Demystifying the private sector : the use of publicly accessible records to report on private equity firms
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The purpose of this research is to provide journalists with the tools necessary to report on private equity firms, a notoriously opaque sector of the economy. Private equity firms exert a large amount of influence on the U.S. and global economy, but often keep information about themselves closely guarded. To conduct this research, seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with business and investigative journalists who have experience covering private equity. Additionally, information from an expert panel of journalists was also used to uncover additional information about private equity firms and how reporters can find information about them. This research uncovered a multitude of methods for uncovering information on private equity firms, thus giving journalists the tools to hold power to account and fulfill the watchdog role of the press. This research was conducted through the lens of political economy theory, which studies the relationships between individuals, governments and public policy, as well as the leverage that the private sector holds over public policy.