ABOUT US

Hunterbrook Media publishes investigative and global reporting — with no ads or paywalls. Our mission is to bring visibility to under-covered regions and accountability to under-scrutinized sectors.

We built this platform because we want our research to be freely available to the public, and we seek to capture the economic value created by world-class reporting, which we believe for too long has gone to everyone except the outlets producing it.

The articles on this website have been reported by Hunterbrook Media. In certain instances when reporting does not include Material Non-Public Information (MNPI), also known as “insider info,” articles may be provided to our affiliate Hunterbrook Capital, an investment firm which may take financial positions based on our research. Hunterbrook Media publishes positions that Hunterbrook Capital takes in connection with Hunterbrook Media’s research — and no other investment firm has early access to the information.

While our approach differs in key ways from traditional journalism — for instance, by seeking to avoid inside sources — we are deeply inspired by the tools and values of both intrepid reporting and open-source intelligence (OSINT).

We’ve designed our unique policies and protocols, written below, on those of institutions with a high commitment to the ethics of reporting. Our Advisory Board includes the first Public Editor of The New York Times, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Wall Street Journal, the founder of ProPublica, and several exceptional reporters, among many other Advisors.

More information about our team is here.

To share ideas, please email ideas@hntrbrk.com. One of our legal colleagues will screen your message and, where appropriate, direct it to the relevant member of our team. While we do not generally publish anonymous information due to our open-source strategy, we can keep your identity private and use the information to find sources whose provenance can be shared. If you send MNPI/insider info, our legal team may forward it to an organization that reports using inside sources.

For media inquiries only, please email press@hntrbrk.com.

For work opportunities only, please email talent@hntrbrk.com.

Our Principles These guidelines are an excerpt of the Company’s extensive Policies and Procedures, which are given to employees when they join the company.

What we do must always be ethical.

What we do must always be legal.

The following protocols are how we ensure our two core principles. These protocols have been informed by discussions with our Advisory Board — including the former Editor-in-Chief of the Wall Street Journal, the founder of ProPublica, the first Public Editor of the New York Times, and numerous reporters — as well as conversations with members of our internal and external legal teams who have worked at the highest levels of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Southern District of New York (SDNY), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We did not seek input on these protocols from our investors.

These policies are essential. The info in these pages will be the difference between succeeding at Hunterbrook and failing. Study it. Master it. And as ProPublica writes in its Code of Ethics: “The most important wisdom about dealing with these questions is: When in doubt, ask.”

Truth

We do not lie, embellish, or exaggerate. We aim to write exactly what we know — no more, no less.

We believe in honest reporting. The only way we will sustainably grow is if our reporting is trusted. Accuracy is imperative. Thatʼs why every line in every article of ours will be fact-checked rigorously, copy-edited with the goal of ensuring there are no typos that distort meaning or demonstrate lack of quality, and given a final review by our editing team to ensure it meets our standards. We will also aim to make sure no key details have been omitted from the final article that we believe would meaningfully alter the reader’s view of our subject.

Intentionally inaccurate reporting is a fireable offense. Unintentional errors are a significant detriment to our mission.

Proof

We tell readers not just what we know, but how we know it. That means attributing every new fact an article introduces — and being able to share its provenance. The only exception is anonymous sources (see policy below).

To whatever extent possible, we will also divulge the step-by-step process of our reporting in the article itself — often including a link to a methodology appendix, particularly when using Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).

We do not edit quotes or modify images in any way that could alter meaning. Data may be presented in more colloquial formats than the original, but the original should be included in the appendix. When we add accessibility features, these features must be strictly accurate. For example, the audio accompanying a satellite image must factually describe its contents, without any opinions; any uncertainty about what is pictured should be verbalized.

Where possible, we include context around the lines we quote from interviews. As the New York Times Public Editor once wrote, “The business of quoting is inherently artificial. Selection is editing.” We seek to mitigate this by providing the reader the ability to engage with the primary sourcing.

Transparency

We donʼt just disclose our business model, we highlight it. Every article will emphasize our mission and will disclose the financial interests of Hunterbrook Capital based on our research.

