Frequently asked questions

Here, we answer frequently asked questions which are being continuously updated. Should you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

Who we are

CORRECTIV is the first non-profit newsroom for investigative journalism in the German-speaking region. Since July 2014, we have been working to promote our vision of a better society. Democratic processes are being undermined both in Germany and around the world by the abuse of power, polarization and corruption. With investigative journalism, participation opportunities and educational formats, we want to strengthen an open civil society.

Our editorial team investigates structural injustices and exposes unethical behavior without any political or economic agenda of our own. Our journalists take a long-term approach to issues, carrying out investigations in the public interest with accuracy and perseverance.

CORRECTIV consists of a team of 40 people. We are based in Essen and have an editorial office in Berlin. In our investigations, we cooperate with local and international partners. CORRECTIV’s work is controlled by a board of trustees, a supervisory board and an ethics council.

At a time when our public and private debates are being increasingly polarized by populist rhetoric, citizens are learning to value good journalism as a watchdog of democracy. In an interconnected society as ours, we feel this development not only in our own countries, but also globally. CORRECTIV’s independent non-profit journalism has a special role to play here.

We not only investigate and report in-depth, but also initiate change for a better society. To this end, we work with local and international media partners.

Journalism with its role as a guardian and educator can and should inform, empower and encourage citizens and drive civic participation. We believe that challenges to society can be solved in a democratic way with well-researched information, transparency and factual accuracy.

As the first non-profit newsroom of investigative journalism in Germany, we began our work in July 2014. Initial funding from the Brost Foundation for the first three years allowed us to develop and implement our vision.

Since then, we have achieved a lot. We have published investigative articles that uncovered among other things European tax theft, illegal party donations and a lack of transparency in the rental market; hosted events at which tens of thousands of people exchanged ideas; won lawsuits that lastingly strengthen freedom of press and civil rights, and established educational programs that promote media literacy. 

CORRECTIV is vivid and constantly evolving. This willingness to change will continue to set us apart. We want to find new ideas and approaches for involving citizens in the journalism of tomorrow – and ultimately, how journalism can have a concrete impact for citizens.

In our opinion, everyone has a right to independent, freely accessible high-quality information. Funding through donations from citizens grants us independence from quotas, advertisements or shareholder influences. This allows us to make our content freely available to everyone.

Newspapers and editorial offices around the world are shutting down due to a lack of money and advertising customers. Even in times of crisis, when journalism is the most important source of information, jobs are being cut. To meet these challenges, various new models in journalism have emerged in recent years.

For a few years now, journalistic organizations like CORRECTIV that are not profit-oriented but focused on the common good instead have been developing around the world. This is now more easily achievable than ever before, and the digital world offers new opportunities in this regard. All our investigations, background articles and fact checks are therefore freely available – without paywalls, advertisements or data sales. Citizens can also participate in numerous educational activities and events free of charge.

How we work – In the public interest

We focus on what affects our society in all its diversity and on topics that are of particular relevance to our readers. With our work, we aim to expose social grievances. Hence, our investigations are not oriented towards specific events, but rather highlight structural issues. Nevertheless, we also want to surprise with our topics and publications and aim to be a catalyst for social debate. This is how societal change becomes possible.

Our investigations are focused on the following areas: Climate, Corruption, Justice, Medicine, Education, Life, Economy, Extremism.

With our work, we stand for an open and democratic society. We don’t just investigate and report, we also want to spark change.

Our journalism is a means of empowering citizens: The more people are familiar with the mechanisms of journalistic work, the stronger a society’s media competence and culture of debate becomes.

 This view is also reflected in the way we work with each other. To obtain the best results possible in our investigative work, we cooperate in teams. We involve each other in our work and share our knowledge. Other media and organizations are not competition to us, but partners. We think in cooperative structures, because together, we can uncover more hidden stories, inform the public more comprehensively and have a greater impact.

When crime is organized internationally, we can counter it and uncover clandestine structures through journalistic cooperation across national borders as in our international investigations into the Cum-Ex Files or Grand Theft Europe. Most recently, we expanded our focus outside of Europe in our large-scale investigation Nurses for Sale and cooperated with media in Latin America.

Working collaboratively is also immensely helpful for CORRECTIV on a local level, which is why we work in a network with a variety of local media at CORRECTIV.Lokal. From our point of view, society needs more teamwork instead of only acting against each other. The media can set a positive example in this regard. With our work, we want to contribute to diversity and quality in the media system.

We are always open to new cooperations locally as well as internationally – new research methods and new forms of publication. We want to engage with our readers, in our bookstore, at our Campfire Festival or other events.

The editorial team of CORRECTIV consists of permanently employed journalists who investigate topics in the areas of their respective expertise. In addition, there are freelance journalists with whom we regularly collaborate on projects or topics. 

Our editors-in-chief are Olaya Argueso and Justus von Daniels. Their dual leadership reflects the relevance of teamwork in our editorial office.

