Michael Bird is an award-winning journalist and writer based in Bucharest, Romania.

He specialises in detailed features and investigations about eastern Europe, focusing on politics, drug addiction and urban crisis.

In 2015, Bird won the Award for Best Initiatives of European Online Investigative Journalism for his work on covering the HIV epidemic in eastern Europe.

Currently he works as a reporter and editor for The Black Sea a platform launched in October 2013 for hosting investigative reporting in southeast Europe, nominated for the European Press Prize for Innovation in 2014. Previously his reporting has appeared in the Independent on Sunday, Tagesspiegel, Design Week, the New Statesman, EUobserver, City Metric, Druglink magazine, Business Insider, The Diplomat – Bucharest and Romania’s top online news and opinion magazine, Hotnews and best-selling newspapers Libertatea and Adevarul.

Michael Bird

Basic information

Michael Bird

Supported projects

Organic put to the test

  • Agriculture
  • Industry

ROME/BUCHAREST - With the EU set to boost organic farmland, how can it maintain consumer confidence in an agricultural sector tainted by fraud? 

The Grainkeepers

  • Agriculture
  • Environment
  • Politics

WORLD - Cereal is the new petroleum, farmland the new reservoirs of oil, and ships loaded with grain are the new pipelines. As the value of crops increases, every country in possession of this resource is in a position of power, and its transport to market is a politically-charged operation.

The Abortion Battleground

  • Healthcare
  • Human Rights
  • Religion

ZAGREB - Although women have the legal right to abortion across the vast majority of countries in Europe, women in some east European countries are finding it tougher to terminate pregnancies. Our grantees looked into examples of Croatia, Romania, and Poland.

The European Social Fraud

  • Economy
  • Politics

BRUSSELS - The European Social Fund (ESF) “is Europe’s main instrument for supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer job opportunities for all EU citizens”, according to the ESF website.

The Malta Files: How the smallest EU country became a haven for global tax avoidance.

  • Corruption

VALLETTA - The Mediterranean republic of Malta operates a tax system where companies pay the lowest tax on profits in the EU - only five per cent. Over the last three months, journalistic network European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) dug into over 150,000 documents that show how international companies take advantage of this system, using Malta as a pirate base for tax avoidance in the EU.

Slaves, Lies and Videotape

  • Journalism & Media

Journalists from west Europe have broadcast and printed stories about east Europe that are distorted or false, leading to a fake presentation of reality which victimises nations and some of their poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Eurocrimes - Exploring Criminal Worlds on the Continent

  • Organised crime

The migration of criminality between European countries is a major source of social and political tension on the continent. Though dominant in the news, this phenomenon is barely covered in reports released by national and European institutions, creating an information gap that furthers mistrust and fear between people.

Europe, the Uranium Hell

  • Energy
  • Healthcare

The EU's member states' focus on energy independence is putting at risk the environment and the health of its citizens, due to the bloc’s continued exploitation of European uranium resources.

The Donbass Paradox

  • Economy
  • Industry
  • Politics

Russian-backed separatists have plundered the rebel-held regions in Ukraine’s industrial heartland and created an economy stricken with fear, hypocrisy and contradiction. How has business transformed since the rebels took control of Ukraine’s east?