Preserve the Sanctity of Source Relationships

At Hunterbrook Media, we abide by the five traditional standards re: source relationships, adapted from the New York Times:

1) Financial Interactions: Donʼt pay sources, and donʼt let them pay you (or pay for you). Hunterbrook Media will cover any and all expenses incurred by staff during interactions with sources, provided they are approved by an editor. As The New York Times writes: “In some business situations and in some cultures, it may be unavoidable to accept a meal or a drink paid for by a news source. For example… reporter[s] need not decline every invitation to interview an executive over lunch in the corporationʼs private dining room, where it is all but impossible to pick up the check… A simple buffet of muffins and coffee at a news conference, for example, is harmless, but a staff member should not attend a breakfast or lunch [paid for by a source].”

2) Identity Disclosure: Employees must fully disclose their roles and disclose that information may be shared with Hunterbrook Capital, which in turn may make investment decisions based on the information provided. The only exception is if you’re seeking info that is available to the general public, in which case you may not need to affirmatively disclose your role as a reporter. (For instance, if you wanted to see how easy it would be to receive a prescription for a painkiller as an ordinary citizen, you wouldnʼt need to affirmatively share with the provider that you are a reporter.) A blurb we’ve been using: “I’m researching a story for Hunterbrook Media — a publication that may provide its research to Hunterbrook Capital, an investment firm.”

3) Use of Anonymous Sources: Anonymous sources should be avoided unless they offer indispensable info with no alternative to obtain it. In these cases, we require that the source consents to have their identity disclosed to our Publisher and our General Counsel, as well as the direct editor when appropriate. Identities of sources granted anonymity will be kept confidential unless we are legally compelled to disclose by the court of final jurisdiction, the standard of The New York Times, or unless the source later decides to waive confidentiality. It’s important to scrutinize and disclose any potential biases an anonymous source may have. As ProPublica writes in its policy: “To the extent that we can, we identify in our stories any important bias such a source may have. If the story hinges on documents, as opposed to interviews, we describe how the documents were obtained, at least to the extent possible. We do not say that a person declined to comment when he or she is quoted anonymously… We donʼt use composite characters or fictional ages, places or dates in our stories. Our default for identifying sources is by using full names; pseudonyms can only be used in extraordinary situations with the approval of the editor in chief or a managing editor.”

4) Source Diversity: Strive to talk to diverse sources, representing a wide array of opinions about the topic at hand; we want to cover reporting from every angle, not just one perspective.

5) Conflicts of Interest: If you feel like you have developed a conflict over the course of your reporting, share this with your editor, who will help you make a decision vis-a-vis recusal.

In addition to the standard guardrails on source relationships, our unique model restricts them in one more critical way: We try to avoid engaging with sources who are violating a fiduciary duty in order to speak with us (“insider sources”). There is more information on what a fiduciary duty is in our Compliance policy, but at a high-level, if someone has to break a confidentiality agreement, employment agreement, or breach their duties of trust and confidence with a company, in order to talk with you, you can’t talk to them in the first place.

Not using “inside sources” is, of course, the single biggest challenge of our reporting. It’s a big reason we are different from traditional reporting outlets. But with the rise of OSINT and the proliferation of Publicly Available Information (PAI), we believe important, meaningful reporting can be done without the help of a source inside a company.

To this end, Hunterbrook Media will be as accommodating as possible when it comes to purchasing relevant commercially-available data sets and tools that our reporters believe would help break a story. Itʼs our goal to become the most sophisticated for-profit OSINT reporting operation worldwide, as soon as possible.

Impact

The mission of our reporting at Hunterbrook Media is to make an impact — so as we are conducting investigations, we must always be considering which levers of change we are attempting to pull.

Our goal is to break stories that have market relevance. That’s precisely why it’s so important for us to maintain precision in our reporting and provide concrete evidence of our accuracy.

This is not a secret mission. At Hunterbrook Media, we are proudly passionate about our values, about bringing accountability to under-scrutinized companies and visibility to under-covered regions of the world. Given the nature of our business model, we are up front about our passion for these causes rather than falsely claiming dispassion.

