THERE ARE MANY WAYS to investigate allegations of corruption in the courts, writes Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism founding Executive Director Sheila Coronel. One way is by sourcing from the crowd.
In the second installment of her blog posts on investigating the courts on her investigative reporting blog Watchdog-Watcher, Coronel describes other creative ways of peering into what has proven to be a very secretive culture in the judiciary.
Some countries, such as India, have put up websites where ordinary people can report their “everyday encounters with petty corruption.” The website is called, quite appropriately, I Paid a Bribe, and has been copied in other countries such as Kenya and Pakistan. “These sites have used crowdsourcing to get an idea of the market cost of corruption.” Coronel writes.
Another way is through the use of surveys, that, while only rough estimates, remain “a safe and anonymous way to get revealing information about bribery in the judiciary.”
“After all, few people openly admit to bribing judges.” Coronel said. Of course, in the end it is up to the journalist to make sure that the data from the survey is used prudently, and not make assumptions that cannot be supported by the results.
Read Sheila’s blog here.
For those who missed the first part of her blog post on investigating the courts, the article may be found here.