Independent and democratic journalism – Of the People, For the People
Shakuf ("Transparent") is Israel’s first media organization that is fully and directly owned by the public, and operates under public's direction. We have no ads, no tycoons influencing our editorials, no support from foundations, trusts, or government funding. We are solely funded by the general public.
This model allows us to produce high quality investigative reporting, free from any commercial or political interests.
Why are we needed?
News media is unique: on one hand, media companies are businesses like any other, while on the other, the press plays a major role in democracy and politics – keeping an eye out for those in power, and unveiling wrongdoings and corruption.
The press’ financial model is collapsing, which in turn leads to businessmen acquiring journals and newspapers as a means of gaining influence. The media’s one-time role as a fair watchdog has been abandoned, and the public has begun to lose its trust in those who deliver the news. We are here to solve those problems. We are here to provide free, high-quality, independent journalism.
What differentiates Shakuf from other outlets?
To protect ourselves from foreign interests, we created a new financial model for journalism: our funding (every last bit of it!) comes from private individuals who support us on a monthly basis, with any amount of their choosing.
At Shakuf, our “publishers” are our monthly backers – and they are those who decide, via a democratic voting process, what we shall investigate, on who we will keep tabs, and what behind-the-scenes actions we will bring to light.
The topics we cover are relevant to every person in Israel: uncovering corruption, shedding light on the decision making process, transparency, environmental issues, the economy, and in the near futures, also culture, sports and other topics.
Here are some of our achievements:
- Increased transparency: We led the process turning the government decision making portal (“HaMaatafa”) into a public site; More than half of the Members of Knesset now provide financial declarations; 30 of them have revealed their diary; several ministers reveal their votes in the Ministerial Committee on Legislation; with these milestones and other initiatives in the works, we will be able to better understand the personal interests of those elected to serve the public and how those affect their decisions.
- In-depth investigative reporting: as selected by our public publishers, we uncovered the price of passing a bill in parliament, and shed even further light on the world of Israeli lobbying; we uncovered the ‘revolving doors’ phenomenon at the Ministry of Environmental Protection; we uncovered the details of the TiSA trade deal and blocked Israel from joining, and more.
- Changing the norms: Israel’s State Comptroller adopted our fight on implementing transparency guidelines regarding blocking of citizens on social media channels by politicians, and also on hiding meetings and expenses concerning the state budget.
- Developing a new kind of journalism: we regularly consult with our supporters, share our databases, and assign reporters to research specific topics for prolonged periods – with no fear of “low ratings”.
- Activism: We use the “Transparency Patrol” to denounce corrupt officials and to support those who serve the public.
Our Own Transparency
- We demand transparency from our elected officials, but we demand even more from ourselves. As our partners and supporters, we want to show you where your money goes and how it is used to do good. Our budget is available for all to see.
- We are a nonprofit organization, taking no political sides: We keep watch on all parties, and care only for the interests of the public. See for yourselves.
Join us and together we will change the state of media coverage!
Now we want to grow from a small operation into a big media powerhouse for democratic and active journalism. You are not buying a subscription – you are joining us as members, partners. You will have a voice and actively be involved in our decision making process.