Truth Over Passion

If passion conflicts with the truth, the truth wins. And if that means we have to kill an article, even one that supports a cause we strongly believe in, then that’s a price we’re willing to pay to uphold our commitment to telling the truth.

Before our research is published, our editors do a deep dive into our reporterʼs research process — essentially tracing the exact steps the reporter took to arrive at the final product. Again, this is absolutely critical for compliance, given our business model, but it is also critical for our integrity, because we will make sure no piece of relevant info is cut, even if it rebuts other aspects of the article.

Sunlight

Humans have a tendency to run away from darkness toward sunlight. At Hunterbrook Media, we do the reverse. When deciding where to focus our reporting, our first question will always be: What is inadequately covered?

Whether itʼs a region of the world that needs more breaking news coverage or a sector of companies that deserves more scrutiny, that is where we will go — to the stories shrouded in darkness.

No Clickbait, No Aggregation

We donʼt chase clicks. Our goal is to enlighten, not entertain. Focus on how much new info we can bring to light.

We also don’t aggregate.
Write what only you can write. As Matthew Winkler argues in The Bloomberg Way: “News is a surprise. What did we know today that we didn’t know yesterday? That question will offer guidance when deciding which facts to highlight.”

This doesnʼt mean our theses always need to be brand new or built on a scoop. Great reporting may weave together threads of existing articles into a unique contribution. But we will never release an article only summarizing work someone else has already done and we will never merely aggregate news. If it is a Hunterbrook story, it has to bring a fresh perspective that introduces visibility, accountability, or both.

Self-scrutiny

We are as rigorous about questioning ourselves as we are about investigating others. If you or anyone else on the team has questions about any aspect of what we do, weʼll face them head on. This includes questions about our Advisory Board, external partners, and any other collaborators. As one of our Advisors once wrote, “Somebody’s got to ombud the ombudsman.”

Follow the Law

Put simply, if it’s illegal, don’t do it.

As the New York Times writes in its ethics policy for reporters:

They may not break into buildings, homes, apartments or offices. They may not purloin data, documents or other property, including such electronic property as databases and email or voice mail messages. They may not tap telephones, invade computer files or otherwise eavesdrop electronically on news sources. In short, they may not commit illegal acts of any sort.

If something seems to fall into a gray area, ask your editor about it. They’ll tell you not to do it.

Diversity

Our strength lies in our diverse experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives, enabling us to see what others miss.

Every company benefits from diversity but that is especially true of a company whose mission is to better understand the world. That is why we will seek to have a team of researchers that reflects the diversity of regions, sectors, and issues we hope to cover. At Hunterbrook Media, this isn’t a nice-to-have from a values perspective; it’s a need-to-have from a mission perspective. And we will be uncompromising in upholding this commitment.

This extends to our sourcing: We want the full picture, from an appropriate range of people. We believe sharing just one perspective in our reporting is just as bad as sharing no perspective at all.

Maintain Financial Independence

If a potential future subject of a story offers to pay you anything, you canʼt accept. This includes offers to speak publicly at their conferences; to help with public relations; or to ghostwrite a book. We cannot be in the pocket of any of the subjects of our reporting.

If you create a book, movie, podcast, or newsletter separate from or following your time with Hunterbrook Media, you may identify Hunterbrook Media as a current or former employer. However, you cannot use your association with Hunterbrook Media as a platform to promote your product. For example, if you have written a book on a topic you are covering, you may not reference that book in the article.

Hunterbrook Media employees and freelancers cannot play the stock market during the term of their contract. They must disclose their holdings to legal and compliance upon onboarding, and for the duration of their contract are prohibited from the purchase or sale of any individual stock. Employees and freelancers may, with pre-approval, purchase or sell diversified mutual funds.

Stay Out of Politics – Within Reason

Nothing is apolitical. If employees want to attend a protest or make phone calls for a candidate, we will not stop them from doing so, as long as they conduct these matters in their personal capacity, rather than as an agent of Hunterbrook Media — and as long as this activity doesn’t interfere with their ability to report on their beat.

