This is VSquare, a network of independent media outlets carrying out cross-border investigations in the Visegrad region, that is Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
We do VSquare, because we care. Investigative journalism is at risk – reporters and newsrooms lack resources, clickbaits win over quality content, the political and business climate is also becoming more and more unsupportive. Freedom of the press has began to suffer in countries that once seemed to be young and growing or well-established democracies. And at the same time, the world around us is becoming more and more complex. Therefore, new independent models are needed to carry forward journalism in the public interest and in defence and development of democracy and free societies. As governments’ grip on media in the region tightens, it becomes all the more important for the journalists to remain independent, well-trained and vigilant. We believe that in today’s globalised world, joint efforts by journalists from various media organizations and countries of the region, can serve our societies better.
Our main mission is to give citizens access to verified information through in-depth, high quality investigative reporting and to promote investigative journalism as a public good. Our goal is also to support our colleagues and train the future generations of journalists and editors in the region.
We want to serve as watchdogs over public affairs, governments and businesses, and uncover any abuses of power and corruption. The scope of topics that we cover is broad: from environment and social justice to organised crime and politics. We consider serving the public as our main obligation, thus all the issues of national and international importance are within the scope of our work. We focus on stories that are important for the Visegrad region and that might be bypassed by the mainstream media.
We want strengthen regional cooperation. So far, journalism in our countries has mainly been done individually and on national levels.
VSquare was established in spring 2017 by renowned reporters representing various journalism organisations in Visegrad region, including Reporters’ Foundation (the operator of the project), Czech Center for Investigative Journalism, Atlatszo. We have years of experience in investigative reporting and media trainings. Our headquarters are virtual but our work mainly focuses on Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. We want to act as a non-profit investigative cross-border newsroom.
The VSquare team takes responsibility for the accuracy and quality of its work. We retain full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic interests of our initiative. We accept grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the support of our activities, but our editorial judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. We maintain an impenetrable wall between our editorial decisions and sources of all revenue. We will make public all donors who give a total of 1,000 euro or more per year. We do not depend on sales or advertising
We are non-profit, independent, investigative and driven by the passion for journalism.