About the network
The name “VSquare” comes from “V4,” an abbreviation of the Visegrád Four country group, which is made up of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. A “square” is a figure with four equal sides, but it is also an open area, often used as the site of meetings and public discussions and debates.
In the spring of 2017, a group of independent investigative journalists from the four Visegrád countries decided to join forces and create VSquare, a regional collaborative platform where they could present their investigations to an international, English-speaking audience. Warsaw-based non-profit journalistic center Reporters Foundation (Fundacja Reporterów) became the publisher of VSquare, and support from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) helped to kick off the project.
Over the years, VSquare has become one of the leading regional voices of investigative journalism in Central Europe. They offer unique cross-border coverage of vital topics in the region (Russian influence, disinformation, espionage, Chinese influence, corruption, environmental crime, radical movements, illiberal trends, and press freedom, to name a few).
Today, the network consists of the top non-profit investigative journalism centers in the region: Fundacja Reporterow and its Polish-language outlet Frontstory.pl; Investigace.cz from the Czech Republic; Átlátszó.hu and Direkt36.hu from Hungary; and The Investigative Center of Ján Kuciak from Slovakia. In 2022, VSquare set up its core team and extended into collaboration with the Baltic countries, Ukraine, and Belarus. Their aim is to be Central Europe’s leading English language investigative platform.
Investigating Central Europe and its identity remains the core of VSquare’s work.
Twenty-five years after establishing the Visegrád Group to coordinate their departure from the Soviet Union, and despite the successes of their integration into NATO and the European Union, the Visegrád countries still face serious challenges.
VSquare believes in the power of cross-border collaborative journalism: when independent journalists from various media organisations and countries in the region work together, they can be much more effective and impactful in serving our societies. In recent years, VSquare’s journalists and partner centres have won multiple national journalism and media awards. In addition, VSquare has published and participated in projects that have been recognised at an international level, such as a European Press Prize shortlist in 2018 and a win in 2023. They were also a finalist for the European Parliament’s Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism in 2021 and 2023.
International journalistic cooperation requires experience and resources. VSquare articles are fact-checked and thoroughly edited. They accept grants and individual donations for the support of their activities, but their editorial judgments are made fully independently. VSquare maintains an impenetrable wall between its editorial decisions and sources of all revenue. It does not depend on sales or advertising.
VSquare is non-profit, independent, investigative, and driven by a passion for journalism.
- Espiomats – a cross-border investigative project lead by VSquare, a collaboration of international journalists working to identify the hundreds of Russian diplomats expelled in 2022.
- Kremlin Documents – VSquare took part in a cross-border collaboration that revealed secret Kremlin plans to take control of neighboring countries.
- Radicals with reach – a cross-border investigative project led by VSquare, disclosing the growing influence of ultra-conservative networks on politics and society in Central and Eastern Europe.
Size: 20 - 50 members
Geographical focus: Region
Type of members: Media outlets, Staff journalists
Legal entity: Yes
Open to new members: No
- Organized crime
- Politics / policy / democracy
- Czech Republic
- Slovak Republic
- Data analysis / vizualisation
- Investigative journalism
- Multilingual journalism
Support/join our network
- Collaborate on editorial projects
- Collaborate on grant applications
- Exchange know-how/trainings