

The Wall Street Journal citing internal reports and an Instagram presentation.

Trump and Aides Drove Family Separation at Border, Documents Say

The New York Times citing notes from two meetings.

Chinese Covid-19 Tests Were Pushed by Federal Agencies Despite Security Warnings

The Wall Street Journal citing internal documents.

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