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Global Journalist: How a Sports Reporter Challenged Romania's Oligarchy

A crowd carrying a white cross bearing the legend "Colectiv."
Robert Ghement
European Pressphoto Agency

Tol-on-tan! Tol-on-tan!

More satisfying, perhaps, than a Pulitzer Prize was the tribute paid to Catalin Tolontan by a crowd of people chanting his name during a street protest. They were celebrating the Romanian journalist's  role in exposing the oligarchs whose greed killed dozens of people.

It's a scene from one of this year's True/False documentaries about a remarkable act of journalism and civic courage.

In this week's edition of Global Journalist, we meet the movie director and his subject and talk to several Missouri School of Journalism professors about the function and future of investigative journalism.  

How a sports reporter — yes, you read that right, a sports reporter — came to unravel the corrupt operations of Romania's oligarchs is the subject of Collective, a newly released documentary that MU's Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy sponsored at the 2020 True/False film festival. In a show featuring the journalist, Tolontan, the movie's director, Alexander Nanau, and Professors Damon Kiesow and Mark Horvit, Missouri School of Journalism students consider the importance of investigative journalism in a civil society.


Producers: Kassidy Arena, Minna Tian, Samantha Waigand, Tawnie Wilson

KATHY KIELY is a veteran reporter and editor with a multimedia portfolio and a passion for transparency, free speech and teaching. After a long career covering politics in Washington, Kiely moved into the classroom full-time because, she says, universities are the laboratories that will discover the formula for making fact-based journalism viable again.
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