Michael Bird is an award-winning investigative journalist and writer based in Bucharest, Romania and London, UK. He specialises in long-form features about eastern Europe, as well as comment, satire and fiction.
In 2020, he has been writing for DoR on stories of drug addiction and recovery
Major projects he has worked on include as co-writer for The Abortion Battleground in 2019 (with Lina Vdovii and Blaz Zgaga), revealing restrictions on women trying to terminate pregnancies legally in east Europe, and The Fix-Up: ‘How Sky News broadcasts false content about east Europe’ (Nominated for Best Reporting, Superscrieri Awards 2017), and Football Leaks. This latter project is a series of articles from the largest leak in sports history, undertaken in a cross-border project with European Investigative Collaborations spanning 14 countries, leading national media outlets and over 60 journalists. He also worked on Eurocrimes, a data journalism initiative revealing the nationalities of criminals in 25 EU countries, and on The Malta Files exposing the smallest EU country as a haven for tax avoidance, which was nominated for Best Investigative Journalism (Global) at the British Press Awards 2017 and the European Press Prize for Investigation in 2018.
Between 2013 and 2019 he worked as a reporter and editor for The Black Sea www.theblacksea.eu – a platform that showcases investigative reporting in southeast Europe. This site was nominated for the European Press Prize for Innovation in 2014, and has also published work nominated for the Investigation Prize in 2016 and 2017.
He is winner of the 2015 Award for Best Initiatives of European Online Investigative Journalism, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (European University Institute, Florence, Italy) for his work on covering the HIV epidemic in eastern Europe.
Previously his work has appeared in the Independent on Sunday, Mediapart, Politico, Tagesspiegel, Ukraine Today, EU Observer, the Daily Express, Business Insider and Nieman Reports. He has been reporting live for Deutsche Welle TV, contributes as a guest correspondent to BBC Radio 5 ‘Up All Night’, and has been an expert interview for the BBC and Al Jazeera on Romania and for Dutch TV documentary ‘Zembla’ on Donald Trump’s relationship with Kazakh oligarchs.
His short fiction published includes The Calling (‘Trouble’ anthology by Grist publishing, 2019), These Walls of Me (Winner of Second Prize, on www.theshortstory.net, 2018) The Happy Parents (Pulp.Net), Reindeer Salami (Wells Festival of Literature Prize 2011, shortlisted), The Joy Ultimatum (Hayward Gallery George Condo Prize, 2012 shortlisted), England Doesn’t Want You (Bristol Short Story Prize 2013 anthology), The Plait (Bristol Short Story Prize 2015 anthology) and Fallout (published in the Exit Earth Anthology, 2017).
This site concentrates on examples of his work since 2008.
Photos on the site are from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, and are taken by Michael Bird, unless otherwise mentioned.