The jury behind the selection of grant winners for investigative journalism in Europe

CIJI grants jury quote

The Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative (CIJI) has announced the recipients of grants totaling 150,000 EUR, aimed at fostering collaborative and investigative journalism in Europe. The awarded organisations, the RISE Project Romania, Investigate Europe and Journalists in Need Network will act as regional hubs respectively for Romania, connecting journalists from Eastern and Western Europe, and exiled journalists from Russia and Belarus.

The three regional hubs have been selected after a competitive call to which 27 organisations responded. The independent jury, consisting of six renowned media professionals and academics, carefully selected the winning organisations based on their track record in regional collaborative and investigative journalism training as well as their potential to act as regional ambassador for CIJI.

The jury

"I believe that investigative journalism is the most interesting, profound, and inspiring type of reporting. The dedication to investigative journalism and collaboration in the competition elevates this field even further." - Alina Radu, jury member and investigative reporter and co-owner of Ziarul de Garda

Alina is a media expert and media trainer, but also promotes visual arts about investigative reporting and is organizing every year public exhibitions devoted to investigative reporting stories. Ziarul de GardadG is the most subscribed newspaper in Moldova, and is in the Top 10 among all websites in the country.

Jakub Patočka: Founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Deník Referendum

Jakub has published in most major Czech media and in international media such as The Guardian, EU Observer, Lettre Internationale, Social Europe Journal, Green Europe Journal and Kultura Liberalna. In 2017, he co-authored the best-selling book “The Yellow Baron” investigating the links between political and economic interests of the Czech oligarch and Czech prime-minister Andrej Babiš.

Oleg Khomenok: Media trainer and Senior Media Advisor at Internews Network

Oleg is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Global Investigative Journalists Network (GIJN), expert at the International Fact-Checking Network, member of the Commission on Journalistic Ethics of Ukraine. He has over 27 years of experience in journalism, media education, PR, management of investigative journalism and media support projects. Over the past two decades he has conducted hundreds of trainings in investigative journalism techniques and strategies for investigative reporters in Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

Marija Ristic

"Under unprecedented circumstances, journalists in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus have created media networks in exile that become vital voices telling the stories of war and dictatorship. It is crucial to support and nurture this type of media." - Marija Ristic, Investigative journalist and manager at Amnesty International Crisis Response Programme

Marija Ristic is an investigative journalist, with a decade-long experience in media development, war crimes reporting, open-source research and emerging technologies. Before joining Amnesty International, Marija was the executive director of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a leading media non-profit in Southeast and Central Europe. Under her leadership, BIRN won numerous awards, including the European Press Prize and Reporters Without Borders Annual Press Freedom Award.

Marius Dragomir

"I was impressed to see a lot of quality proposals coming from both Romania and Bulgaria, a sign of the maturity of the independent media sector, which, although very small and under constant pressure, has gradually boosted its outreach and impact in recent years." - Marius Dragomir, Director of the Media and Journalism Research Center

Marius is also a professor at Central European University (CEU) in Vienna where he teaches journalism and research design courses as well as practical classes on advocacy and policy engagement. He is also a researcher with the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Marius worked before as the director of the Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS), a research institution in Budapest. Prior to that, he managed the global research and policy portfolio of the Program on Independent Journalism (PIJ), formerly the Network Media Program (NMP), of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in London.

Rita Ruduša

Journalist, former public media executive, and founder of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence. She represents Latvia at the UNESCO International Programme for Development of Communication and is the author of two books.

CIJI Project

The grants are part of the “Collaborative and Investigative Journalism Initiative” (CIJI), which aims to equip independent media outlets and individual journalists with resources, innovative networking infrastructure, and standards-based methods that enable them to practice high-quality, ethical, and accountable collaborative and investigative journalism. CIJI is run by a consortium with Tactical Tech (TT), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Free Press Unlimited, Fundacja Reporterow (FR), OBC Transeuropa and Delfi.

For more information about CIJI, visit

This project is co-funded by the European Union. 

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

Co-funded by the EU

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