We reveal fascinating, contentious and inspiring stories from the Black Sea region and beyond, for a global audience, using deep reportage, tough fact-checking and a balanced perspective.

We are a team of experienced and award-winning journalists, photographers, film-makers, information-designers and coders, using a platform that hosts in-depth stories in text, images, video and infographics.

Our aim is to disclose relevant information which impacts people across nations at the nexus of warring empires and ideologies, which suffer from conflict, corruption, negative stereotypes and huge wealth disparity.

We encourage you to interact with our platform to build an open portal, which intends to be a standard for transparent, accessible and objective journalism.

Read our Manifesto

Bucharest, Romania
[email protected]
photojournalist, Black Sea photo Editor
Designer, Journalist
Photographer and film-maker
journalist, communication


The Black Sea is a non-profit online multimedia magazine specializing in narrative, in-depth and data journalism, and photo-reportage.

This open platform was first supported by one-off grant from the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a trust of the German Marshall Fund.

Today the magazine is free from advertisements, and relies on donors, grants and awards, while retaining full editorial independence.

If you are interested in endorsing in-depth journalism by giving a donation to the site, please email: [email protected]





The Black Sea has been nominated for The European Press Prize, in the Investigation Category, for its work on The Malta Files: 'How the smallest EU country became a haven for global tax avoidance', with EIC Network.

'The Malta Files' was also a Finalist for the Tom Renner Prize in the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Awards (USA).



Petrut Calinescu's photo-story on life on the outskirts of Bucharest, showcased on our website, won First Prize in the Balkan Photo Award for the category of Reportage in Photo Story.

The Black Sea has been nominated for The British Journalism Awards for Best Investigation of the Year (Global) for its work on The Malta Files. The site's work on Football Leaks with the EIC Network was also nominated in the same category.

The Black Sea won second prize in the EU Migration Media awards for an expose detailing how Syrian Children working for slave wages on farms in Turkey were picking fruit and vegetables, which were then exported to western supermarkets.

In the same year, The Black Sea published with European Investigative Collaborations (EIC.Network) Mapping the route of the Weapons of Terror in the Paris Bataclan Shootings, nominated for the European Press Prize for Investigative Journalism.



The article 'Dutch Rabobank buys up land stolen from Romanian Farmers' was part of a cross-border investigation awarded as runner-up for the European Press Prize for Investigative Journalism.



The feature 'HIV Epidemic sweeps across east Europe as economic crisis threatens' was the winner of the Award for Best Initiatives of European Online Investigative Journalism, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (European University Institute).

Photographer Petrut Calinescu’s work for the site has also been nominated for the Lens Culture Award.



The Black Sea has been nominated for the European Press Prize for ‘Innovation’ in media development.


Team Experience

The journalistic team behind this project is led by award winning journalists and photo-journalists from the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism (CRJI).

As a team or on individual basis, investigative journalists representing CRJI have won over the last decade international awards and fellowships, the most important being: IRE Tom Renner Award, Overseas Press Club of America, Daniel Pearl Award, Global Shining Light Award, Knight Fellowship at Stanford, and Nieman Fellowship at Harvard.


Republishing Material and Collaborations 

The Black Sea works with the journalistic network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC.Network), alongside Le Soir (Belgium), Mediapart (France), Der Spiegel (Germany), El Mundo (Spain), NRC (The Netherlands), Espresso (Italy) and Expresso (Portugal), among others.

Our research and co-authored articles have been published in all the above media.

Our investigations include Football Leaks in 2016/2017, a series of articles from the largest leak in sports history, in a project run by over 60 journalists in 14 countries, and The Malta Files in 2017, which exposed the smallest EU country as a haven for tax avoidance for wealthy Russians, the Italian mafia and the Turkish elite.

Other work from The Black Sea has already been re-published extensively internationally - ‘The Donbass Paradox’ and ‘Eurocrimes’ were also published in EU Observer, with the former named by Newsweek as an 'excellent journalistic article'.

'The Fight to Reclaim Pankisi' was republished by the New York Times (Paywall).

'HIV epidemic sweeps across east Europe as economic crisis threatens' in EU Observer (Belgium) and Tagesspiegel (Germany)

'Ghosts of Sochi' on Radio Free Europe, and in the Romanian, Belgian, Uzbek, Czech, Hungarian and Moldovan media.

'Krokodil sinks teeth into persecuted Georgian drug community' in Business Insider  (USA), Andrei Rylkov Foundation (Russia), Druglink (UK, paywall, February 2014) and Szuperblog (Hungary).

'German Karate teacher recruits Romanian village kids into global child porn ring' was made in collaboration with the Toronto Star (Canada) and republished in Hotnews (Romania).

'Torture of suspects reveals dark heart of Transnistrian Justice' in Balkan Insight (Serbia) and Casa Jurnalistului (Romania).

'Government, top diplomats and film stars caught up in Rosia Montana Gold Corp PR History' in Think Outside the Box  (Romania).

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.