Episode 6: Átlátszó’s Tamás Bodoky on managing an investigative newsroom that focuses on local stories

In the spotlight of today’s episode is Tamás Bodoky, the Editor-in-Chief of Átlátszó, the first Hungarian investigative journalism non-profit and watchdog NGO, to promote transparency, accountability and freedom of information in Hungary.

Átlátszó operates in an increasingly hostile environment, with the new ‘Sovereignty Act’ making possible intrusive investigations with no judicial oversight, and cutting off foreign funding of those targeted by the ruling party in Hungary. Meanwhile they face “more or less constant smear campaigns” and regular attacks in the national press.

With half their revenue built on micro-donations and the ability for people to contribute 1% of their income tax through a state scheme, but their crowdfunding declining 20% in a year, Átlátszó is having to work harder than ever to sustain its operations. Though their journalism is completely free to access, with open access to information and countering government propaganda core to their mission.

Tamás explains Átlátszó’s unique focus on local investigative journalism, how they built a network of reporters, and innovative strategies to reach communities in the countryside, such as leveraging social media, experimenting with printed supplements in weekly newspapers, and even distributing news on paper shopping bags in remote villages.

Listen to this episode to find out more about how Átlátszó is doing investigative local journalism while under pressure in Hungary.