Our journalists

Anonymous people of the Silk Road

Anonymous people of the Silk Road

We are a group of European-based journalists working together to unravel a modern form of slavery: the use of cheap labor from China in the “fast fashion” production industries in Italy. This project aims to uncover the stories of these anonymous Chinese people who travel vast distances only to be kept in poor working conditions. We will build on previous investigations into human rights violations and transnational human trafficking that have already been conducted. We will analyze the impact of this type of labor on the industry and more specifically on Italy’s economic landscape.

We will also look at other forms of possible criminality related to China's Belt and Road development and infrastructure initiative.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 2,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.

raised €4 740 out of €6 130

-137 days remaining

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Boyko Vassilev, Stoyan Nenov

Tamás Boros, Marian Chiriac

Patriotic history

The famous writer George Orwell once said: ”Who controls the past, controls the future.” In recent years, rewriting the past has become a favorite pastime of Hungarian and Romanian politicians as they seek to boost their credentials as true patriots. How have they done it and how successful have they been? A team of Hungarian and Romanian journalists aims to investigate the ways in which official policies have manipulated the past in their respective countries, not only distorting the public’s view of history, but also deterring critical thinking.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 2,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.

raised €3 195 out of €4 630

-137 days remaining

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Urtė Fultinavičiūtė, Donika Gashi

Endometriosis: Overlooked and Mistreated

Women’s health is often overlooked and mistreated. One of the most common chronic conditions is endometriosis, a disease of the female reproductive systems. Endometriosis is as common as diabetes, affecting one in 10 women worldwide, yet hardly anyone has heard about it.

Two journalists in the UK and Kosovo aim to analyze why endometriosis is still taboo. In collaboration with an endometriosis organization in the Czech Republic, they will discuss how women activists are fighting for change.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 2,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.

raised €3 710 out of €5 974

-137 days remaining

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Christiana Mauro, Thomas Brent, Lucie Čejková

Selling Nuclear: Fact-checking the Nuclear Seven

We are at a turning point that will potentially decide the future of nuclear power in Europe for generations. The ‘Green Taxonomy’ on sustainable finance is a European set of policy initiatives that aim for climate neutrality by 2050. It will create a system that environmentalists have been demanding for decades, designed to direct investments towards climate-friendly industries and end greenwashing activities that actually harm the environment. Last year, the leaders of seven member states wrote a letter to the European Commission calling for the inclusion of nuclear power in the list of climate-friendly, sustainable activities that will receive investment; a group of 87 members of the European Parliament did the same. A team of journalists will fact-check the claims in the letter by asking a range of independent nuclear and economic experts to weigh in on the pressing debate about the ”greenness” of nuclear power.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 2,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.


raised €5 715 out of €5 686

Melis Karabulut, Zsófia Fülöp, Rea Nefeli Tzanetakou

Media and Migration: The Power of Words

With the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Europe is tackling yet another migration crisis. This time, the media’s language toward refugees seems more humane than it was in 2015.
Three journalists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Greece have joined forces to uncover the reasons why the media dehumanizes diverse groups of refugees. We will investigate the media’s role and interview migrants, social workers, political scientists, and historians to understand the reasons behind the growth of anti-migrant policies and discrimination against different ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups of migrants; and how and why they have been reflected in the media.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 2,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.


raised €5 237 out of €5 230

Bianca Albu, Ivan Radev, Oana Despa

Following the Money: Investigating the EU Recovery Fund

Millions of euros in European Union funds are being spent on COVID-19 equipment in Romania and Bulgaria. But who are the firms that are receiving the funds? Are their products overpriced? Are suspicions of corruption well-founded? Two investigative journalists from Romania and one from Bulgaria are ready to trace the money trail and find out whether the recovery funds from the EU budget were spent appropriately or not. We expect to deliver a series of articles and a step-by-step blueprint for how such investigations can be replicated in any EU member state.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 1,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.


raised €9 215 out of €6 280

Agnieszka Wądołowska, Kinga Rajzak

Poland and Hungary Turn Blind Eye to Rampant Domestic Abuse

The chaos unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has emboldened Poland and Hungary – two of the most patriarchal and conservative countries in the European Union – to brazenly snub nationally and internationally ratified women’s rights conventions and initiatives that provide protection against domestic abuse.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 1,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.


raised €3 293 out of €3 238

Mihai Munteanu, Roxana Garaiman, Atanas Tchobanov

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.

