The Black Sea is comprised 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.

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.

Our aim is to disclose relevant information which impacts people across nations who 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

Elena Lomora Elena Lomoră
Michael Bird1.jpeg Michael Bird
vlad7 Vlad Odobescu
margherita bettoni Margherita Bettoni
Zeynep Zeynep Şentek
film578-2 Sorina Vazelina
alex_BW.jpg Alex Morega
Blaz Zgaga Blaz Zgaga (Nacional)
lina Lina Vdovîi
Shaw Craig Shaw
Investigations Editor
Costin_Stucan (1).jpg Costin Stucan
Ioana Calinescu (1) Ioana Calinescu
journalist, communication
Dogu_eroglu Doğu Eroğlu
Candea Ștefan Cândea
pascarella_mattBW.jpg Matt Pascarella
sebnem Şebnem Arsu
crina (1) Crina Boros
Michael Bird1.jpeg Michael Bird
Avatar Petruț Călinescu
photojournalist, photo editor
blackseaphotobradutz Alex Ulmanu


The Black Sea is a non-profit online multimedia magazine specializing in narrative, in-depth and data journalism, and photo-reportage. It is free from advertisements, and relies on donors, grants and awards. We insist on retaining full editorial independence.

The Black Sea was first supported by a one-off grant from the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, a trust of the German Marshall Fund. Since then, it is funded by project grants from the likes of JournalismFund.eu and Reporters in The Fields

If you are interested in endorsing in-depth and investigative journalism by giving a donation to the site, or wish to provide us with tips or information for our next story please email: baracuda@theblacksea.eu

Awards and nominations

Team Experience

The founding team behind this project are the award-winning journalists and photo-journalists from the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism (CRJI). While The Black Sea cooperates closely with CRJI, it is independent, and currently in the process of setting up its own non-profit organisation.

The Black Sea's and CRJI's investigative journalists have over the last decade won international awards and fellowships: 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.


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).


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.


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

European Investigative Collaborations (eic.network)

The Black Sea is 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.

These include:

  • 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) 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) which 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) revealing details of the EU's secretive deal with Turkey to keep refugees out of Europe.

The Black Sea regularly collaborates with international media partners on investigations. Our work has been published with the likes of EU Observer, the Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegel, Tagesspiegel, De Correspondent, L'Espresso, Expresso, Correctiv, IRPI, Business Insider, the Toronto Star, Balkan Insight, as well media in our region, such as Casa Jurnalistului, DoR, Cumhuriyet, and Bianet.