Assisting journalists investigating crime and corruption

Aleph | Romania | €400K Funding | Nonprofit | Exploring New Technologies

The Aleph platform is a powerful and flexible online tool that allows journalists to collaborate and easily search multiple data sources to investigate complex stories on crime and corruption.

What Aleph has enabled us to do is to scale up the collaboration in our teams.

Friedrich Lindenberg
OCCRP Senior Data Editor

How can journalists keep track of a money-laundering and fraud operation that originates in Pakistan, uses fake companies run by Swedish Hells Angels and involves the Italian mob? That's the kind of investigation the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project tackles.

“What Aleph has enabled us to do is to scale up the collaboration in our teams. Where before we could work with 12 journalists on a story at most, we’re now able to have 70, 80, 100, and it’s no issue,” says OCCRP Senior Data Editor Friedrich Lindenberg.

Aleph allows journalists to search over 1.5 billion data entities extracted from publicly available datasets which are usually out of reach of a simple web search. Of those over 1.5 billion data entities, 25.5 million are documents, 284 million describe individuals, and 55 million describe companies - allowing connections to be discovered and investigated. The platform also provides an online workspace where teams or individuals can also structure their stories, upload and share documents. This helps journalists produce timelines and diagrams to help visualise the complex criminal connections they uncover. One example of this work was a series on money laundering entitled “Troika Laundromat”.

Other organisations also re-use the open source Aleph software including Süddeutsche Zeitung, Global Witness, Aller Media and the Distributed Denial of Secrets whistle-blower site.

Before, we could work with 12 journalists on a story at most, but we’re now able to have 70, 80, 100 due to the DNI Funded Aleph platform.

Friedrich Lindenberg, OCCRP Senior Data Editor

Exploring new technologies

Frames: Charting growth

Frames provides the online publishing industry with innovative charts that improve understanding and generate revenue.

Learn more Frames: Charting growth

DNI Fund Report 2020

Explore this year's report to find out about projects that have been supported by the DNI Fund and the impact they’re having in newsrooms across Europe.
Download full report