About us

The CONTEXT platform is an independent media start-up that aims to cultivate and expand Romania’s community of investigative journalists, with a strong focus on exposing corruption, fraud, and organized crime by publishing journalistic investigations.

Our main objective is to improve the standard of journalistic investigations through education, technology, and mentoring programs dedicated to young reporters who want to turn their hands to investigative journalism.

Ultimately, CONTEXT is a hub that supports cooperation between investigative journalists in Romania, one of Europe’s most corrupt countries. Furthermore, CONTEXT is part of the international network Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and actively promotes cross-border cooperation between investigative journalists. 

The team

Attila Biro

Attila Biro is the co-founder of Context.ro and has investigated organized crime and corruption for the past 18 years. He works on international projects with journalists affiliated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project network. He was part of the RISE Project team and the executive director of the platform from 2017-to 2020. He has been part of global projects such as the Azerbaijan Laundromat and the Panama Papers. In Romania, he has published his stories with Digi24, Gândul.info, and Hotnews.ro.

Iulia Stănoiu

Iulia Stănoiu is an investigative reporter with CONTEXT, and since 2017 she has been working as a local reporter in Teleorman county. She was a reporter and host for local radio in Roșiorii de Vede, her hometown, for seven years. After several years of working in the corporate environment, she returned to reporting and trained as an investigative reporter.

Stephen McGrath

Stephen is a British journalist living and working in Romania and co-founder of Context. His work has been regularly published in a variety of international news outlets, including The Associated Press, BBC, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Independent, New Statesman, and many more. He covers everything from politics to the environment, from social issues to travel and culture. In 2019, he was shortlisted for a journalism award by the Human Trafficking Foundation for the best investigative newspaper article written on the subject of human trafficking. Additionally, he has produced radio features for BBC World Service and appeared numerous times on various radio stations as a voice on Romania.

Mihaela Tănase

Mihaela Tănase is a graduate of the Faculty of Journalism in Sibiu. She was a fact-checker for Factual.ro, a project run by Funky Citizens that verifies the statements of Romanian politicians. She recently published on RISE Project an investigation on a Romanian parliamentarian.

Cristian Andrei Leonte

Cristian Andrei Leonte is Context co-founder and has been a journalist since 2011. He also set up Info Sud-Est, an independent regional publication in Constanta. He has published several investigations about local corruption and the destruction of historical heritage. His investigations led to criminal investigations, including by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. He is also an editor of G4Media and has documented cross-border investigations with journalists from the OCCRP, Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) or NRC (Netherlands).

Vasile Varlam

Vasile-Mircea Varlam studied political science and in 2021, obtained two master’s degrees in this field. He became acquainted with investigative journalism in several training courses. Together with the Context team, he documents the environment, corruption, and organized crime topics.

Partners

Annual reports

Context.ro just started up in June 2022, so we will publish the annual activity report next year. Until then, we are happy to share that our team has contributed to the Dubai Uncovered and #RecoveryFiles international investigations. Grants from international donors support our work. We will publish the relevant financial data in the annual reports.

Context.ro is edited by ASOCIAȚIA JURNALIȘTILOR DE INVESTIGAȚII CONTEXT – a Romanian NGO.

Contact

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