“Independent journalism is the foundation of democracy and when journalism is in trouble, democracy is as well,” – András Pethő, co-founder and editor of Direkt36.
Well, we don’t know when the next Pegasus Project or Pandora Papers will come, but the collective of journalists and media outlets from different countries that we are connected to now is also very helpful to find other potential stories. When it comes to finances, core funding is crucial for this kind of work. It gives us the possibility to focus on stories that really matter. For obvious reasons, you cannot apply for a grant with a sensitive project like the Pegasus Project. In most of these bigger investigations, you cannot tell in advance in which direction they will develop, you must follow the facts.
Luckily there is more awareness around the need for and importance of independent journalism. Its clearer to donors now that independent journalism is the foundation of democracy and when journalism is in trouble, democracy is as well.
As daunting as it is to be a journalist and to be in this business, we have fascinating stories to tell. I think that if you need a purpose in life, journalism is a good place to find it. The stakes are high, but it is one of the best jobs you can have as telling stories that haven’t been told yet can change things and really make a difference.
Direkt36 is a non-profit investigative journalism center in Hungary with the mission to expose wrongdoings and abuse of power through fair but tough reporting, a kind of journalism that is vital for any democracy. They actively participate in the work of a growing international investigative journalism community and publish all of their stories – which often have international implications – also in English.