Diving Deep Into Stories
Ștefan Cândea / 2013-10-18
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We carry out in-depth investigations on a multimedia platform into subjects of relevance to the Black Sea region. We have established this platform for journalism to thrive, while traditional media institutions are in decline

 

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Photo: credit & copyright at Petrut Calinescu

 

 

We choose the topic of our articles by observing over a long period of time issues which have importance at a local, regional and international level. We don't chase news. We find the story, research further and this story then becomes news.

Our authors have strong experience in the region and extensive knowledge, sources and contacts in areas such as organized crime, financial scandals, the energy sector, religious disputes, frozen conflicts, smuggling and human rights abuses. We alternate hardcore watchdog journalism with recording the colour of daily life.

Usually we investigate under-reported stories or taboo subjects. These are areas the mainstream media in the Black Sea countries will not touch because of a lack of expertise, time, vision or strategy - or because of pressure from media owners who have vested political and economic interests.

Meanwhile western media outlets fail to report on these subjects because they do not have the insider knowledge and the boots on the ground to carry out frontline research.

A reporter will file a story, which then goes to an English-language copy editor, then a fact-checker and finally to a lawyer for legal screening.

If this is a visual story, which includes a photo-story or use of multimedia and info-graphics, it passes to our photo-editor or graphic journalist.

At the end of this process, the story is put on page by an information designer or maybe a coder. The coders we work with have convinced us about the importance to build everthing on free source code, so you can take this platform and improve it or use it on your own.

Our Blogs are a clippings board full of information and research that journalists in the greater Black Sea region can share as a basis for stories for future investigation.

We rely on sources to come to us with stories. If you think you're on to a story, or you want to share some information, you can contact us and we will provide complete anonymity ([email protected]).

In some cases larger media organizations will ask us to be partners in publishing (such as the Wikileaks project where we were the only publishing partner in Romania) and researching cross-border investigations (such as the ICIJ offshore leaks project, were we were the coordinators of a research hub covering Eastern Europe). We are open to this kind of collaboration (contact [email protected]).

You can engage with our platform in many ways. First read our work and give us feedback. Or we may offer you to participate in our crowd-funding campaigns.

Authors who cannot publish with other media in the region can come to us. We will make an assessment of all pitches, but we are open to publishing new work, which could help journalists to build up their own portfolio. And we definitely have a strong stance against censorship and corruption in media, as well as taboo topics.

We are looking to strengthen our network. We constantly receive proposals for projects and freelance jobs. Get in touch because we maintain a database with journalists, coders, information designers and editors for future projects. Some journalists can apply for research grants with the back-up of our platform.

We are looking for traditional text and photo stories, but also stories told through information design, code, electronic tools, mapping or any other techniques. We are also interested in cartoons and illustrations to insert into our platform. We will maintain a strict quality control - so we won't publish everything. We do follow a code of ethics, but we don't serve as a PR channel - we hold power structures accountable and give a voice to all people.

We are also open to offer internships in research, community organization, fundraising, communication, project management, coding, mapping, info-design and translation.

Maybe you have a better idea than us. We want you to have better ideas than us.

Write to us, we are open to experimenting.

Let us build a magazine.

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The Black Sea by crji.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License if not otherwise stated. Based on a work at theblacksea.eu. This web application is Free Software (AGPLv3+), the source code is available on GitHub and waiting for contributions.