MF Through a grant from the European Commission (EC), we will match every amount you donate, up to 1,000 euros total. The total will be regularly updated to reflect the EC's contribution.


raised €6 226 out of €5 680

Lili Rutai

Period poverty: Hungary’s silent scourge MF

Is period poverty becoming extinct? Many EU countries have slashed the “tampon tax” and the UK is moving toward abolishing it completely, like at least 20 U.S. states. Not so in Hungary, where women and girls live with the highest tax on female hygiene products in the EU. The major media – beholden to the nationalist government – ignore the issue. So one young Hungarian journalist and feminist decided to investigate the problem herself. Press Start will match all contributions made to her campaign, so your dollars will go twice as far.


raised $1,156 out of $1,000

Regina Kulindwa

Marrying Young in Tanzania

In Tanzania, some 8,000 girls and women die each year due to preventable pregnancy-related problems. A related statistic: Tanzania also has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Award-winning radio journalist Regina Kulindwa will probe the connection between early marriage and maternal mortality in Tanzania through interviews with local people, government officials, health workers, and experts, and examine the link between poverty and maternal health.




Taras Zozulinskyy

Cracking Eastern Europe’s lead paint syndicate MF

Ukrainian-made paint containing 100 or more times more lead than international standards permit is regularly exported to Europe and Central Asia.Ukraine is a haven for manufacturers of lead paint, despite reams of evidence that children especially can suffer neurological damage and other lasting health problems through exposure to lead-containing paint on walls or toys.



raised $3,420 out of $2,200

Natalia Zaba & team

The everyday Balkan smuggler MF

Out soon: A documentary about the “invisible deaths” of Afghani migrants in the Balkans by Polish-born Balkan reporter Natalia Żaba and her colleagues. The team is now planning the follow-up – an investigation into how migrant trafficking became big business in the region. Their goal is a second film focusing on the smugglers themselves. Press Start donors can help them launch the first phase, mining official records for data on traffickers and how authorities on both sides of the EU-Serbian border dealt with them.


raised $3,120 out of $2,741

Eduardo Franco Berton

Jaguar fangs: The Chinese connection in the Amazon MF

Eduardo Franco Berton’s passion for wildlife and nature has taken the Bolivian journalist/photographer to some of the most remote places in Latin America. He is now investigating the illegal trade in jaguar fangs in the Amazon, where poachers have killed hundreds of the endangered big cats to extract their fangs, a prized item in China for their supposed healthful and aphrodisiac properties. Eduardo's project is supported by a grant from EJN, the Earth Journalism Network. Now, with the help of Press Start donors, he can extend his cross-border investigation to determine the scale of the illegal jaguar hunting in Bolivia, Peru and Brazil and who benefits from it, culminating in a documentary film. Press Start will match all contributions made to his campaign, so your dollars will go twice as far.


raised $5,480 out of $3,873

Collins Mtika

Malawian women abusing chemicals in pursuit of beauty MF

Women in Malawi continue to use skin lightening creams in the face of mounting legal restrictions and evidence of the long-term health risks the products present, from blotchy skin to cancer. With the help of Press Start donors, veteran Malawian investigative journalist Collins Mtika plans to look at how and why such products continue to enter Malawi. A crucial question is whether women are aware of the risks associated with continued use of the creams.



Ruth Akinwunmi-King

The perilous state of maternal health care in Nigeria MF

Nigerian radio journalist Ruth Akinwunmi-King’s interest in the dangerous maternal condition called pre-eclampsia started when it almost killed her and her unborn child. Although tens of thousands of Nigerian women die each year during pregnancy, the government spends just $5 a day per person on health care. Ruth is counting on the generosity of Press Start donors to help launch an investigation into why so many Nigerian women are ignorant of pre-eclampsia.



Joseph Gathecha

The silent disappearance of Nairobi’s green lungs MF

Decades ago, at its most vast, the Ngong forest outside Nairobi stretched across more than 2,900 hectares, or about 11.2 square miles. Rapid development has cut it down to less than half that size, and poverty and corruption threaten the remaining 1,200 hectares. The forest literally helps Nairobians breathe, filtering copious carbon emissions, and it serves as a refuge for wildlife and harried city dwellers alike. Joseph Gathecha aims to make a documentary series on the forest’s plight and efforts to save it.


