We do in-depth journalism in the public interest. We publish long-term investigations as “Files”. A File is a readable archive and an investigative monitor. Here’s a bit more on our method, our editorial policy, our legal form, and our sources of funding.
The Manifold is a non-profit, investigative outfit with members in Athens, Nicosia and London, founded in 2018. We do in-depth journalism in the public interest, focusing on complex issues that require long-term commitment to illuminate, contextualise and monitor.
We have conceived this website as a collection of microsites which we call “Files”. To date, we have published two Files, “The Children and the State”, an investigation into the failures of the child protection system in Greece (available in English); and “Unaccountable Protectors“, an investigation into police arbitrariness, violence and impunity in Greece (available in Greek).
A File is a way to publish the full material of a journalistic investigation, including a variety of stories, interviews and case-studies, information on the people and institutions that drive events, as well as primary source documents. The goal is to create a resource for each investigation, to which the interested reader can turn in order to delve deep into the subject, its history, its context, and its evolution. We like to say that “when a File is opened, it never closes”. This means that we aim to actively monitor every File, and update its contents with every significant development.
We plan to open more Files soon. We will also be making various improvements, and adding new functionalities progressively (as well as catching up on translating content back and forth).
These are the main considerations in producing a File:
Each investigation in The Manifold Files traces the roots of a critical social issue, exposes its background, and documents its evolution. For every issue that is now urgent, there is always something that has happened before. So, a File is a kind of archive, where the memory of events that influence the issue at present is preserved and made accessible, through a collection of evidence. This archive is, however, readable, which means that a narrative has been composed by using the evidence as building blocks. The narrative hovers over the evidence, the two remaining connected by relationships always visible to the reader.
Every File is made up of Stories, Actors, and Documents. Stories are where the journalistic narrative unfolds, Actors are the persons and institutions that drive each Story, and Documents are records where the raw facts can be located. Narratives need supporting evidence, evidence needs narratives to be understood, people’s actions make no sense without the records of their activities. In a File, every element is contextualised through connections to other elements. Context is everything: we don’t just line facts up; we try to show how they illuminate each other.
Simplification is not always a virtue. Some problems are too big for soundbites. The Manifold Files do not offer something for everyone; they are a platform for in-depth journalism that consciously embraces complexity and tries to present it without cutting corners. Our aim is to delve deeper and deeper into the issues we investigate, and offer multiple ways to understand them. We do not flinch from long-form storytelling that requires a commitment from our readers.
Each issue that we choose to investigate is continually monitored, and each investigation is updated with new material as relevant events develop. However, instead of updates being thrown into a sea of unrelated news, each one of them — minor or major — is placed within an appropriate sequence in the File, and new relationships are forged between what’s new and what happened previously. Each File is a live investigative monitor. In this process lies the core of The Manifold Files’ approach to in-depth journalism: once a File is opened, it never closes.
For more details on how to get the most out of The Manifold Files, please see our User’s Guide.
Our Stand-alone Stories
From time to time, The Manifold produces stand-alone stories that either emerge in the course of a long-term investigation, or are completely autonomous. For a selection of such stories, please visit our Other Work page.
Our Editorial Policy
- We choose and pursue our investigations according to our conscience and interest, free from any outside influence, and according to internationally accepted standards of journalism.
- Our members and contributors may freely work with other teams and for other outlets, but their work in such instances must uphold the standards that we set forth here.
- We are committed to accuracy, fairness and balance.
- We will always quote sources on the record where possible, and keep records of interviews for their protection and ours.
- We will never pay for interviews or information.
- We will not submit stories for approval by a source or an interviewee.
- We will not submit questions in advance, except in necessary circumstances, according to our judgement.
- Where our work necessitates using anonymous sources, we will make every effort for those sources to be known to us, as well as to ensure the accuracy of the information through corroboration with other sources. We will furthermore explicitly state that we have promised anonymity to a source.
- We will protect our sources at all costs.
- We do not believe that stories should necessarily be presented as two or more equal sides to an argument, however alternative positions must always be examined and considered, and the right of reply should always be respected.
- We will never accept any facilitation or gift in relation to our work, either in relation to a specific story or generally.
- We will respect the right of privacy and protect personal data in all cases, except where in our professional view, public interest should take precedence. In such cases, we will expose our reasoning explicitly and submit it to public scrutiny.
- We retain the services of qualified legal professionals, to whose professional examination we will submit stories with possible legal repercussions.
- When we update stories in a significant way, we will indicate so and mark the date.
- We will correct errors promptly and in cases of serious misrepresentation we will publish an apology.
- We will not shy away from controversial content, where we judge this to be in the public interest, but we will refrain from sensationalism.
- Our tone will be appropriate to the complexities of the issues at stake.
- We are committed to reporting the truth within the context that makes it and its repercussions understandable.
Our Legal Form
The Manifold is a Non Profit Civil Partnership, its seat is in Athens, and it is registered with the General Commercial Registry of Greece.
The Partnership is managed by the Partners’ Assembly (with members having one vote each), and two Administrators and Legal Representatives (one principal and one alternate).
The Members of The Manifold are: Augustine Zenakos, journalist and editor (Principal Administrator and Legal Representative); Yannis-Orestis Papadimitriou, journalist (Alternate Administrator and Legal Representative); Mariniki Alevizopoulou, journalist (Member); Yiannis Baboulias, journalist (Member); Mihalis Panagiotakis, researcher and digital communications specialist (Member). The Partnership also has two non-member associates, Eliza Triantafyllou, journalist; and Achilleas Zavallis, photojournalist.
You can find more info on our members and collaborators in our Who We Are page.
The Manifold is funded through grants by organisations that support independent journalism and guarantee that funding will never be made conditional on the exercise of any control or influence over the editorial process. In the interest of transparency, we will always disclose our funders. To date, The Manifold has received support from the following organisations:
Our ongoing research for File 02: Police Violence and Impunity, scheduled for publication in January 2022 in The Manifold Files, as well as our ongoing collaboration with Solomon on issues of accountability, are realised with the support of a grant by the Open Society Foundations. The grant is managed by Solomon in Greece.
Our investigation into the energy transition in Greece, in collaboration with SourceMaterial and Inside Story, is funded by SourceMaterial.
The Manifold Files prototype website, as well as the second stage of File 01: The Children and the State, were funded by the Google Digital News Innovation Fund.
Our series on the end of lignite production and the privatisation of the energy market in Greece, published in Inside Story, was funded by Journalism Fund EU.
The first phase of File 01: The Children and the State was funded by Investigative Journalism for the EU.
The Manifold also received project funding from European Journalism Covid-19 Support Fund.
Projects like The Manifold Files, which are long-term and open-ended, cannot rely solely on the grants available for independent journalism. We certainly compete for those, when they come up, but they are hardly enough to sustain our work. The ideal we envision for the future is to build a community of engaged readers that will also provide support through membership and participate in an exchange of ideas about public interest journalism.
If you are interested in finding out more, please visit our Community page.