U.S. Anticorruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour (VRT) 

Monday, March 14 - Friday, April 1, 2022

Between March and April 2022, 50 journalists from 46 countries participated in the U.S. Anticorruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour (VRT). Building on the success of the 2020 Elections VRT and the 2021 Combatting the Climate Crisis through U.S. Innovations VRT, Meridian continued to support the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Centers (FPC) in providing access to exclusive briefings and content virtually.

The U.S. Anticorruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour introduced journalists to how the U.S. works to counter corruption domestically and internationally through a review of U.S. laws and structures, law enforcement, and justice system. The program provided examples of how corruption harms ordinary citizens and the negative impact it has on society. It also gave journalists access to civil society organizations, activists, and investigative media organizations that work to counter corruption.

The VRT included eight on-the-record press briefings with experts, analysts, and government officials on the following topics:

  • Corruption 101
  • S. Framework and Efforts to Fight Corruption
  • How U.S. agencies are coordinating efforts to fight corruption
  • Curbing Illicit Finance
  • Holding Corrupt Actors Accountable
  • Preserving and Strengthening the Multilateral Anticorruption Architecture and Improving Diplomatic Engagement and Leveraging Foreign Assistance Resources to Achieve Policy Goals
  • Investigating Corruption
  • Conversation with Anticorruption Champions

This VRT also provided a general background understanding of U.S. anticorruption tools, such as the Global Magnitsky Act  and Anti-Kleptocracy Provision in the annual Appropriations Act (Section 7031(c)), so that journalists are able to better frame U.S. international anticorruption efforts in future reporting. It also connected participants with experts who provided practical advice on how to safely conduct investigative journalism.

Journalists had access through a virtual platform to exclusive content including an extensive library of B-roll and still photographs from iconic locations in DC and exclusive interviews with representatives from the International Republican Institute (IRI), Global Integrity, the Government Accountability Project, and Open Gov Hub talking about their work fighting corruption.

As a direct result of the program, participating journalists have published more than 30 stories in their home countries directly related to the content provided by the U.S. Anticorruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour.

Project summary

U.S. Anticorruption Efforts Virtual Reporting Tour (VRT)  | April 2022
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Governance and Transparency, Media and Journalism
Program Areas: Global Leadership