It’s election year – and we’ll go where others won’t

This year will be pivotal for the future of global democracy. Half the people on the planet live in a country with elections taking place. Many of these voters have the power to tilt the geopolitical landscape. There’s India, Taiwan, South Africa, the UK and dozens more – not to mention the fact that Donald Trump could win back the White House.

At TBIJ, we’ve been talking about the US and UK elections for a while. We’ve set up a special reporting project to expose the hostile agents pushing dangerous narratives ahead of the UK elections. Uncovering these influence operations is essential. It means voters are more aware of the mis- and disinformation they are targeted with; it allows politicians and regulators to take action; and it puts pressure on Big Tech companies to crack down on bad information being pumped out on their platforms.

Elections won’t be TBIJ’s only focus in 2024. But whatever the subject, our reporting this year will adhere to three key principles:

  • We will go where others don’t. We are not guided by the daily news cycle that most media organisations are bound to. Instead we find stories that no one else is looking at. Think of the Post Office scandal that has been leading the news all week – an injustice that was initially uncovered by very determined investigative journalists. We are seeking these untold stories out and bringing them into the open.

  • We will stay on the story. Sometimes the only way to really shift the narrative, or to get to the bottom of something, is to keep banging on the door. We spent four years uncovering the jaw-dropping mismanagement of finances at one Essex council. Our investigation into the abuse of the UK’s migrant workers is now into its second year. And our reporting into the atrocities happening on Del Monte’s pineapple farm isn’t stopping any time soon.

  • We will tell the stories of the people too often denied a voice in the mainstream. From Indigenous villagers threatened by the beef industry to the gig workers being exploited by Big Tech, we will always ensure our stories centre the communities who are most affected.

We’ll lift the lid on the banks funding fossil-fuel expansion and torpedoing efforts to combat the climate crisis. We’ll look for more links between Vladimir Putin and his cronies who’ve embedded themselves – and their wealth – in the west.

We’ll reveal how profiteers are preying on citizens while the cost-of-living crisis drives many to desperation. We’ll show you how untreatable infections are a growing threat to us all – and how they can be spread by the food sold in our supermarkets. And we’ll uncover the connections between US investors and Russia’s tools of oppression.

But our work is about more than simply uncovering the wrongdoing. This is about playing an essential role in a functioning democracy.

Many of our democratic systems are either crumbling or under attack. Rigorous journalism is a key part of the fabric that preserves the truth. We reveal injustice. We hold governments, big companies and powerful institutions to account. And often the world changes as a result.

We’re fired up for the year, but we can’t do it alone. Our investigations cost money. Not only do we send our reporters around the world – including Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan in 2023 – but our stories need careful editing, diligent fact-checking and expert legal advice.

In November, we launched Bureau Insiders, our membership for people who care for our work and want to be part of it. Please sign up below. The more we are, the stronger we get.