The Press Start Network

Find and connect with journalists working on Press Start campaigns

Category Archive : Romania

Roxana Garaiman

Roxana grew up along with the free media in Romania and she has always known that this was her path. In the past 10 years she has worked on multiple beats and at different types of national media. Her expertise has enabled her to find a common thread in the complex area of investigative journalism, where she discovers hidden connections between public officials, politicians, and criminal gangs.

Reporting focus

cross-border investigations and organized crime

Previous publications

  • “Policeman Nelu Lupu, the Guardian Angel of the Underworld.” Commissioner Nelu Lupu, now being investigated for violations of COVID-19 health and safety measures, offered protection to the most violent mobsters in Bucharest, Romania’s capital. “Stipendiary Scientists.” How The Romanian Academy of Scientists was founded by changing the name of an NGO – the Romanian Association of Scientists. It has 250 full-time members, all paid for life from the state budget. If they die, their descendants benefit from a non-taxable monthly amount.
  • “When the mafia speaks.” An internal recording shows how the underworld uses the largest party in Romania as the central command for real estate deals worth millions of euros.

Current position

  • Reporter RISE Project Romania (riseproject.ro)

Media outlets I’ve been writing for

  • RISE Project Romania (riseproject.ro)
  • Pressone.ro, Romanian online news and features magazine
  • Adevarul.ro, Romanian national daily newspaper

Awards

Investigation of the year at Superscrieri Awards 2016 for the article “Stipendiary Scientists.”

Mihai Munteanu

Mihai was 24 years old when he became a journalist – four years before Romania joined the EU. There were times when corruption was flourishing and Romanian citizens saw the injustice but felt powerless. A fresh graduate of journalism school, he had a keen eye for wrongdoing and a passion for exposing it. In just three years, he became chief of the investigations department of one of the most important newspapers of that period. Since 2012 he has been editor at the RISE Project Romania.

Reporting focus

cross-border investigations and organized crime

Previous publications

  • “Magnitsky Stories.” This investigation exposed the transnational money laundering trail from the $230 million theft uncovered by the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky (killed in prison) https://tinyurl.com/y6lcbet7
  • “Killers Inc.,” a two-year, multi-country investigation examining a violent feud between businessmen connected to the Kremlin, and the criminal groups and assassins-for-hire tasked with settling their scores. https://tinyurl.com/y68d5ucq
  • “Black Market Arms” for the War in Ukraine. The story of how reporters from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) bought arms from one of the most powerful criminal groups in Moldova. Current position
  • Editor RISE Project Romania

Media outlets I’ve been writing for

  • RISE Project Romania (riseproject.ro)
  • RISE Project Moldova (riseproject.md)
  • Organised Crime and Corruption Project (occrp.org)

Awards

  • Daniel Pearl Award 2011 for the investigation “Offshore Crime, Inc.”
  • European Press Prize 2015, for the investigation “The Russian Laundromat”
  • The Sergei Magnitsky Human Right Award 2015, for the investigation “The Magnitsky Stories”
  • Editor of the year at Superscrieri Awards 2017, for the series of investigations about Liviu Dragnea, the president of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD)

Campaign on Press Start:

The Soviet Cocaine Union

Award-winning journalists from Romania and Bulgaria present the dynamics of two international drug trafficking networks in the post-Soviet space, how these networks join forces to supply South American cocaine to the European market, and how they corrupt local authorities. Our team corroborated information hidden in thousands of pages of archives from official cross-border investigations, which were classified and suddenly buried, without explanation. Welcome to the White Wild East.

Bianca Albu

At the beginning, a frustration over corruption pushed me to become a journalist. It felt like that was the only way to fight injustice. It did not take me long to change my mind. Now it is not about corruption – it is only about shedding light on the truth.

Reporting focus

Investigative journalist focused on corruption, public acquisitions, and healthShow more

Previous publications

Current position

  • Junior Reporter

Media outlets where her work has recently appeared

Awards

Oana Despa

I didn’t set out to become a journalist. I ended up in a newsroom when I was 18 years old and I fell in love with this job because it has enabled me to find the truth and contribute to addressing some of society’s deformities.
Although I wanted to do something else in life and I prepared myself thoroughly for it, I remained a journalist and I think it was the best choice that life made for me.

Reporting focus

Investigative journalist focused on corruption, public acquisitions, and health, as well as judicial and home affairs

Previous publications

Current position

Campaigns

Following the Money: Investigating the EU Recovery Fund

Bianca Albu, Ivan Radev, Oana Despa