Crowdfund Data like Correctiv. How to Involve Readers in Investigations

June 3, 2021

Journalism Breakthroughs article series continues with Jelena Prtoric's piece on CORRECTIV,  a non-profit investigative newsroom that tackles the absence of reliable and accessible data with the help of its readers.

Do you know who owns the building you live in? Or which companies hold the biggest share of the real estate market in your city? In Germany, where property registries are not public, investigating real estate ownership is complicated.

According to German laws, only individuals with a “legitimate interest” are allowed to consult the property records. Tenants are considered to have a “legitimate interest”, journalists are not. This is why in 2018, when Correctiv, a German non-profit, data-driven investigative newsroom founded in 2014, started investigating property ownership in Hamburg, they turned to their readers to gather the data.

The community responded to the call, and, as a result, they were able to reveal the ownership of 15,000 apartments in Hamburg in their investigation “Who owns Hamburg?” (Wem gehört Hamburg?), published in collaboration with Hamburger Abendblatt. Projects in other German cities, among which Dusseldorf and Berlin ensued.

Photo Source: Correctiv

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