Research collective Bellingcat makes an effort to separate fact from fiction. In times when fake news creates a lot of uncertainty, factual and accurate information is crucial for a well-informed society. Bellingcat plays an important role in this: the foundation investigates international conflicts and has developed a distinctive approach to get closer, faster and in a more accurate way to the truth. Bellingcat does this with the support of a large network and countless volunteers, specialised in fact-checking and Open Source investigation. Bellingcat's work is pioneering, meaningful and demonstrates a great sense of responsibility.

More about Bellingcat

Bellingcat is an independent news source that has the credo: "Evidence exists and falsehoods exist, and people still care about the difference." The Freedom of Speech Award will be presented to the founder of Bellingcat: Eliot Higgins. Alongside his office job, Higgins began his career as an online detective in his spare time with just a computer, an interest in current affairs, and a moral compass. 

The downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) occurred when the organization was just getting started. Higgins, who investigated the tragedy online, invited other investigators who were interested in the crash, and who crossed paths with him, to join Bellingcat. This is where the Bellingcat team of detectives began to take shape. The team was driven by a shared desire for answers. They derive their clues from social media posts, leaked databases, and freely accessible satellite imagery, making it open-source research. Bellingcat was able to trace the origin of the anti-aircraft artillery that was used to Russia and debunk the abundance of Russian propaganda surrounding the crash. Through the collective's transparent approach, anyone can verify and access the evidence provided.