Re:baltica is a non-profit organization that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Founded in August 2011, we focus on in-depth investigations of socially important issues in the Baltic region, such as corruption, crime, finances, entrepreneurship, health and human rights. Our journalism encourages transparency and reform. We are based in Riga, but our journalists and board members come from all Baltic states: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.
- To perform long-term, in-depth cross-border investigations of socially important issues, with a primary focus on corruption and lack of transparency at the higher structures of power: the justice system, law enforcement, political parties and other major public institutions.
- To inform broader international audiences about the Baltics: its political, financial and social environment
- To analyze and explain to the local audiences how the Baltic states are seen in the international arena
- To bring new, innovative and often cost-saving computer-assisted journalism (CAR) practices to the Baltic region
- To create a network for exchanging information among journalists in the Baltics, Scandinavia, E.U. and Russia
Team and board
Founder and Director, Inga Springe, worked as an investigative journalist at the leading Latvian daily newspaper Diena for six years. As a researcher in one of the poorest countries in the E.U., Springe's topics included organized crime, corruption and smuggling. As a result of her investigations, several public officials were punished for violating the rules and, on account of her work, changes were introduced in Latvian law. In 2010-2011, Springe was a Fulbright/Humphrey program fellow studying journalism in the University of Maryland and completing professional affiliations at leading investigative journalism publications, including Washington Post, Mother Jones magazine, and The Center for Public Integrity. Currently Springe is the chairman of the Association of Latvian Journalists and conducting Investigative Journalism class at the University of Latvia.
Board Chair, Arta Giga, is the leading TV producer of investigative journalism in Latvia. Currently, she is the executive editor of Neka Personiga (Nothing Personal), an investigative journalism program that airs on commercial television. Prior to that, she worked in the Latvian Public Television for 15 years where she founded the award-winning and most popular investigative TV program De Facto. Arta is the chairman of the board of the Re:baltica.
Co-founding Board Member, Kristina Rizga, is an award-winning U.S.-based journalist, who most recently worked as a reporter at Mother Jones. Currently, she is on leave to focus on a book about education. She's been working as a journalist in the U.S. for eight years. In 2009, she was a fellow at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting covering the financial collapse in her homeland Latvia. Her writing has appeared in Mother Jones, The Nation, The American Prospect, Global Post, World in Focus and Huffington Post, among others. She was born and raised in Latvia, but has lived in the San Francisco, California since 1994.
Board Member, Anvar Samost was the CEO of BNS Group (Baltic News Service) since 2006. He joined BNS in 1995, first as the head of Business Desk in BNS Estonia and later as the Managing Director. Samost has worked as a journalist since 1987. Since November 2011, Anvar is publisher at Estonian daily newspaper Postimees.
Board Member, Romas Sakadolskis teaches journalism at Vilnius University. He worked for the Voice of America in Washington, D.C., for more than three decades, serving as editor, service chief, correspondent, producer and writer. In 1988 he became the first VOA correspondent to report from inside the Baltic States in English and Lithuanian.
He has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
He serves as member of the Governing Board of the Civil Society Institute in Vilnius, is a founding member of the “Baltoji banga” (“Clear Wave”) project aimed at encouraging transparent business practices. He served on the Media Literacy Task Force, Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science, and the governing board of Lithuanian National Radio and Television (2006-2009). He worked as a volunteer lecturer (1994-1999) for the in-service training program for teachers sponsored by the American Professional Partnership for Lithuanian Education.
Mr. Sakadolskis was born 1947 in Fulda, West Germany. He lives in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Re:baltica doesn’t have staff journalists. We choose topics first, and then find the most qualified reporters for specific stories. Our board and staff chose topics with the help of our advisory board, everyday conversations with local residents, and by following current news. As much as possible, we chose topics that impact the entire Baltic region.
Currently, we are working with three journalists on our first project: Janis Krevics from Latvia, a journalist with Nekā Personiga, Sulev Vedler from Estonia, Deputy Editor of the weekly Eesti Eskpress, and Donata Motuzaite from Lithuania, a journalist with the Baltic News Service.
After our pilot project together with journalism students from the University of Latvia in August 2011, we joined forces with a few outstanding emerging journalists, including Raivis Vilūns, Gunita Gailāne, Ilze Pole, Elīna Gulbe and Laura Zvejniece.
Advisory board members
Daunis Auers, Ph.d. is a professor of Political Science at the University of Latvia. His research most recently focused on economic issues, elections and environmental issues.
Kristofs Blaus is a socially active European entrepreneur managing various innovative businesses in the Baltics. Since 2007 his companies have been working with teaching-aid software for mobile phones, civic engagement and marketing projects, payment systems and IT services for clients from Finland, Estonia and Latvia. He is founder and CEO of Creative Mobile Ltd., Education Mobile Ltd., Technology Mobile Ltd., Politics Mobile Ltd., and Foundation for Public Participation and Society Technologies Foundation. He was the 2010 Knight News Challenge winner and other business competitions, such as Cup of Ideas 2007, Dienas Bizness Innovation Plan Competition 2007, and Business Plan Competition 2006. He often lectures to young entrepreneurs, teachers, young leaders and business students across the Baltic region.
Aaron Eglitis has worked as a journalist covering Latvia's economy and politics since 2003. From 2006 he has been the correspondent for Bloomberg News in Riga. He is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle.
Olga Proskurova -Timofejeva. Since 2007 Proskurova has been teaching Journalism and Communication Theories at the University of Latvia (Department of Communication Studies). She started her career as a local TV news reporter in 1997. Since then she worked for Latvian TV channels (LTV1, LTV7, TV5), reported for Russian TV channels (NTV, TVC) on Baltic matters (1998-1999), and reported for LTV1 Panorama from Moscow in 2004. From 2009-2010, she was the editor-in-chief of the Russian-language publishing house NMG (newspaper "Telegraf", news portals Telegraf.lv, Kriminal.lv, Lifenews.lv).
Where do we publish our work
Investigative reporting is expensive and time consuming, which is why most media outlets around the world are cutting it. The main idea behind our center is to keep this important work alive without the daily pressures of maintaining a large audience or attracting advertising. Our model centers on pushing content out through a variety of platforms rather than building a new platform and competing for readers. Each report will be distributed through at least two major media outlets in the Baltic States and one international outlet. We plan to translate our large trans-national investigations into regional languages as well as into English.
Our funders and partners
The U.S. Baltic Foundation provided our initial operating funds. The U.S. State Department also awarded funding, which was restricted to the development of our website and equipment purchases. The Soros Foundation in Latvia became our third funder this year.
In order to save limited resources, the Center has also partnered with the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Latvia. The Department is donating office space for the Center, including the Internet connection and computer labs for lectures on computer-assisted reporting. In addition, the Center has already signed a cooperation contract with Lursoft, which is providing Re:baltica with free access to their databases.
Over time, the Center aims to raise funds through a diverse mix of sources: 50 percent from foundations, 40 percent from major individual donors, and 10 percent from direct revenues (books, CDs, access to databases).