Finance Uncovered’s mission is to increase the quantity and quality of illicit finance related news items – particularly in the developing and emerging world.
To fulfil our mission, we take a two-pronged approach. First, we programme and deliver intensive and focused training courses that equip journalists with skills and tools to investigate tax abuse, money laundering and corruption. Then, once participants complete our training, we support them to produce stories by project managing collaborations and/or working closely with individual journalists.
Finance Uncovered began its life in late 2012. We were incubated by Tax Justice Network and transitioned to become a stand-alone, independent journalism organisation during 2016.
Our first course was held in March 2013 at City University, London. Since then we have delivered six flagship London trainings at City.
Our trainers are experienced accountants, former law enforcement officials and renowned financial journalists. Our courses are programmed by experienced financial journalists, who understand the requirements of reporters and researchers.
We have also facilitated trainings for organisations such as ActionAid, the Daily Prothom Alo (Bangladesh), Public Services International, Tax Justice Network Africa and Transparency International.
Since March 2013, we have trained 277 people from 77 countries including many ICIJ and OCCRP reporters.
After our first training, we thought that it was all very well training people but the skills and knowledge that were learnt risked evaporating shortly after our participants returned home.
So we recruited a part-time journalist to support our participants illicit finance output.
We produced a series of investigations into tax avoidance and corruption, provided “help desk” support to people we trained and project managed collaborations investigations into tax avoidance focused on for example a major telecom companies operating in Africa.
As we have generated more results, we have been able to attract more funding and grow our organisation.
Today we are a staff of five, a proud member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and an Organised Crime & Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) partner organisation.
We have worked on investigations with journalists working for emerging investigative centres as well as some of the biggest media organisations all over the world.
These include the amaBhungane, Atlatszo.hu (Hungary), BBC (UK), Cenozo (West Africa), Daily Reporter (Kenya), de Correspondent (Netherlands) The Guardian (UK), Investigative Reporting Project Italy, Mada Masr (Egypt), the Mail on Sunday (UK), the OCCRP, The Observer (Uganda), The Observer (UK), Premium Times (Nigeria), Private Eye (UK), Slidstvo.info (Ukraine) and der Tagesspiegel (Germany).
The overwhelming majority of our income comes foundations. We are currently funded by Adessium, the Joffe Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundations and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. We have just joined the Money Trail consortium which also consists of Free Press Unlimited, Journalismfund.eu and Oxfam Novib. This is a consortium funded by the Netherlands National Postcode Lottery.
Slightly less than 5% of our income comes from fees we charge organisations who ask us to be on training as well as course fees from Western journalists who want to attend our London trainings.