The fact-checking newsroom is an independent team inside of CORRECTIV. They debunk false information, rumors and half-truths on a daily basis. The team is currently lead by Alice Echtermann and Till Eckert in replacement of Tania Röttger. 

In spring 2020, CORRECTIV launched its own youth newsroom: „Salon5“ is a media platform by teenagers for teenagers that lets them participate in democratic discourse from a young age. The youth newsroom is headed by Hüdaverdi Güngor.

Targeted disinformation is used to divide our society, spread hatred or conduct crooked business. One-sided or false information creates distorted world views. This leads to insecurity and can even be dangerous in some cases. 40 % of Germans say they feel overwhelmed when it comes to identifying fake news. That’s why we want our fact-checkers to help everyone learn to recognize fake news and stop it in its tracks. 

CORRECTIV.Faktencheck exposes false information, rumors and half-truths on a daily basis, provides background information on targeted disinformation and gives workshops and interviews on how to deal with the so-called “fake news”.

CORRECTIV.Faktencheck is an independent newsroom of the non-profit center of investigative journalism CORRECTIV. It is non-partisan in its stance and committed to neutrality in fact-checking. It operates according to the criteria of the international Code of Principles of the US-American Poynter Institute, an independent non-profit academy for journalists. This Code has been signed by fact-checking teams around the world. You can see who is currently among them here. CORRECTIV.Faktencheck is furthermore bound by the CORRECTIV editorial statute.

CORRECTIV is a non-profit limited liability company. For us, investigating for society means that our publications and activities have to be freely available to everyone, not just a few. Our journalistic work gets by without advertising revenue, restrictive paywalls or subscription models.

Our work is financed through three pillars of income:

  1. Donations from citizens who want to support our work in the long term. Small and large donations as well as regular contributions are the basis of our funding and therefore particularly important to us.
  2. Institutions such as foundations and corporations that are committed to the values of an educated and open society and that want to strengthen our democracy also contribute. They support our core activities or allow us to realize new projects, such as the Brost Foundation’s start-up funding for CORRECTIV. However, no donor has any influence on the content of our work; the editorial team works with complete independence.
  3. Through our own economic activities, such as the production and sale of books or workshops, we support our non-profit work by our own strength.

A balanced mix of these three pillars avoids dependencies. From our perspective, each pillar should ideally make a growing contribution in the long term and should not represent more than 50 percent of revenues. In this way, we achieve independent and stable funding as a whole.

We publish our annual business reports, as well as incoming contributions and donations. Publication takes place in a timely manner in each case. The detailed provisions can be found in our editorial statute.

We work independently from economic and political influences, which is a particular challenge in today’s media world.

We do not accept money from people or corporations who want to dictate how we should work. No one will exert influence on our editorial work. This independence and our credibility are the foundation of our work as a whole. We are only perceived as credible if we apply the same standards to ourselves by which we judge others journalistically and critically. Transparency plays a crucial role and is a matter of identity to us. We are aware that the public’s ethical and moral standards for a non-profit project like ours are much higher than for commercial media. For this reason, we publish all incoming donations and contributions on our website: Donations from private individuals are shown as a total amount, grants from foundations or companies are shown if above 1,000 €. The balance sheet and income statement from our annual financial statements, which are voluntarily audited each year, are freely available as well.

The provisions about publication of revenues can be found in our editorial statute.

In addition, memberships of our editors and all employees in associations, political parties or other organizations are disclosed to our supporters.

How to support us

There are many ways to support CORRECTIV and our independent journalism. We appreciate every contribution.

The more people we reach, the more we can achieve. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to our weekly or daily newsletter by e-mail. Feel free to recommend our work to your friends and acquaintances, share our investigations on your social media-channels or forward them by e-mail. This way, you can help make CORRECTIV accessible to a wider public and initiate debates.

Your expertise can also be valuable. Let us know if you or your company are willing to contribute your skills (pro bono) to us, e.g. in the fields of event organization, marketing or law. We gladly accept support: info(at)correctiv.org

We would be particularly pleased if you are willing to support our work financially as well. Our independent journalism is now supported by over ten thousand individuals ─ we want and need to continue to build on this in the years ahead. Every contribution, large or small, means that we can continue to ask the critical questions of our time. Your donation can help us do that.

All donations go directly to the work of our journalists, their extensive research and their publications for the general public. They allow our reporters to conduct in-depth research, stand up against false reports and pass on their knowledge.

As a supporter, you can see how we use your donations and what they achieve in our regular transparency reports.

With us, you don’t pay a publishing house, a huge administrative machinery or investors who expect profits.

How to contact us

Transparency allows for better control and is part of the identity of our organization. We are open to constructive criticism. Therefore, we are happy to hear from you. You can contact us at info(at)correctiv.org.

Feel free to send your inquiry to presse(at)correctiv.org. We will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have a specific question that is not listed here. You will receive your answer by e-mail and we may also update this FAQ list. You can get in touch with us via info(at)correctiv.org.