Hicham Mansouri

A lucrative, illicit trade thrives in Morocco’s prisons MF

Corruption is stubborn and widespread in Morocco. During his 10 months in a Moroccan prison, Hicham Mansouri, a respected free-press advocate, saw evidence of a thriving black market behind bars, run by inmates and guards, likely with protection from the police and judiciary. Now in exile in France, Mansouri aims to use Press Start funding to build on the research he’s already done and compile a comprehensive investigation.


raised $3,190 out of $1,900

Maxim Polyakov

Vanishing lives: Moldova’s abandoned countryside

In villages across Moldova, most able-bodied adults have left for jobs in the cities or abroad, leaving only the elderly and children to preside over the villages’ deaths. Education, health care, and even human companionship are becoming scarce in the country’s rural areas. Max Polyakov and his crew of multimedia journalists want to create an interactive feature to show what it’s really like to be deserted in your hometown.


raised $1,500 out of $1,500

Elham and Hussein

The (mis)use of personal data in Lebanon: an investigation

Lebanon is increasingly a “watched” society. Security agencies have recently gained access to the telecom data of all residents and visitors, while security cameras have sprouted across Beirut. Little is known about how all this private information is used. Elham Barjas and Hussein Mehdy will investigate and make suggestions for reform.


Amindeh Blaise Atabong

Deprivation in Cameroon’s land of abundance MF

Amindeh Blaise Atabong is a freelancer in Cameroon who has covered corruption and terrorism. For this project, he will travel to the southwestern corner of his country, a region rich in resources but lacking in the basic conditions for a dignified life. Atabong fears the poverty and despair of the Ndian division could breed the type of unrest that plagues Nigeria’s Niger Delta, just across the border.


José Acho

Argentina's native peoples pushed off their ancestral lands MF

Jose Acho has covered Argentina’s poor and powerless for years. For Press Start, he aims to travel to one of the country’s most deprived regions to document the theft of land from indigenous people and the poverty and hardship it has caused.



raised $660 out of $1,520

Ruslan Harbachou

Secrets behind the construction of Belarus' first nuclear power plant MF

Veteran journalist Ruslan Harbachou has repeatedly won awards for his investigations into abuses of power in Belarus. He is now looking into reports of safety and environmental problems linked to the construction of Belarus’ only nuclear power plant, a project that has many on edge given the country’s suffering after the Chernobyl disaster.


raised $590 out of $560

Tatiana Kozak

Preventing another “frozen conflict” in Ukraine MF

Tatiana Kozak has covered Ukraine’s pivotal protest movement, the fall of a president, a secessionist war, and the seizure of Crimea, Now she plans to seek clues to the fate of war-torn eastern Ukraine in the experience of other post-Soviet countries that have endured decades of secessionist hostilities. Press Start will match all contributions made to Kozak’s campaign.


raised $1,804 out of $1,725

Chantal Flores

The science behind the search for Latin America's disappeared

Chantal Flores has walked the desert with desperate Mexican families searching for clues to the fates of their missing loved ones. Now as Colombia's civil war nears an end, she asks what lessons that country's long, grim experience with disappearances can offer the legions of bereaved in Mexico, and how forensic science is advancing the search for unmarked graves.


raised $950 out of $950

Wendy Funes

Uncovering the Facts Behind Honduran Gang Rapes

A seasoned investigator recognized by the country’s EU delegation and others for her human rights reporting, Funes aims to look into the alleged cover-up of the links between a local official and a series of gang rapes of young women.



raised $1,120 out of $1,120

Armen Melikbekyan

Listening to Those With HIV/AIDS in Armenia

Co-founder of the Independent Journalists’ Network as a vehicle to circumvent the pervasive influence of political and business figures on Armenia’s media. Melikbekyan is working on a documentary about the stigma and discrimination suffered by the rising number of HIV-positive people in his socially conservative country.


raised $450 out of $450

Douce Namwezi N’ibamba

In Congo, Millions for Water Projects, but not a Drop to Drink

Editor in Chief of Mama Voice magazine. Recognized for her writing on conflict and women’s empowerment, Namwezi N’ibamba proposes to report on why her eastern Congolese province lacks potable water even after donors have poured millions of dollars into local water projects.


raised $790 out of $780

Zaklina Hadzi-Zafirova

Putting Macedonia's Hospitals Under a Microscope

Founder of SCOOP Macedonia, an independent investigative reporting network whose work has been recognized repeatedly and has resulted in reforms championed at the highest level of government. Hadzi-Zafirova proposes to undertake an ambitious assessment of the state of Macedonia’s hospitals.


raised $560 out of $560

Habib Battah

Why are Lebanon’s Ancient Sites Disappearing?

A two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Award for Freedom of the Press whose work has helped save artifacts of Beirut’s Roman past. Battah proposes to investigate why efforts to preserve his country’s archeological record so often give way to development projects backed by well-connected business people or even government officials.


raised $1,730 out of $1,680