Overview

The Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ) is the first nonprofit online investigative reporting organization in South Korea. The center, launched by veteran broadcast journalists, runs Newstapa, an online news website that presents watchdog journalism in video form.

The center was initially formed at the beginning of 2012 by a small group of journalists who felt the need for an independent news organization against political pressure that resulted in the intentional reduction of investigative journalism at the country’s major media outlets.

 

We are who we are

It is now led by Editor-in-Chief Yongjin Kim, who formerly headed an investigative reporting unit at the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the country’s national public broadcaster.

The center has a combined staff of about 30 reporters, researchers, multimedia staff and administrative staff.

It publishes an in-depth investigative report composed of three or four news stories with the potential for major impact twice a week, covering a wide range of important issues related to social injustice and corruption of business and government.

 

How

The center’s investigations can be viewed not only on its website, but on YouTube, podcasts, and the country’s major web portals.

Funded entirely by donations from the public, the center does not accept advertising or resemble a commercial operation in any other way. It operates independently and free from any business interests or partisan political influences.

 

And then...

The center strives to empower citizens with accurate and comprehensive information on issues often under-reported or overlooked by mainstream media coverage, so as to help them hold those in power accountable.

Its work focuses on stories that strengthen the public’s right to be informed; stories that investigate hard-to-get facts and deliver the public a new perspective on events and issues; and stories that carry a wealth of detail about how the society works.

One of the main goals of the center is to shed light on the government’s activities and spending of taxpayers’ money, in order to promote transparency, accountability, and restraint in government finance.

Through investigative reporting, the center aims to not only expose problems but also to stimulate positive impact, possibly leading to changes in public laws or policies.

 

Lately

Last year, the center worked with the U.S.-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for the Offshore Leaks” investigation as sole South Korean partner. The reporting collaboration resulted in a series of stories that exposed activities in offshore tax havens by South Koreans, including the oldest son of former President Chun Doo-hwan.