There is, however, one hard and fast rule when it comes to political engagement: No employees or freelancers of Hunterbrook Media can give money to, nor raise money for, a political candidate or election cause for the duration of their contract with Hunterbrook Media. (Yes: You can donate to 501(c)(3)s. No: You cannot donate to 501(c)(4)s.) We must maintain financial independence as an organization.

Respect the Boundaries between Hunterbrook Media and Hunterbrook Capital

Hunterbrook Capital will not interfere with the reporting of our newsroom — and our reporters must not interfere with the operations of Hunterbrook Capital. Itʼs essential for our culture that these two aspects of our organization maintain independence — and also enhances our Compliance. Importantly: Hunterbrook Media’s reporting may drive Hunterbrook Capital’s investments. Hunterbrook Capital’s investments must never drive Hunterbrook Media’s reporting.

Give Subjects a Chance to Respond

Whenever possible, we will give the subjects of our reporting an opportunity to respond to it. This may take place before or after we publish. As ProPublica writes in its Code of Ethics: “Whenever we portray someone in a negative light, we should make a real effort to obtain a response from that person. We should give them a reasonable amount of time to get back to us before we publish. What is ʻreasonableʼ may depend on the urgency and competitiveness of the story, but we should do our best to make sure people are not surprised by what we write about them. If we donʼt reach the parties involved, we should explain in the story what efforts were made to do so.”

Plagiarism

Don’t do it.

A note on the use of AI

We recognize the value that the latest AI tools can provide as resources, but we must also note the complexities they introduce into our researching and reporting process. 1) Copy / pasting the output of an AI chat tool is not the standard to which we wish to hold our writers. You may use the tools to enhance your research but do not rely on them for ultimate production. 2) We encourage you to leverage a “trust but verify” mindset when it comes to AI. These are yet imperfect tools, and though they have the ability to be great resources, their content is not always perfectly accurate. As previously stated, our business model has a low tolerance for inaccurate reporting, please apply the same rigorous fact-checking methodology to any AI outputs that you would toward any other source.

Corrections

Weʼll go out of our way to avoid inaccuracies, but on occasion, we may make mistakes. When we do, we must correct them with urgency, contrition, and forthrightness — particularly if we got something wrong that altered the public’s understanding of a company or event.

The stakes of publishing inaccuracies at Hunterbrook Media are extremely high financially and reputationally — and consequences for errors will reflect that.

Social Media

In general, abide by the axiom: “don’t do dumb shit.”

Be (a Little) Paranoid

With this in mind, bring the same “donʼt do dumb shit” ethic we advise on social media to all of your communications. Everything you write or use in your reporting could one day end up public. Before sending, imagine your Slacks will be on the front page of a newspaper. Data security is also a paramount priority.

A Note on Excellence

We don’t care when you do your work. We care about the quality of your work. The highest standards and the highest integrity. We will never compromise on either. We also care about you delivering compelling ideas, drafts, and products on time. At Hunterbrook Media, deadlines are not suggestions. They are promises.

A Note on Contractors

As the New York Times writes in its ethics policy: “Readers apply exacting standards to the entire paper. They do not distinguish between staff written articles and those written by outsiders. Thus as far as possible, freelance contributors… will be held to the same standards as staff members when they are on… assignments… If they violate these guidelines, they will be denied further assignments.”

Hunterbrook Media requires contractors to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflict.

As the New York Times writes: “Assigning editors should ensure that contributors are aware of this document, and to the greatest extent possible, [honor] its provisions while on assignment… Any disagreement over whether a specific provision applies to outside contributors should be resolved before the assignment proceeds.”

One More Thing

These procedures and protocols are essential to follow — but they only have meaning if they are rigorously adhered to, day after day, week after week, year after year. Should you find yourself in a situation where two principles seem to conflict, don’t rely solely on your judgment. Instead, consult with team members, fellow reporters, and our advisors — and work together to figure out what is right.