About us


BUCHAREST, ROMANIA [email protected]

The Black Sea is a non-profit, independent platform specialising in narrative-driven, in-depth journalism and investigations on Turkey, Southeast Europe and beyond. It is run by experienced and award-winning journalists, with a strong history of cross-border investigations and collaboration.

To get in touch, please write to us at [email protected]



Cemre-Pic.JPG Cemre Demircioğlu
Project Coordinator
Dogu_eroglu Doğu Eroğlu
Journalist
DilanBW.jpeg Dilan Pamuk
Investigative Journalist
SHAW_author2.1.1.jpg Craig Shaw
Editor/Director
ZSentek4.png Zeynep Şentek
Journalist/Board Member
Daham_TBS Daham Alasaad
Journalist and filmmaker
anna_2 Anna Nemtsova
Board Member
Aylin_O.jpg Aylin Özalp
Managing Director
Vedat Vedat Örüç
Journalist
sebnem Şebnem Arsu
Journalist/Board Member
alex_BW.jpg Alex Morega
Tech


Funding

We are free from advertisements and rely on donations and grants. We have full editorial independence on our stories and the topics we cover.

The Black Sea was first supported in 2010 by a one-off grant from the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, part of the German Marshall Fund. This allowed us to set up our initial website.

Since our inception, we have regularly been supported by project grants from JournalismFund Europe, IJ4EU (Investigative Journalism for Europe), Reporters in the Field, International Media Support (IMS), and Adessium Foundation.

Our core operations are currently supported by Vereniging Veronica and Wallace Global Fund.

We are registered as Stichting The Black Sea in the Netherlands (KvK no: 87563398).

If you like what we do, you can support our work by donating to us. Each small donation, one-off or monthly, helps us work on underreported stories, hire photographers, commission writers, and do thorough fieldwork.


Awards and nominations

2023

Flax Foundation and Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) awarded our board member and journalist Zeynep Sentek with Emma Goldman Snowball Award for her contribution to social sciences and humanities on subjects of inequality, social justice and feminism - and in recognition of her future potential.

2022

Our documentary Black Trail won the first prize in the Digital Category at Journalism for Sustainability Awards given by Fundação Mestre Casais in Portugal.

2021

Our documentary Black Trail was selected to be screened in the Sustainable Living Film Festival in Turkey.

2018

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

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

2017

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 was nominated for The British Journalism Awards for Best Investigation of the Year (Global) for its work on Malta Files. Our work on Football Leaks with the EIC Network was nominated in the same category.

The Black Sea journalists 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 destined for western supermarkets.

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.

2016

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.

2015

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.

2014

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


European Investigative Collaborations (eic.network)

The Black Sea was a founding member of European Investigative Collaborations, known as the EIC Network. Today, EIC members include European media outlets, Le Soir (Belgium), Mediapart (France), Der Spiegel (Germany), NRC (Netherlands), Espresso (Italy) and Expresso (Portugal) and others, and have partnered on high-profile investigative journalism projects.

We worked with the EIC Network on the following projects:

  • Mapping the Weapons of Terror (2016), a three-month investigation detailing how Brussels’ failure to impose comprehensive directives has facilitated the sale of deadly weapons to terrorists.
  • Football Leaks (2016) is 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 (2017) exposed the smallest EU country as a haven for tax avoidance for wealthy Russians, the Italian mafia and the Turkish elite.
  • Billions for Borders (2018) reveals details of the EU's secretive deal with Turkey to keep refugees out of Europe.
  • Toxic Valley (2019) investigates the most heavily industrialised town in Turkey and the role of foreign companies in creating an environmental wasteland.
  • Black Trail: A documentary and written investigation into how shipping pollutes the planet, avoids taxes, dodges regulations, & gets away with it.

The Black Sea regularly collaborates with international media partners on investigations. Our work has been published with the likes of The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegel, Tagesspiegel, De Correspondent, DoR, EU Observer, L'Espresso, Expresso, infoLibre Correctiv, IRPI, Cumhuriyet, the Toronto Star, Balkan Insight and more.