Jessikka Aro is an investigative reporter with YLE Kioski, the social media forum run by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. Aro specializes in Russia, information warfare, security and extremism.
Back in 2014, she started a crowdsourced investigation of pro-Russia info war trolls and a St. Petersburg troll factory. She then became the target of serious harassment by pro-Kremlin propagandists.
Now, she is working on a brand new investigative book on the information warfare waged by the Putin regime.
15 July 2016
Interview by Minna Aslama
Sweden, United Kingdom
Helena Bengtsson is the editor of data projects at the Guardian newspaper in London, United Kingdom. She previously worked as the database editor at Sveriges Television, Sweden’s national television broadcaster.
In 2006 and 2007, she was the database editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She has been awarded the Stora Journalistpriset (Great Journalism Award) in Sweden twice, in 2010 for Valpejl.se and in 2016 for Innovator of the Year.
5 April 2017
Hungarian-born Tamas Bodoky is a Budapest-based investigative journalist and editor leading Atlatszo.hu. Co-founded back in 2011 by Mr Bodoky, Atlatszo is a watchdog NGO and investigative journalism center whose mission is to promote transparency and freedom of information in Hungary.
Besides investigative reports, Atlatszo (which means “transparent” in Hungarian) has built a reputation for being open to whistleblowers and for regularly filing freedom of information requests. If those requests are refused, it takes public authorities to court.
Atlatszo.hu operates a Tor-based anonymous whistleblowing platform (Magyarleaks) and a freedom of information request generator to be used by the general public (Kimittud). Through the Kimittud, over 5,000 freedom of information requests were filed in the past three years in Hungary. Atlatszo.hu also provides a blogging platform for other NGOs and independent media. Atlatszo.hu has received a spate of prestigious prizes in the past five years.
Mr Bodoky has been a journalist for two decades now, his previous stints including work at Index.hu and Magyar Narancs weekly. He was awarded a sheaf of prizes for journalistic excellence in his career.
24 November 2016
Yong Jin Kim
Around the turn of the millennium, Yong Jin Kim organized and led the first investigative unit in Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), the country's public media broadcaster and the biggest media group in South Korea.
In 2013, frustrated by the constant need to fight the muzzles put on investigative journalism in mainstream news media, Mr Kim co-founded the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ), an independent outfit specializing in investigative reporting. He is now KCIJ’s editor-in-chief. Mr Kim’s investigations mainly cover topics related to human rights, criminal justice, media and foreign affairs.
One of the stories of which he is most proud is an investigation into how the Korean intelligence agency NIS helped big corporations to prevent people involved in trade unions from getting jobs. NIS is one of the most powerful spy agencies in South Korea, and, since 2013, KCIJ has followed how the agency has abused its power. Kim’s investigation uncovered the involvement of the agency in the 2012 presidential election, when NIS tried to influence public opinion through social media.
22 July 2017
Paul Myers joined the BBC in 1995 as an information researcher. In time, with the growing significance of the internet, Mr Myers blended his technical knowledge with journalism.
He has devised innovative strategies that have led researchers to evidence they would never have otherwise found. Today, Mr Myers heads up BBC Academy’s Investigation Support project.
In the past, he has worked with leading BBC programs such as Panorama, Watchdog, Inside Out, BBC News and the BBC World Service.
8 March 2017
Andras Petho spent much of his 15-year journalism career at the Hungarian news site Origo, which he left under political pressures. With other former colleagues from Origo, two years ago he co-founded the investigative journalism outlet Direkt36, a non-profit organization.
Mr Petho’s career included 15 months with the BBC World Service as a producer. In 2013, he spent 8 months with the investigative unit of The Washington Post as a reporter on two major data-driven projects and contributor to other investigations.
He has twice received the Soma Award, the prestigious annual award dedicated to investigative journalism in Hungary.
25 November 2017
Bopha Phorn is a stringer for the Voice of America (VoA) Khmer language service and a part-time lecturer in media and communication at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.
Ms Phorn received the Courage In Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) for her report on rampant illegal logging in her country. Whilst investigating the story, she was shot at by the military police.
1 July 2017
Romanian-born investigative journalist Paul Radu manages the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and is co-creator of the Investigative Dashboard concept and of the RISE Project, a new platform for investigative reporters and hackers in Romania.
Mr Radu has received numerous awards for his investigative work, including the Knight International Journalism Award in 2004, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting in 2011 and the 2015 European Press Prize.
He wrote about the theft of US$1bn from three Moldovan banks back in 2014, disputes over a number of murky deals involving purchase of forests in Romania, and the wealth of Russian cellist Sergei Roldugin, a close friend of president Vladimir Putin.
Now, Mr Radu is working on several cross-border investigations into money laundering.
24 August 2016
Interview by Marius Dragomir
For Romanian-born Catalin Tolontan, the principle that has guided his journalistic work for the past 15 years has been to not fear those about whom he is writing.
Nonetheless, when carrying out investigations, he doesn’t believe in individual courage, but rather in team tenacity.
Mr Tolontan is one of the best-known sports journalists in Romania. He heads the Gazeta Sporturilor daily, and his investigations are published in the newspaper’s print and online editions as well as on his blog Tolo.ro. They have so far had a major impact in Romania, attracting the ire of both politicians and authorities.
Marcela Turati is an investigative journalist who specializes in covering the impact of Mexican drug war on society. Ms Turati also has experience in human rights activism, and she reports on poverty and marginalized groups.
She has been vocal against the murders and exile of journalists in Mexico. Ms Turati works for Proceso, a leading news weekly in Mexico. She co-founded Periodistas de a Pie (Journalists on Foot), an outfit dedicated to training journalists to improve the quality of their journalism and to defend freedom of expression.
This year, Ms Turati is a Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism where she is studying cases of systemic violence and its impact on people, communities and institutions, with a focus on the role of the press.
Her investigations into the deaths of Mexican migrants lost in the Arizona desert and the unresolved massacre of indigenous people in Acteal led her to become a finalist twice for the Gabriel Garcia Marquez International Award, given annually by the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for a New Ibero American Journalism (FNPI). She received in 2014 from the same foundation the Recognition for Excellence award. Other prizes included the Louis M. Lyons Award, the Lasa Media Award and the WOLA Human Rights Award. In 2011, Ms Turati was awarded the Walter Reuter German Journalism prize for a story about Mexican families searching for their vanished loved ones.
18 April 2017
Interview by Primavera Tellez Giron G.